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Music / Beyoncé

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"Okay, ladies! Now let's get in Formation!"
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter (born September 4, 1981), better known as Beyoncé, is an R&B singer, actress, and model. She started off in the girl group Destiny's Child, and soon became the Face of the Band.

In 2002, she started a solo career (mostly collaborations with rappers but without the other girls), and got her first big hit a year later, "Crazy in Love". Since then, almost every song she's sung has made it to the top of the charts. "Crazy in Love" featured Jay-Z, who would later become her husband and the father of her three children: Blue Ivy (b. 2012) and twins Rumi and Sir (b.2017). The two of them, Beyonce in particular, are notorious about keeping their private lives private, which would later prove to be something they strategically subvert in order to clear the air/dispell rumors about them, often with the brutal truth. They also relentlessly protect their children from the spotlight, especially the twins. She’s only showed their faces a handful of times on her own terms and they’ve never really been publicly photographed.

She fronted the 2013 Super Bowl halftime show with a reunited Destiny's Child and in 2016, she and Bruno Mars basically stole the halftime show from Coldplay. This appearance, much like a lot of what Beyonce does in some circles, kicked up a lot of controversy due to her styling herself and her back up dancers like members of the militant, pro-black civil rights era political group, The Black Panther Party. She also had the honor of performing the national anthem at President Barack Obama's second inauguration in 2013. In the near future she is predicted to become Empress of Earth.

In 2013, she released a Self-Titled Album that heavily featured a Southern Rap sound and a video accompanying every song with zero promotion whatsoever, a nearly unprecedented move that caused the media and internet alike to collectively piss itself. Two years later on April 23, 2016, she dropped her sixth album Lemonade, an album that further cemented Beyonce's genre mixing, featuring Louisiana bounce beats, an outright rock song featuring Jack White, and even a country song. In the complete opposite way of her previous album, Beyonce promoted the album's release with a short film that premiered on HBO, giving only a week's notice ahead. Lemonade details Beyonce coping with her husband's infidelity, forgiving him, while also promoting womanist ideas and concepts. The world once again lost its mind at the revelations. After having to take some time off due to her pregnancy with the twins being high-risk that led to an emergency c-section, Beyonce had the honor of being the first female black headliner at the Coachella musical festival in 2018. Her nearly 2 hour set of almost continuous singing and dancing was instantly named a classic, with fans and commentators alike dubbing that year "Beychella." In April 2019, a Concert Film entitled Homecoming of this performance was released as a Netflix original along with the audio as a standalone album. It’s part of a three project deal she signed with the company.

After a six year break, her seventh studio album was announced in June 2022. Entitled Renaissance: Act 1, it was released on July 29th. The project is much more upbeat than her previous two. Sonically, it moves her back from R&B to the pop sphere but is more dance inspired than her pre-self titled album pop output. It was announced as the first in a trilogy but no further details were given when it was released.

At almost any given time she is probably Tumblr's resident Memetic Badass, and she's certainly one of the biggest pop-culture feminist icons of her time.

Solo Discography:

Selected Filmography

Got me so crazy in tropes:

  • Alter-Ego Acting: Sasha Fierce, who was created prior to the filming of "Crazy in Love" as a way to let her wild side out.
  • Animal Motif: Bees. More a result of Beyonce's fans referring to Beyonce as Queen Bey and themselves as the "Beyhive" than anything Beyonce's done herself. Needless to say, she's been a good sport about rolling with it.
  • Audience Participation Song: During her 2011 appearance at Glastonbury, she points her microphone towards the audience to help her start off "Irreplaceable". The audience did her one better and sang the entire first half of the song back to her. This happened before on her "I AM... World Tour" when the audience sang all of the first verse of "Irreplaceable" back to her.
  • Auto Erotica: "Partition" is about having sex in the back of a limousine. See Intercourse with You below.
  • Beauty Contest: The subject of the video for "Pretty Hurts."
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • In the one hour visual special that came with Lemonade's release, Beyonce is seen singing Hold Up whilst smiling and skipping through the streets in a beautiful yellow gown until she takes a bat and proceeds to bust up everything in sight—cars, shop windows, fire hydrants, even the cameraman! All with a smile on her face. And that's only before she gets into the monster truck...uh-oh.
    • The segment for Don't Hurt Yourself in the Lemonade special shows Beyonce getting frighteningly angry as she sings about getting cheated on and warning her lover not to do it againnote , coupled with a montage of Beyonce angrily confronting the camera, Beyonce in a white wedding dress glaring with a wall of fire behind her, and even throwing a ring at the camera!
    • Sorry marked the beginning of her "Apathy" chapter in the Lemonade special and the song lyrics show Beyonce just really didn't give a damn, going as far as to tell her cheating lover to "suck on [her] balls" because "[she's] had enough".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: In earlier songs, those on B'Day and 4, she used "nigga(s)" in censored versions of "Irreplaceable" and "Run The World (Girls)". Later, she began to move in this direction with Beyoncé and fully hit it on Lemonade. Beyoncé says "fuck", "shit", "bitch", "nigga", "ass", "ho", "thot", "dick" and "balls", many times throughout the album, especially "fuck". For instance:
  • Cool Big Sis: Beyonce and her sister Solange has always been each other's biggest fan. Beyonce wrote several songs with her and even invited her to perform stage several times. Solange was even in Destiny's Child as the third member for some time.
    • She even reference the infamous elevator incident in 2014 (where Solange beats up and spit on Jay-Z while Beyonce just stands by) in her song "Cozy".
  • Covered in Gunge: While doing a commercial for the Nintendo DS that aired during the 2010 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, she was slimed.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Aside from being Hotter and Sexier and containing more profanity, the self-titled album also concerns darker themes previously unexplored in her work, such as bulimia, post-natal depression, the fears and insecurities of marriage and motherhood.
    • Despite the happy ending to the album, Lemonade is her darkest and most mature album to date, being that it tells personal stories of betrayal, strained relationships, anger, jealousy and loss.
  • Distinct Double Album: I Am...Sasha Fierce. The I Am... disc being filled with introspective ballads and Sasha Fierce seeing Beyonce's signature R&B/Pop style complete with a new persona, Sasha Fierce.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Depicted in the 7/11 music video where she's dancing barefoot and uses her foot as phone dial and screams "I know you care!".
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Welcome to Hollywood" mentions the deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, John Belushi and River Phoenix.
  • Finger on Lips: Does this in the video for "Telephone."
  • Genuine Human Hide: In the Anger section of Lemonade:
    If it's what you truly want ... I can wear her skin over mine. Her hair over mine. Her hands as gloves. Her teeth as confetti. Her scalp, a cap. Her sternum, my bedazzled cane. We can pose for a photograph, all three of us. Immortalized ... you and your perfect girl.
  • Genre Shift: Her earlier songs, such as "Freakum Dress" and "Green Light" were more funk and rock than her other typical genres. The song Diva was more hip-hop/rap orientated than her usual pop/R and B style. A further shift occurred with the albums "4" where she played around with classic R&B-esque songs and poppier, louder sounds. Even more so on her self-titled album "Beyoncé" with almost all of the songs. With Lemonade, Beyonce shifts through certain genres such as Southern Rap, Trap, and even Country Blues.
  • Happily Married: To Jay-Z.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Her self-titled album is this undoubtedly, with lines like "Can you lick my Skittles?" and "He Monica Lewinsky'd all over my gown". This connects to the feminist theme of the album, focusing on the sexual liberation of women.
  • I Call Him "Mister Happy":
    • In "Kitty Kat", she is clearly addressing her vagina Little Kitty Kat.
    • "Surfboard", in "Drunk In Love"
  • Intercourse with You: On her self-titled album. "Blow", for example, is just an ode to cunnilingus, and "Rocket" is an even less subtle request for good old sex. "Partition" and "Drunk in Love" count too.
  • Jailbait Taboo: In 1999, she starred as the love interest in R&B singer Case's "Happily Ever After" video, where he proposes to her. Case had just turned 24 while Beyonce was only 17. Her manager-father even prevented the two from kissing in the video due to her age.
  • Lady Land:
    • She somewhat invoked this during her Super Bowl performance, with her dancers and backup band, (known as Suga Mamas, after a song on her album "B'Day") being solely female. She said she got the idea to do it during rehearsals... then had to delicately break it to the male members of her band.
    • Her Visual special to go with the release of Lemonade was more or less a celebration of black women, even going as far as to use snippets from a Malcolm X speech that talked about how the most disrespected person in America is the black woman, with cameos from Serena Williams, the mothers of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Quvenzhane Wallis, and even her own daughter Blue Ivy.
  • Large Ham: Her choreography and on-stage persona are extremely flamboyant. With the songs "Diva", "Upgrade U" and "***Flawless", her self-confidence shines through.
  • Love Is Like Religion: "Halo":
    Baby, I can see your halo
    You know you're my savin' grace
  • Lighter and Softer: Renaissance is much more upbeat than her self-titled album and Lemonade. She said she wanted to make something more fun after having been stuck in the house for a year with three kids due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Melismatic Vocals: This, her belting and her vibrato's make it easier to note her on the radio, as she's one of the only pop stars who can still do it consistently today, even after almost 20 years in the business.
  • Me's a Crowd: Shown in her older "I AM..." era videos with "Sweet Dreams" and "Video Phone".
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Not really with her music, but more with her videos, with her first solo album, most of her videos were rather fast-paced, elaborate, bright, and colorful (Look at "Crazy in Love.") Now, she's done a lot of video that are very simple (usually her and a couple of dancers in black and white ("Single Ladies.") More recently though, her videos have taken on a different more "artsy" and experimental aesthetic. With the punk look of "***Flawless", the 80's vibe of "Blow" and even the retro-glam and nostalgic look of "Grown Woman".
    • Her segment for Hold Up from her visual special for Lemonade. It's a sunny day, people are smiling, kids are playing and Beyonce, dressed in a beautiful yellow couture gown, is skipping down the street and singing about feelings of denial regarding her cheating lover. Soon, she's smashing things with a bat and driving a monster truck down said street whilst things blow up in the background.
  • Motor Mouth: She does this in "Apeshit" by The Carters, her duo project with her husband.
  • New Sound Album: Beyoncé is, surprisingly, a Hip-Hop album where Beyoncé raps as much as she sings something continued further with Lemonade, a hardcore Southern Rap album. Renaissance brought her back into pop territory but is much more dance-inspired than her early output.
  • The Oner: The "Single Ladies" video. Just her and two other dancers in a studio, one Deliberately Monochrome continuous shot of them dancing around. Iconic enough to win her the MTV Video Of The Year VMA in 2009.
  • Outrun the Fireball: At the end of the music video for Diva. Complete with Unflinching Walk.
  • Pietŕ Plagiarism: In the "Mine" video.
  • Pretty in Mink: Has worn loads of furs in her vids, and even her promise to stop to please PETA was short-lived. "Tell PETA my mink is dragging on the floor!".
  • Product Placement: The version of "Get Me Bodied" on the Deluxe Edition of B-Day includes the line, "Shake your derriere in your Dereon," which is her mother's clothing line. In the lyrics of "Upgrade U": "Audermars Piget watch (Swiss watch company)... Cartier top clips...Purple labels...Hermes briefcase". "Sippin' Cuervo with no chaser." from "Formation".
  • Promoted Fangirl: Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe became famous for doing impressions of Beyoncé, and the singer later noticed her work. Naomi went on to model for Beyoncé's clothing line Ivy Park.
  • Retraux: "Schoolin' Life" of the deluxe "4" album has a very 80's dance/funk pop vibe. The song "Blow" from her eponymous album has an 80's vibe as well. "Why Don't You Love Me" from the deluxe version of "I AM... Sasha Fierce". "Sandcastles" from "Lemonade" is reminiscent of Donny Hathaway's version of "A Song For You".
  • Rhyming with Itself:
    • Take a sip every time "7/11" does this.
    • Take a sip every time she rhymes "yourself" with "yourself" in Don't Hurt Yourself.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: One of the most skilled in popular music. Her self-background vocals are a hallmark of her musical style.
    • Listen to "Rise Up," "VIRGO'S GROOVE," "Black Parade," and "Carol of the Bells" (Destiny's Child) for reference.
    • Going back and listening to Destiny's Child's catalog will make you realize that she's the only one singing in the background of many of their songs; one of the most notable examples is "Jumpin' Jumpin'."
  • Shooting Lessons From Your Parents: The song "Daddy Lessons" is a recounting of everything Beyonce learned from her father, including how to shoot.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The version of "Get Me Bodied" on the Deluxe Edition of B-Day mentions supermodel Naomi Campbell.
    • Hold Up references Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs and even Soulja Boy, of all people.
  • Southern Gothic: Much of the imagery in Lemonade falls into this.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: The "Hold Up" video has her destroying things and blowing up behind her. "6 Inch" has a house lighting up in flames as she walks out.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Her video for "Party" has her wearing many different outfits. This applies to her concerts as well. Her video for "Countdown".
  • Whole Costume Reference:


Video Example(s):



Deena sings a declaration of independence from her husband/producer's controlling ways and finally finds her voice.

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