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Songbook: The Complete Guide To The Albums, Visuals & Performances That Made Beyoncé A Cultural Force
Beyoncé

Source Photos (L-R): Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment; Peter Kramer/Getty Images; Larry Busacca/PW/WireImage for Parkwood Entertainment

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Songbook: The Complete Guide To The Albums, Visuals & Performances That Made Beyoncé A Cultural Force

In honor of Women's History Month, GRAMMY.com is celebrating 32-time GRAMMY winner Beyoncé with a complete guide to the groundbreaking albums, visuals and stage moments that shaped her singular art and vision

GRAMMYs/Mar 7, 2022 - 02:42 pm

Presented by GRAMMY.com, Songbook is an editorial series and hub for music discovery that dives into a legendary artist's discography and art in whole — from songs to albums to music films and videos and beyond. This story has been updated to reflect Beyoncé’s 2023 GRAMMYs wins.

One name says so much: Beyoncé. Throughout her 20-plus-year career, the 32-time GRAMMY-winning artist has inspired awe with a divine voice, top-notch performances and thorough bodies of work, demonstrating a complete mastery of her craft.

Before she became the most-awarded artist in GRAMMY history, Beyoncé was a young Houstonian singing alongside her childhood friends in the hip-hop/ R&B girl group, Girl’s Tyme, which would later become Destiny’s Child. Under the tutelage of her father Mathew — and with legendary acts like Tina Turner, Michael and Janet Jackson as her inspirations — Beyoncé continued to hone the gifts that would eventually make her an icon.

After garnering her first two GRAMMY wins with Destiny’s Child in 2001, Beyoncé’s star continued to grow. Her first solo album, Dangerously In Love, further proved Beyoncé was a force to be reckoned with. She collected five GRAMMYs at the 46th GRAMMY Awards in 2004, a then-record for female artists that Beyoncé has since broken. (Bey received a record six awards at the 56th GRAMMY Awards in 2009, an achievement that speaks volumes of her tireless ability to outdo only herself.) At the 2023 GRAMMYs, she became the artist with the most GRAMMY wins in history.

While the accolades are a bonus, Beyoncé’s cultural impact and overall mission to serve her community are the most integral aspects of her career. She defies the artistic confines society often places on Black artists in order to highlight the community’s significance. Whether it’s joining the Super Bowl Halftime show to relay an important message about Black pride, or celebrating the African diaspora in her visual album Black Is King, she’s kept the sanctity, influence and power of the Black community intact, while creating unmatched lanes for herself as an artist. 

There’s never a wrong time to celebrate the musical achievements of "Big B," so GRAMMY.com is revisiting the "world-stop" moments of this legendary act — from her albums to her eye-popping performances, and everything in between.

Beyoncé, The Artist

B’Day (2006)

Released to coincide with her 25th birthday, Beyoncé’s sophomore solo effort B’Day invites listeners to a music party fit for a queen. The ‘70s-inspired LP was reportedly recorded in a span of three weeks, though its short gestation period doesn’t render it incomplete. 

B’Day explores the gamut of R&B, funk and pop, and signals both a turning point in Beyoncé’s personal maturity and a shift in the approach to her artistry. Recorded with live instrumentation, B’Day features production from The Neptunes ("Kitty Kat"), Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins ("Deja Vu"), and Swizz Beatz ("Ring The Alarm," "Get Me Bodied"), and finds Beyoncé at her (then) boldest, serving as a co-arranger, writer and producer on each track.

The album also showcases solo Bey’s earliest forms of sexual liberation and autonomy, evident by party starters like "Green Light" and "Freakum Dress." She also gives listeners the balladry they’ve come to love with "Irreplaceable" and "Resentment." When you think of Beyoncé, you’re probably thinking of hits from B’Day — which is indicative of how integral it is to her discography.

4 (2011)

4 is Beyoncé’s first time creating a cohesive body of work after becoming managerially independent from her father. Through the effort, fans are gifted with something they truly want: a look into the generally-private life of Queen Bey. The album could be seen as the catalyst for the mature and vulnerable themes found in BEYONCÉ and Lemonade.

Much of the album’s material focuses on monogamous love, but there’s no shortage of empowering, women-centered anthems one now expects from Beyoncé. A showcase of her prowess, 4 marries the subjects of relationships and feminine independence without being contradictory.

4 also gives listeners a taste of Beyoncé’s ability to traverse genre through multiple sources of sonic inspiration, from the funky, Fela Kuti-inspired "End Of Time," to "Run The World (Girls)," which samples Major Lazer’s dancehall-heavy hit, "Pon De Floor." 

Read More: For The Record: The Creative Rebirth Of Beyoncé On 4

Lemonade (2016)

Perhaps her most critically and culturally-lauded body of work, Beyoncé’s sixth album Lemonade crosses genres with ease, while providing an emotional catharsis unlike any project she’d released prior. 

Through a journey of head-banging rock anthems ("DON’T HURT YOURSELF"), alternative R&B ("6 INCH") and country ("DADDY LESSONS"), Bey unleashes a warm sonic embrace for Black women aimed at collective healing. Lemonade is accompanied by a stunning visual component directed by several lauded filmmakers, and features public figures from Serena Williams to Zendaya.

While the project controversially received just two GRAMMYs out of the nine it was nominated for at the 59th GRAMMY Awards, Lemonade’s cultural impact has proven to be enormous. With the album, Beyoncé used her platform to speak directly to her community in a poetic and nuanced way. This effort didn’t go unnoticed and will be celebrated for years to come.

RENAISSANCE (2022)

Due to Beyoncé’s regression back to a rather traditional album rollout, her seventh studio album, RENAISSANCE, didn’t crash land into our headphones like her previous two solo efforts. However, the 16-track project still managed to pack a powerful punch. The first of a reported album trilogy is drenched in dance music influence, featuring tracks that carry house, disco, afrobeats, dancehall and bounce vibes.

According to a note Beyoncé shared on her website upon releasing RENAISSANCE, she made the album to honor the "fallen angels" of the music scene and her beloved Uncle Jonny, who died as a result of AIDS-related complications. Much like the dance music and club scene that sparked a revolution in the 20th century, the album urges listeners to choose life, love and freedom despite the calamity found in the world. 

One of the major hallmarks of the album is Beyoncé’s reclamation of the Black and brown, queer and trans beginnings of dance music. With LGBTQ+ friendly tracks like the ballroom-inspired “PURE/HONEY” and the self-love anthem “ALIEN SUPERSTAR,” Beyoncé reconfigures the sounds and spaces that became became integral to the communities that needed them most throughout RENAISSANCE.

Beyoncé, The Visual Artist

The "Self-Titled" Era (2013)

While Beyoncé’s eponymous fifth solo album made headlines for its out-of-nowhere release, the self-titled era is also revered for its 17 music videos, all of which were released simultaneously.

The feat was unparalleled, as each video was (seemingly) filmed in secret with different directors at the helm. The Hype Williams-directed "Blow" features a neon-lit roller skating rink befitting from the funky Pharrell, Timbaland and J-Roc-produced beat; the "Haunted" video was made by Jonas Åkerlund, and features Beyoncé entering a spooky, sexy mansion.

"It’s more than just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion," Beyoncé said in the self-titled mini-documentary about crafting a visual album. "I wanted people to hear the songs with the story that’s in my head, because that’s what makes it mine."

Formation (2016)

Beyoncé dropped the song and video for "Formation," the first single from her then-unannounced album Lemonade, at the start of Black History Month and makes strong points about the importance of Black pride and self-love. ("I like my baby hair with baby hair and Afros," she sings.) 

The video was shot by Melina Matsoukas — director of the visual for Bey’s image-conscious anthem "Pretty Hurts" — and largely pertains to protecting Black lives and abolishing police brutality. Near its conclusion, the words "Stop Shooting Us" are seen spray painted on a wall, while a young Black boy’s fearless dancing prompts police to put their hands up (a powerful flip of the "Hands Up, Don’t Shoot" slogan and gesture coined in 2014 following the death of Michael Brown by police). Her performance of the song at the Super Bowl Halftime show just a day later features several pro-Black moments, such as dancers donning Black Panther berets and choreography featuring the Black Power salute. 

While the performance and video were criticized by those who didn’t understand its overall point, they were both praised by many who did. And even better? Beyoncé announced the Formation World Tour immediately after leaving the Super Bowl stage.

Black Is King (2020)

Disney’s The Lion King received the live-action treatment in 2019, featuring Beyoncé as the voice of lioness Nala. Bey curated the soundtrack accompanying the film, The Lion King: The Gift, which showcases how far-reaching Africa’s influence spreads in music.

Tying everything together, Beyoncé released a visual component to The Gift in summer 2020. A musical "thank you" to Africa, Black Is King puts a modern twist on The Lion King. A diverse cast and crew were billed alongside Beyoncé, who starred in, co-directed and co-wrote the project. 

Stunning landscapes, traditional African hairstyles and ornate costumes were crucial to the film’s storytelling. Upon its release on Disney+, it was universally praised for uplifting the African diaspora, as well as placing an importance on maintaining and celebrating Black culture’s distinct roots.

Read More: Inside The Visual World Of Beyoncé And Black Is King, Her "Love Letter" To Black Men

Beyoncé, The Performer

GRAMMYs

Beyoncé is no stranger to the GRAMMY stage, performing multiple times over her illustrious career. One of her most memorable GRAMMY moments is her duet with Prince, which opened the 2004 ceremony. Beyoncé croons along as Prince shreds his signature purple guitar to a medley of hits, from "Purple Rain" to Bey’s "Crazy In Love." 

A few years later at the 52nd GRAMMY Awards ceremony, Beyoncé proved her performance prowess with a rendition of "If I Were A Boy" from her album I Am… Sasha Fierce. She took total control of the moment with a powerful strut down the aisles, pairing her unmatched vocals with hair-swinging choreography. She also interwove GRAMMY winner Alanis Morissette’s breakup hit "You Oughta Know" into the performance.

Her most recent performance on the GRAMMYs stage occurred during the 2017 ceremony. Although she was several months pregnant with twins, Beyoncé made sure to put on a show while singing "LOVE DROUGHT" from Lemonade. From the dancers and choreography, to the ornate set and costumes, to the layered intention behind the performance, the visually stunning spectacle was one to remember.

Read More: Beyoncé Created A Space To Celebrate Black Culture At Coachella & More Things Homecoming Taught Us

Breaking Ground

Several times in her career, Beyoncé has been "the first" to do something. She was the first solo female artist to headline the legendary Glastonbury Festival in 2011, performing a 90-minute set of her biggest hits including "Baby Boy," "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" and "Sweet Dreams." Did we mention she was  also pregnant during this performance with her first child, future GRAMMY winner Blue Ivy Carter?

No performance, however, compares to her Coachella Music Festival set in April 2018. Now known as "Beychella," Beyoncé not only broke ground as the first Black woman to headline the festival, but she completely set a new bar for live performances. The superstar’s entire set was an homage to HBCUs (historically Black colleges and universities), complete with a full band, majorettes, Greek letters and more.

Songbook: How Pop Icon Christina Aguilera Traversed Two Cultures & Languages Across Her Discography

17 Love Songs That Have Won GRAMMYs: "I Will Always Love You," "Drunk In Love" & More
(L-R) Usher and Alicia Keys during the Super Bowl LVIII halftime show.

Photo: L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

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17 Love Songs That Have Won GRAMMYs: "I Will Always Love You," "Drunk In Love" & More

Over the GRAMMYs' 66-year history, artists from Frank Sinatra to Ed Sheeran have taken home golden gramophones for their heartfelt tunes. Take a look at some of the love songs that have won GRAMMYs.

GRAMMYs/Feb 14, 2024 - 09:42 pm

Editor's Note: This is an update to a story from 2017.

Without heart-bursting, world-shifting love songs, music wouldn't be the same. There are countless classic and chart-topping hits dedicated to love, and several of them have won GRAMMYs.

We're not looking at tunes that merely deal with shades of love or dwell in heartbreak. We're talking out-and-out, no-holds-barred musical expressions of affection — the kind of love that leaves you wobbly at the knees.

No matter how you're celebrating Valentine's Day (or not), take a look at 18 odes to that feel-good, mushy-gushy love that have taken home golden gramophones over the years.

Frank Sinatra, "Strangers In The Night"

Record Of The Year / Best Vocal Performance, Male, 1967

Ol' Blue Eyes offers but a glimmer of hope for the single crowd on Valentine's Day, gently ruminating about exchanging glances with a stranger and sharing love before the night is through.

Willie Nelson, "Always On My Mind"

Best Country Vocal Performance, Male, 1983

In this cover, Nelson sings to the woman in his life, lamenting over those small things he should have said and done, but never took the time. Don't find yourself in the same position this Valentine's Day.

Lionel Richie, "Truly"

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1983

"Truly" embodies true dedication to a loved one, and it's delivered with sincerity from the king of '80s romantic pop — who gave life to the timeless love-song classics "Endless Love," "Still" and "Three Times A Lady."

Roy Orbison, "Oh, Pretty Woman"

Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male, 1991

Orbison captures the essence of encountering a lovely woman for the first time, and offers helpful one-liners such as "No one could look as good as you" and "I couldn't help but see … you look as lovely as can be." Single men, take notes.

Whitney Houston, "I Will Always Love You"

Record Of The Year, Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female, 1994

Houston passionately delivers a message of love, remembrance and forgiveness on her version of this song, which was written by country sweetheart Dolly Parton and first nominated for a GRAMMY in 1982.

Celine Dion, "My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme From Titanic)"  

Record Of The Year, Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, 1999

This omnipresent theme song from the 1997 film Titanic was propelled to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 as the story of Jack and Rose (played by Leonardo DiCaprio and GRAMMY winner Kate Winslet) swept the country.

Shania Twain, "You're Still The One"

Best Female Country Vocal Performance, Best Country Song, 1999

Co-written with producer and then-husband Mutt Lange, Twain speaks of beating the odds with love and perseverance in lyrics such as, "I'm so glad we made it/Look how far we've come my baby," offering a fresh coat of optimism for couples of all ages.

Usher & Alicia Keys, "My Boo"

Best R&B Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals, 2005

"There's always that one person that will always have your heart," sings Usher in this duet with Keys, taking the listener back to that special first love. The chemistry between the longtime friends makes this ode to “My Boo” even more heartfelt, and the love was still palpable even 20 years later when they performed it on the Super Bowl halftime show stage.

Bruno Mars, "Just The Way You Are"

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, 2011

Dating advice from Bruno Mars: If you think someone is beautiful, you should tell them every day. Whether or not it got Mars a date for Valentine's Day, it did get him a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Cee Lo Green & Melanie Fiona, "Fool For You" 

Best Traditional R&B Performance, 2012

It's a far cry from his previous GRAMMY-winning song, "F*** You," but "Fool For You" had us yearning for "that deep, that burning/ That amazing unconditional, inseparable love."

Justin Timberlake, "Pusher Love Girl" 

Best R&B Song, 2014

Timberlake is so high on the love drug he's "on the ceiling, baby." Timberlake co-wrote the track with James Fauntleroy, Jerome Harmon and Timbaland, and it's featured on his 2013 album The 20/20 Experience, which flew high to No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Beyoncé & Jay-Z, "Drunk In Love"

Best R&B Performance / Best R&B Song, 2015

While "Drunk In Love" wasn't the first love song that won Beyoncé and Jay-Z a GRAMMY — they won two GRAMMYs for "Crazy In Love" in 2004 — it is certainly the sexiest. This quintessential 2010s bop from one of music's most formidable couples captures why their alliance set the world's hearts aflame (and so did their steamy GRAMMYs performance of it).

Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"

Song Of The Year / Best Pop Solo Performance, 2016

Along with his abundant talent, Sheeran's boy-next-door charm is what rocketed him to the top of the pop ranks. And with swooning lyrics and a waltzing melody, "Thinking Out Loud" is proof that he's a modern-day monarch of the love song.

Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper, "Shallow"

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance / Best Song Written For Visual Media, 2019

A Star is Born's cachet has gone up and down with its various remakes, but the 2018 iteration was a smash hit. Not only is that thanks to moving performances from Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, but particularly thanks to their impassioned, belt-along duet "Shallow."

H.E.R. & Daniel Caesar, "Best Part"

Best R&B Performance, 2019

"If life is a movie/ Know you're the best part." Who among us besotted hasn't felt their emotions so widescreen, so thunderous? Clearly, H.E.R. and Daniel Caesar have — and they poured that feeling into the GRAMMY-winning ballad "Best Part."

Kacey Musgraves, "Butterflies"

Best Country Solo Performance, 2019

As Musgraves' Album Of The Year-winning LP Golden Hour shows, the country-pop star can zoom in or out at will, capturing numberless truths about the human experience. With its starry-eyed lyrics and swirling production, "Butterflies" perfectly encapsulates the flutter in your stomach that love can often spark.

Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber, "10,000 Hours"

Best Country Duo/Group Performance, 2021

When country hook-meisters Dan + Shay teamed up with pop phenom Justin Bieber, their love song powers were unstoppable. With more than 1 billion Spotify streams alone, "10,000 Hours" has become far more than an ode to just their respective wives; it's an anthem for any lover.

Lovesick Or Sick Of Love: Listen To GRAMMY.com's Valentine's Day Playlist Featuring Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Playboi Carti, Olivia Rodrigo, FKA Twigs & More

Who Is Rhiannon Giddens? 3 Things To Know About The Banjoist & Violist On Beyoncé’s "Texas Hold ‘Em"
Rhiannon Giddens

Photo: Ebru Yildiz

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Who Is Rhiannon Giddens? 3 Things To Know About The Banjoist & Violist On Beyoncé’s "Texas Hold ‘Em"

Rhiannon Giddens has been esteemed in various folk circles for years — and her appearance on Beyoncé’s "TEXAS HOLD ‘EM" just broke her into the mainstream. Here are three things to know about the eclectic singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2024 - 06:40 pm

After the club-storming Renaissance, its Act II begins with an unexpected sound: a burble of banjo, later joined by flowing viola. Welcome to "TEXAS HOLD ‘EM," one of two advance singles from Beyoncé’s forthcoming album, along with "16 CARRIAGES."

Beyoncé’s recently announced Act II promises to be an immersion into country music — which is both a fresh aesthetic and one deeply rooted to her Texan upbringing. The 32-time GRAMMY Winner has spoken about the "overlooked history of the American Black cowboy" and nodded to the culture with a Western getup at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

All of this is a completely natural fit for Rhiannon Giddens, who played said fiddle and viola on "TEXAS HOLD ‘EM."

"The beginning is a solo riff on my minstrel banjo — and my only hope is that it might lead a few more intrepid folks into the exciting history of the banjo," Giddens explained on Instagram. "I used to say many times as soon as Beyoncé puts the banjo on a track my job is done.

"Well, I didn’t expect the banjo to be mine," she continued. "And I know darn well my job isn’t done, but today is a pretty good day."

The "job" defines Giddens. Sure, she may be completely new to certain contingents of the Beyhive, but the two-time GRAMMY winner and 10-time nominee’s been on the scene for almost two decades.

Since making her mark with the Carolina Chocolate Drops in the mid-aughts, Giddens has forged a singular legacy. She’s not only a purveyor of traditional musics, but as an investigator of the racial and cultural cross-currents that forged our modern-day understanding — and misunderstanding — of Americana.

At the 2024 GRAMMYs, Giddons was nominated for two golden gramophones — for Best Americana Album (You’re the One) and Best American Roots Performance ("You Louisiana Man"). You’re the One was her first album of all-original material; in that regard, these noms show that a new, exciting chapter for Giddens is just beginning.

Here are five things to know about the artist who just played "TEXAS HOLD ‘EM" with Queen Bee.

Her Interrogation Of Black Music History Is Indispensable

Giddens has worked in a diverse array of fields, including opera, documentary, ballet, podcasting, and more. Her mission? To explore "difficult and unknown chapters of American history" through musical lenses, like the evolution of the banjo from Africa to Appalachia.

"In order to understand the history of the banjo, and the history of bluegrass music, we need to move beyond the narrative we've inherited," she’s stated. Elsewhere, she noted, "People seem ready for a more in-depth idea of folk music, culture and history.

Which extends beyond merely other people’s stories — but to her own.

…And It Led Directly To You’re The One

Speaking to GRAMMY.com about her GRAMMY-nominated first album of original material, Giddens was quick to note that "autobiography" doesn’t hit the mark.

"It doesn't express how I feel… they're still songs, and it's still a performance," Giddens said. "I'd say I'm drawing a little bit more from my experience, but I had to draw from my experience to write other people's stories.

"There's emotions that I feel that I then translate into these other stories," she added, "so I don't think this record is completely different from that."

She’s Made Killer Appearances With Paul Simon

Paul Simon’s ended his touring years, but he does make sporadic appearances, including at 2022’s "Homeward Bound: A GRAMMY Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon."

There, they performed a version of his epochal "American Tune," where he changed the words in nuanced ways as relates to the American origin story — and he enlisted Giddens to sing it with him.

"He didn't have to do nothing but sit back and collect his checks," Giddens told GRAMMY.com. "He made a statement with that song, and I don't want to take that away from him. I didn't change those words; he changed those words."

Where will Giddens go from her star turn with Bey? Wherever it might be, we’ll feel — and learn — something profound, one banjo strum at a time.

On You’re The One, Rhiannon Giddens’ Craft Finds A Natural Outgrowth: Songwriting

Everything We Know About Beyoncé’s New Album, ‘Act II’: Two New Singles, A Shift To Country & More
Beyoncé at the 2024 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy 

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Everything We Know About Beyoncé’s New Album, ‘Act II’: Two New Singles, A Shift To Country & More

Beyoncé released two new singles and announced a forthcoming new album after teasing the new music during a Verizon 5G commercial during the 2024 Super Bowl. Here's everything we know about the 'act ii' album dropping March 29.

GRAMMYs/Feb 12, 2024 - 05:23 am

“OK, they ready: drop the new music.” With those seven words, Beyoncé announced new music during a commercial for Verizon 5G during the 2024 Super Bowl.

As the Beyhive clamored frantically to discover what, exactly, their queen was teasing, the answer soon became clear as the superstar unveiled two new tracks titled “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” and “16 CARRIAGES.”

But that’s not all! The two new songs not only follow Beyoncé’s seventh album, Renaissance, and her mega-successful concert tour of the same name, but also build on the single “MY HOUSE” from last year. The dual ditties appear to be components of a larger project, potentially marking the next phase of Beyoncé's ongoing Renaissance.

Below, GRAMMY.com rounded up everything there is to know about Queen Bey’s surprise drop and what cards she may have up her sleeve.

Beyoncé’s Long-Awaited Country Era Is Upon Us

While Beyonce’s Super Bowl LVIII commercial paid homage to 2016’s Lemonade, introduced the world to the possibilities of "Beyonc-AI" and even sent her to space, the surprise singles signal a new direction for the living legend into bonafide country territory. 

“TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” is a twangy, two-stepping joint addictively tailor-made for a night of line dancing and lassoing, with Bey singing, “This ain’t Texas, ain’t no hold ‘em / So lay your cards down, down, down, down / So park your Lexus and throw your keys up / Stick around, ‘round, ‘round, ‘round, round” before she flirts, “And I’ll be damned if I can’t slow dance with you / Come pour some sugar on me honey, too / It’s a real live boogie and a real live hoe-down / Don’t be a b–ch, come take it to the floor now.”

Meanwhile, “16 CARRIAGES” balances out the yee-haw groove of its jauntier sibling by turning out a slow-burning power ballad as Bey spins a tale of lost innocence and grinding away in the name of a better life. “Sixteen carriages drivin’ away while I / Watch them ride with my dreams away to the / Summer sunset on a holy night on a / Lone back road, all the / Tears I fight,” she rhapsodizes over sparse acoustic guitar before slide guitar and pounding percussion crash over her gentle vocals like a wave.

It All Started with a Super Bowl Ad

Beyoncé started all this ruckus with an epic Super Bowl commercial for Verizon. The ad began with the two-time halftime show headliner filming a music video for her 2023 one-off “My House.” Clad in a red sequined ensemble and surrounded by faceless backup dancers in the same shade of scarlet, Bey bursts from a giant house (also red) as she pronounces, “Who they came to see? Me! Who rep like me, don't make me get up out of my seat. OK!”

From there, Beyoncé hatches a plan with Tony Hale to break both the internet and the service provider’s 5G with a number of viral stunts — including starting her own “Hold Up”-inspired lemonade stand (baseball bat and yellow gown included), climbing to the top the Sphere in Las Vegas, starring in a Bey-ified Barbie redux titled "Bar-Bey"and announcing her uncontested run as “Beyoncé of the United States.” You’ve got our vote, BOTUS!

This One’s For the “Daddy Lessons” Fans

Of course, it’s a known fact that Beyoncé can sing, well, literally anything, but the sonic shift is particularly gratifying for fans of her zydeco-tinged cut “Daddy Lessons” from 2016 or the even more countrified version she recorded with Dixie Chicks after performing the Lemonade fan-favorite with the group at the 2016 CMA Awards.

The Songs Herald the Arrival of Act II

The two tracks aren’t just a one-off, either. The landing page of Beyoncé’s official website updated once the songs were released into the world, promising, “act ii…3.29.” The promise of a second act most likely refers to the megastar’s GRAMMY-winning album Renaissance, which has been billed as “Act I” since its release in the summer of 2022. 

Many fans suspected a full visual album might be the second act of the house-inspired era, but it appears that much like Beyoncé herself, the Renaissance won’t be limited to a single genre.

Could Visuals (Finally) Be on Their Way?

Along with the pair of singles, Beyoncé dropped a teaser for “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM” on social media. In the clip, the superstar drives an old-fashioned yellow taxi with a Texas license plate reading “HOLD EM.” Opting not to write a caption, the post left the Beyhive buzzing at the possibility that a visual component might accompany act ii in some form or another. Though given that fans are still eagerly waiting for any sign of OG Renaissance visuals, don’t hold us (or Queen Bey) to this hypothesis.

On a completely unrelated and entirely speculative note, the last time Beyoncé was spotted driving a bright yellow vehicle through the desert, it was the same one Uma Thurman drove in "Kill Bill" for the iconic “Telephone” music video with Lady Gaga. Take that tidbit from the P—y Wagon for what you will, Honey Bee…

The Clues Were in Plain Sight at the GRAMMYs

Beyoncé at the 2024 GRAMMYs in a western-inspired custom Louis Vuitton look. (Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Turns out Beyoncé’s been dropping hints for a while! At the 2024 GRAMMYs, the superstar wore a western-inspired outfit — a variation of the closing look from the fall 2024 Louis Vuitton menswear collection —  to support her husband Jay-Z, who was awarded with this year’s Dr. Dre Global Impact Award. During his off-the-cuff speech, the Roc Nation mogul recognized his wife’s success as the most-awarded artist in GRAMMY history while having yet to win Album of the Year as Bey looked on from underneath her spotless white cowboy hat. We should’ve known!

Usher Electrifies Las Vegas with Triumphant Super Bowl LVIII Halftime Show: 6 Best Moments

GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Beyoncé's Heartfelt Speech For Her Record-Breaking Win In 2023
Beyoncé at the 2023 GRAMMYs.

Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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GRAMMY Rewind: Watch Beyoncé's Heartfelt Speech For Her Record-Breaking Win In 2023

Relive the night Beyoncé received a gramophone for Best Dance/Electronic Album for 'RENAISSANCE' at the 2023 GRAMMYS — the award that made her the most decorated musician in GRAMMY history.

GRAMMYs/Feb 2, 2024 - 05:12 pm

Six years after her last solo studio album, Beyoncé returned to the music industry with a bang thanks to RENAISSANCE. In homage to her late Uncle Johnny, she created a work of art inspired by the sounds of disco and house that wasn't just culturally impactful — it was history-making.

At the 2023 GRAMMYs, RENAISSANCE won Best Dance/Electronic Album. Marking Beyoncé's 32nd golden gramophone, the win gave the superstar the record for most gramophones won by an individual act.

In this episode of GRAMMY Rewind, revisit the historic moment Queen Bey took the stage to accept her record-breaking GRAMMY at the 65th Annual GRAMMY Awards.

"Thank you so much. I'm trying not to be too emotional," Beyoncé said at the start of her acceptance speech. "I'm just trying to receive this night."

With a deep breath, she began to list her praises that included God, her family, and the Recording Academy for their continued support throughout her career. 

"I'd like to thank my Uncle Johnny, who is not here, but he's here in spirit," Beyoncé proclaimed. "I'd like to thank the queer community for your love and inventing this genre."

Watch the video above for Beyoncé's full speech for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2023 GRAMMYs. Check back to GRAMMY.com for more new episodes of GRAMMY Rewind. 

Tune into the 2024 GRAMMYs on Sunday, Feb. 4, airing live on the CBS Television Network (8-11:30 p.m. LIVE ET/5-8:30 p.m. LIVE PT) and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on-demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on-demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs).

A Timeline Of Beyoncé's GRAMMY Moments, From Her First Win With Destiny's Child to Making History With 'Renaissance'