IN THIS PHOTO: Beyoncé photographed for the September (2018) edition of Vogue/PHOTO CREDIT: Tyler Mitchell
The R&B Queen at Thirty-Seven: The Beyoncé Playlist
IT may seem incongruous and unnecessary to…
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
mention the age of an artist like Beyoncé but, on her birthday, many are sharing their favourite songs of hers and celebrating her impressive back catalogue. She is only thirty-seven and given the fact we have icons of music performing well into their seventies; I feel there are decades more inside Beyoncé! It is scary to think she has really only just begun her career - and I wonder where she will head. Might see slow down and adopt a different style as she heads into the next couple of decades?! I feel we will get the same uplifting and emphatic anthems that have defined her career since she started life in Destiny’s Child. I first encountered Beyoncé in Destiny’s Child and was hooked on songs like Bills, Bills. Bills and Survivor; Say My Name and Jumpin’, Jumpin’ were big tracks that seemed foreign to anything that was around at the time. There were other girl groups in the 1990s (and the early-'00s) but mainstream Pop did not have the same swagger and potency as the music Destiny’s Child were bringing out. When they disbanded; I followed her solo career and am amazed by the way she has stepped out on her own and grown. I know she has producers and directors around her but that voice and confidence were all hers. Whilst Lemonade is my favourite albums from Beyoncé; look at B’Day (2006) and Beyoncé (2013) as examples of her hitting new heights and exploring fresh ground.
Every record she has produced has resonated in some way and stuck in the memory. To many, Beyoncé is a role model who shows what a modern artist should be all about. Whilst this is not a full-out exploration of her work; Beyoncé is keen to highlight important issues and spread positive messages. From sending out positive tones regarding body images to feminism and family – it is clear she is a great role model who is independent, fierce and a big supporter of the L.G.B.T.Q. community. She is loyal to her family and generous to her fans. There is confidence but you never get the ego and arrogance of some artists. Whilst Beyoncé has a reputation and sense of stature; she is a modest and down-to-earth figure who never lets controversy and the media get in the way of things. She has inspired countless artists today and continues to break ground and lead the way. I get the feeling we will see another solo album from her next year – she recently recorded an album with her husband Jay-Z under the moniker ‘The Carters’ (Jay-Z’s real name is Shaun Carter). Their record, EVERYTHING IS LOVE, gained a lot of great press and is proof the marriage and bond between the two artists is rock-solid. At a time when the U.S. is experiencing a bad presidency and so many issues; Beyoncé’s role in the world is clear.
She is a spokesperson for women’s rights and the plight of black artists/peoples; a strong and inspirational figure for girls/women and, for everyone else, a stunning talent who has not diminished and faded since her early days. She seems to get stronger and, when it comes to her live shows, they are more ambitious and spectacular. There are many more years of her music to look forward to but, as it is her birthday, a playlist of her finest cuts is in order. From the Destiny’s Child early days right through to her EVERYTHING IS LOVE album (with Jay-Z); I have collated a rundown of her best videos, first, and end with the playlist (I have not been able to include any Lemonade songs as the album is not available on Spotify) that charts her rise, evolution and revolutions. So many modern artists owe what they do to Beyoncé and, for me, she provides music that really hits me hard and gets into the head. There is always a message and driving forces, whether she is providing a stone-cold anthem or emotional song, that comes from the heart and make their mark. As we celebrate her birthday and look back at what she has provided; let us appreciate where she is heading and…
ALL the fantastic years she has ahead...