Analysis: Beyoncé is 40 and fa-Bey-lous!


The fans of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter turn up and turn out every year for her birthday — and this is a special one.

So, in honor of the 40th birthday of our Queen, this week’s Pop Life Chronicles is an all-Bey edition.

‘Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé’

Beyoncé performed two nights at Coachella in 2018.
Beyoncé gave one of the most famous and energized performances ever seen at Coachella when she headlined the festival in 2018.

Luckily for those of us who couldn’t score tickets to the live shows, she put together “Homecoming” for Netflix, which features performance highlights and intimate behind-the-scenes footage of her preparations for the show.

‘Black Is King’

Disney+ describes "Black Is King" as a "celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience."

This visual album was filmed as a companion to her 2019 “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and is lush in its celebration of Blackness and African culture.

As with any Bey project, the production is first-rate, a treat for the eyes, and rich in symbolism.

“Black Is King” is streaming on Disney+.


Beyoncé Knowles attends the "Dreamgirls" premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, December 4, 2006.

“Dreamgirls” may have earned Jennifer Hudson an Oscar, but it scored Beyoncé a hit with the tune “Listen.”

Based on the Tony-winning play, the film stars Beyoncé as Deena Jones, one of a trio of Black female soul singers who struggle as they find fame.

The musical was right up her alley. You can stream it on Amazon Prime, HBO Max or Hulu.

Three things to listen to

Beyonce's "Lemonade" is a dreamy, powerful mix of visuals, spoken word, confessions and lyrics.
Not many people can say their albums spur college courses.

Such was the case with “Lemonade,” a sweet success based on the tart marital problems between the singer and her superstar husband, Jay-Z (don’t worry, they are OK now).

There were also themes of race, culture and feminism in this critically acclaimed project.

It helps that the music feels pretty timeless as well.

Beyoncé fourth cover for Vogue was shot by rising Black photographer Tyler Mitchell.

Into podcasts?

WBEZ Chicago has got you.

Its “Making Beyoncé” podcast traces her rise from a youngster in Houston to an international icon.

Dancing Queen B

Few artists can get you off the couch to move and groove like Beyoncé (case in point, see Adele). Click play on this Bey-all-day Spotify playlist (curated by my very cool colleague Kendall Trammell), break out your hair fans and dance on the imaginary stage called your living room floor.

One thing to talk about

(From left) Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland and Beyoncé perform "Say Yes" during the 30th Annual Stellar Awards in Las Vegas, March 28, 2015.

Beyoncé may be a massive star, but she has never forgotten from whence she came.

She is frequently showing her hometown of Houston love, even setting up Covid-19 testing sites.

Nor has she left behind her Destiny’s Child co-members, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, who have both also gone on to successful solo careers.

The trio often performs together for Bey’s biggest events, like the Super Bowl and Coachella, and she has supported them both in some of their projects.

A true sisterhood we wish would result in a reunion album!

Something to sip on

Beyoncé models a look from her Icy Park collection for Ivy Park x Adidas.
Be it with some lemonade or something a little stronger, take time to toast this inspiring woman who can sing, dance, act, be a cover girl, build a fashion empire and don a famous diamond that few have ever touched.

This week’s something to sip on is a drink in celebration of one of the brightest stars to ever grace our universe.


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