I don't know about you, but the fact that last night Beyonce was able to single handed-ly turn the MTV Video Music Awards into the Beyonce Music Awards amidst a crowd of all of music's most major pop stars including Gaga and The Bieb, and she didn't even have a video nominated, sealed the deal for me that this chick is the absolute BADDEST in the pop music game. When she dropped the mic, it was absolutely over.
I have been a fan for a long time - I've got all Bey's albums and can sing them through and through - but I never considered myself a Stan until about 12 hours ago. Last night's performance pushed me over the edge to join in with my handful of Besties who believe whole-heartedly in the Power of Beyonce. I might not know her every move the moment (or before) she makes it, but when I see greatness, I've got to give her the due credit.
We all know that she is not the greatest vocalist or dancer or actress to ever hit the stage, but it's really not about that - especially not in the world of pop music. What talent she does have however, she has honed to absolute perfection. More than that, she has a top notch team that keeps her looking and sounding flawless. She works hard, and then her team gives her the extra push to put her and keep her in the lead.
So without further ado, I'm listing 5 reasons (in no particular order) why I love Beyonce.
- The Return of Actual Talent + Showmanship Unfortunately, I was a teenager in the late 1990's, early 2000's. During my teenage era it seemed that there were no music artists out who truly knew what it meant to be an entertainer. (Janet Jackson's 1998 Velvet Rope and subsequent tour was the only beacon of light. NSync who I loved unfortunately was rendered meaningless amidst the plethora of manufactured boy bands. There was also Usher, but who knew he'd stick around?) Long gone were the days when a pop artist's back up dancers wore leotards and did pirouettes... or so we thought, until Beyonce. Now Gaga, Chris Brown and Beiber are all over the singing, dancing and really putting on a stage show, but Beyonce brought it back with her Dangerously in Love Tour. What I appreciate about her performances is that she wears costumes (fabulous ones), you can tell she practiced singing her songs and dancing her steps. Getting on stage is not some lackadaisical happenstance. It's work. And she werks.
- She knows her history (or at least her writers, producers and choreographers do). I don't know about you, but I thoroughly enjoy well placed and thoughtfully used musical and choreography references. My favorite music references from 4 include "Party": I might be young but I'm ready -- Keith Sweat, anyone? and the Boyz II Men sample in "Countdown." Then let's chat about Beyonce bringing Bob Fosse from 1970s Broadway to 21st century pop culture. The "Get Me Bodied" video was nothing but "Sweet Charity" all over again, and the whole leotard, tights, and pumps style? She did not make that up.
- She knows her audience. Part of the reason why Beyonce is so huge is because she has the capability to appeal to a wide audience. Her catalog runs the gamut, add her videos and performance and she's got something to appeal to most tastes. She appeals to men with her sexy and women with her anthems of empowerment. She's got tunes for lovers of hip hop, rock, old school and new school R&B. In Beyonce's dream world, the whole family listens to her music forever and ever. Amen.
- The glass ceiling doesn't seem to apply to her. In terms of black women who rule the world, there's Oprah, Beyonce and then Michelle Obama. (I love Michelle and her job might be the most important, but it was the clout of O and B that got her to where she is.) Beyonce has been at the top of her game for like two or three years and her brand is everywhere and not going anywhere. In addition to the music industry, she has reached levels of stardom in most realms of popular culture including tv, movies, magazines, fashion, perfume... am I missing anything? The only people on the planet who don't know who she is live under rocks, and truth be told, it's simultaneously amazing and scary. Like, how do you turn your pregnancy reveal into a show stopping performance? That has to go down as one of the greatest PR moments. Ever.
- Apparently, she's superwoman. Where Oprah seemed to make sacrifices in relationships, and Michelle seemed to make sacrifices in career (didn't she used to be one of Chicago's top lawyers?), Beyonce seems to have managed to have it all - career and family. I'm sooo interested to see how the baby will play out in her career. So far, Baby Knowles-Carter is a huge asset.