These 9 Beyoncé performances prove why she's the GOAT
The songstress, performer, actress and activist has had multiple impacts on the culture. Here are nine of her best performances that show why she’s the greatest of all time.
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There is a small list of artists and entertainers that have captured the hearts and imaginations of fans worldwide with the sheer star power and talent they exude while holding court in front of a crowd. Over the last two decades, Beyoncé has proven herself worthy of being mentioned among the likes of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Prince, Janet Jackson and other soloists that have taken center stage in past years. While her tenure as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child provided highlights and landmark moments, it wasn’t until she decided to branch off from the group that she truly reached the height of her powers. Matching powerhouse vocals with the focus and drive it takes to pull off an immaculate show, Beyoncé has stamped herself as the preeminent live performer of her time and has shown no signs of taking a curtain call anytime soon. In light of Beyoncé’s excellence on stage, REVOLT looks back at nine iconic live performances throughout her illustrious career.
1. 2006 MTV Video Music Awards
The Houston, Texas native came into full bloom as a diva with this fiery performance at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, which saw the songstress unveiling her B’Day single “Ring the Alarm,” for the first time. Surrounded by images of police sirens on gigantic monitors, Bey, clad in a trench coat and knee-high boots; is joined by a crew of dancers and turns in a risqué set that sheds any remnants of the prim teenybopper with the seismic voice.
2. 2010 Grammy Awards
An army of stormtroopers accompanies Beyoncé to the stage for this riveting appearance at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. Backed by live guitarists, drummers, and pianists, Beyoncé’s vocal prowess is on full display. The seasoned performer works the crowd, as she performs “If I Were a Boy” and a rendition of Alanis Morrissette’s 1995 hit “You Oughta Know.”
3. 2011 MTV Video Music Awards
“I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside of me,” Beyoncé proclaims before jumping into a performance of her single “Love On Top” at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Sporting a purple sequined blazer, tuxedo shirt and loose-fitting pants, Beyoncé ends her set by proudly exposing her baby bump to confirm her rumored pregnancy, much to the delight of JAY-Z and Kanye West, who look on from the crowd.
4. 2011 Billboard Music Awards
Prior to being presented with the Billboard Millennium Award by her mother, Tina Knowles, Beyoncé left the crowd breathless with a performance of “Run the World (Girls).” Gleaning inspiration from Italian pop artist Lorella Cuccarini’s performance at the Sanremo 2010 Italian Music Festival, Beyoncé enlisted the crew behind Cuccarini’s awe-worthy set to help capture her vision.
5. 2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show
Among Beyoncé’s most unforgettable live sets is her headlining performance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show in 2013. Performing a medley of her most popular hits, including “Love On Top,” “Crazy in Love,” “End of Time,” and “Baby Boy,” Bey then brings in former Destiny’s Child group mates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams in on the fun. Taking viewers down memory lane with classics like “Bootylicious” and “Independent Women” the diva from H-Town closes out the proceedings with “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” and “Halo,” stamping her place in the annals of Super Bowl Halftime Show history.
6. 2016 Super Bowl
In 2016, Beyoncé let the sparks fly during her epic appearance at the Super Bowl Halftime Show, shutting down the stadium with a lively performance of her single “Formation.” Flanked by a crew of dancers, Queen Bey is joined by Bruno Mars and a live band, who infused elements of “Crazy in Love” with Mars’ own chart-topping single “Uptown Funk.”
7. 2016 BET Awards
Beyoncé set the tone for the 2016 BET Awards by opening the show with this explosive performance, which finds the songstress strutting around in a pool of water while choreographed dancers splash about around her. Capped off by an impassioned appearance from Kendrick Lamar, this duet rocked the music world and paired two voices of a generation in the process.
8. 2017 Grammy Awards
Notorious for turning live shows into historic moments, Beyoncé made major waves with her set at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017. Beginning her set with a monologue from her Lemonade track “Love Drought” before delving into a performance of “Sandcastles,” Bey – who would give birth to twins later that year – brings down the house while showing off her glorious baby bump for the world to see.
9. 2018 Coachella Music Festival
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, so when Beyoncé reemerged for her first post-pregnancy performance, the world anticipated the queen’s return with bated breath. She made sure not to disappoint, making good on her promise to hit the stage at the Coachella Festival in 2018 after postponing her performance the previous year. The first Black woman to headline the festival, Bey’s performance paid tribute to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) experience and included a marching band and majorette dancers in a show of cultural pride. Complete with appearances from Jay-Z, J Balvin, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, and Solange Knowles, The Queen B’s Coachella set was as star-studded as they come and ranks among the definitive performances of her career.
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