Beyoncé’s surprise 2013 Self-Titled album
Beyoncé on 2014 Mrs. Carter World Tour
In the short time span of one year, Beyoncé has accomplished more than what most artists try to accomplish in their whole career. From December 2013 until now, she has surprised the world with her self-titled visual studio album, BEYONCÉ, gone on the Mrs. Carter World Tour Show, and gone on her On The Run Tour with husband Jay-Z. While she has had many successful performances touring, she took the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards by storm and presented a prodigious performance, leaving everyone in tears. She has inspired millions all over the world as a feminist, an artist, and an overall down-to-earth person serving humanity with humility. This is nothing but the queen herself; this is Beyoncé.
On December 13th, 2013, as soon as the clock struck midnight, Beyoncé released BEYONCÉ on iTunes. This album is a visual album, meaning every song has also been given a video. The fourteen song album features “Drunk In Love,” a collaboration with husband, Jay-Z; “Mine,” featuring Drake; “Superpower, “ featuring Frank Ocean; and “Blue,” featuring her daughter, Blue Ivy. When Beyoncé released the album, she also released a video on her Facebook page dubbed, “Self-Titled Part 1.”
Beyoncé quotes: “I see music, 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, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dream or my fantasies. And they’re all connected to the music.” In three days, Beyoncé made history by breaking the U.S. iTunes sales record by selling 617,000 copies of her visual album, and sold 828,733 copies worldwide. No warning, no promotion, no hard copies; Queen.
From April 15th, 2013 until March 27th, 2014, Beyoncé performed on her fifth concert tour, The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour. This tour included a series of songs from her past four albums as well as BEYONCÉ. The tour grossed $188.6 million in 2013 and the 2014 shows grossed $41.1 million, making the total grossed amount $229.7 million. This made The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour the highest grossing female artist and solo tour of 2013.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z spent their summer of 2014 touring North America on their On The Run Tour. The tour began June 25th in Miami and ended August 5th in San Francisco. The couple played sixteen shows in a six-week span, and performed in cities such as, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
At first, this tour was to be called The Mr. and Mrs. Carter Tour, but was later changed to On The Run Tour, referencing their collaboration, “Part II: On The Run,” from Jay-Z’s 2013 album, “Magna Carta … Holy Grail.” To promote this tour, a faux movie trailer premiered in May 2014 entitled, “Run.” The video features the couple with a Bonnie and Clyde essence in gun-packed situations. The tour itself followed theme as the trailer with similar video interludes into the production of the show. This tour was a huge success, grossing $100 million in the first nineteen North American shows alone. The tour is set to broadcast on September 20th, 2014 on the U.S. television network, HBO, following the scheduled taping of the two concerts in Paris, France, where the tour will conclude.
There was no better way to close the 2014 VMAs than with the queen herself; Beyoncé. The show, which aired live on August 24th, 2014, lasted two hours. While the acts and awards leading up to Beyoncé’s performance were impressive, the audience and worldwide television viewers were all hung up on the anticipation for Beyoncé’s performance. Knowles performed a sixteen-minute medley of songs from, BEYONCÉ. Beyoncé started off her performance with a very emotional and personal essence by singing “Mine,” with the cameras zoomed tightly on her face. Later, Beyoncé slowly broke into the songs, “Haunted,” “No Angel,” and “Jealous.” Her first few songs were the most soul-baring of the night. While those emotions came pouring out, her dancers transitioned into many different outfits to match the aura of each track. As soon as Beyoncé broke into her hit song, “Blow,” the audience went crazy and began to praise the glorious Queen Bey. And of course when “Drunk In Love” came on, the audience really began to lose their self-control. Following “Drunk In Love,” were “Rocket” and “Partition.” As soon as “***Flawless” began playing, the whole stage changed, Beyoncé began to break out in soul-full vibes. Part of the song, “***Flawless” is delivered by Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Ngozi Adichie advocates that our society should not think of women as just wives and sex objects. This is a powerful anthem, empowering women from a feminist standpoint. After, Beyoncé kept the crowd engaged with “Yoncé” and “XO,” and then closed the medley with her emotional song, “Blue.”
At the end of Beyoncé’s performance, Jay-Z and Blue Ivy presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. Blue Ivy stole the show and brought the audience to tears with the simplest words: “Yeah, Mommy.” The couple also demolished all of the many recent divorce rumors by sharing an affectionate kiss onstage. Beyoncé and Blue Ivy dominated Twitter trends, and Knowles gave one of her best, most “flawless” performances of all time. This was the moment that everyone was waiting for, and Beyoncé exceeded her audience’s and fans’ expectations by taking the VMAs by storm.
Beyoncé has had a very successful year. Her work ethic, artistic ability, and her down to earth essence as a feminist make her a global icon. As Billboard’s top female artist of the 2000s; and the highest-paid black musician in history, Beyoncé is a role model, a philanthropist, and of course an amazing, talented, and “flawless” performer. She has an image that globally, millions can connect to, and is making a positive impact on society with her work with over 20 charities, and health campaign with First Lady Michelle Obama to fight childhood obesity. Beyoncé has been a global pop icon for over a decade and has had a huge and loyal fan base for years. She has been especially prominent this year with her newest album, tours and amazing performances. Her confidence and classy aura make her an inspiration to all. So what is next for Beyoncé? Another album? More surprises? More children? We do not know what Beyoncé has in-store for us, but we can be sure that it will be “Flawless.”