Beyoncé Turns 40

Beyoncé Turns 40

Today in 1981, a star was born. Scratch that, an absolute LEGEND was born.

Back in ‘97, when we first met Beyoncé as the lead singer of Destiny’s Child, there were no real indicators of the level of talent we were witnessing — and in a way, that’s what makes her journey so special. Yes, she was always a great singer, but in the 24 years since “No, No, No” dropped, we have watched Bey grow from just another great singer to a vocal powerhouse.

And don’t get me started on the live performances.

For much of popular music history, we have always been made to choose between big vocals a la Aretha, Whitney and Mariah, and impressive showmanship à la Janet and Madonna. We have rarely seen artists who can give us both, and better yet, give us both at the same damn time. When it comes to live performances, Beyoncé is simply in a class of her own.

It feels like blasphemy to make the comparison, but as far as star power is concerned, Beyoncé is the closest thing to Michael Jackson we have seen. Through the years — even when the media tried to tell us Lady Gaga was coming to replace her (ha) — the demand for Beyoncé has remained high, and much of that can be credited to the brilliance with with she has managed her personal brand. She is always prepared, always in formation, and is rarely ever caught slipping — even when her baby sister is going upside her husband’s head. And on the rare occasion where she is quite literally caught slipping, she handles it like a pro.

Beyoncé is your superstar’s superstar and one of the greatest entertainers we will ever see.

In celebration of her 40 years of life, I have picked four iconic live performances from Queen Bey’s illustrious career.

“Crazy in Love”/“Baby Boy” (featuring Jay-Z) [Live at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards]

“Purple Rain”/“Baby I’m a Star”/“Let’s Go Crazy” (with Prince) [Live at the 2004 Grammy Awards]

2013 Super Bowl Performance

2016 Super Bowl Performance

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