With the decade drawing to a close, it’s time we delve into the relevance of Beyoncé’s music, brand, and her most extraordinary album drop.
Did you know that the moment Beyoncé changed the game was not the time she headlined the Coachella festival nor her epic Super Bowl performance? It was December 13, 2013, when the famous singer stunned the world with the surprise drop of Beyoncé, her self-titled album.
In the lead-up, Beyoncé seemed to have drifted quietly into the night, but little did fans know, she was busy revamping the universe. Her huge fan base noticed that Queen Bey uploaded new music onto iTunes. If you were fortunate enough, you saw actress Francesca Ramsey, Cannaclusive founder Mary Pryor, and The Read’s Crissle West, emphatically reacting to the release on social media.
At the time, the BeyHive became the celebrity’s most influential and intense fan club, drawing in all those obsessed with the new release and ultimately landing Beyoncé the number one spot on the US Billboard 200 chart, just days before the holiday season. The songstress’ album spent an incredible 185 weeks on the charts.
“What Beyoncé managed to do is break the release cycle all music execs had been trained to abide by and fans have come to anticipate,” says Brandon Littlejohn, a digital marketing manager at Atlantic Records.
Radiohead was the first to drop a surprise album with their 2007 release, Rainbows. But Beyoncé’s magnetism catapulted her on a course to greater heights of stardom.
“The way she proclaimed her womanhood made me a full-on stan. I don’t think I’ve slept the same since December 13th, 2013. And I no longer argue with people about why she’s the greatest entertainer alive,” says Jasmyn Lawson, a dedicated BeyHive member and Netflix’s Strong Black Lead Editorial Manager.
With four world tours, a surprise joint project with her husband, JAY-Z, a live album, and a movie soundtrack to her name, the 38-year-old artist has not missed a beat since that fateful night in 2013. And her fans have been with her all the way.
In February 2016, Beyoncé dropped the lead single, “Formation” from her sixth album, Lemonade. A few hours later, as she was performing at the Super Bowl, fans chanted the lyrics word for word and flooded social media with copycat looks. The impact was that instant and that extensive.
Beyoncé has around 135 million followers on Instagram, and she loves sharing throw-back snaps with them. On her Twitter page, BeyLegion, Beyoncé’s 300,000 followers wait for all the latest news and updates on the singer.
College courses have even been developed that address feminism through the lens of her artistry. A Beyoncé Mass worship service was made to promote an empowering conversation about black women as inspired by her personal life and music.
Indeed, the past decade belongs to Beyoncé.