Let’s “Bey” honest, Yoncé is perhaps the most beloved person on planet Earth and rightly twirls on any haters. If we’re being real, that 2014 Saturday Night Live sketch about The Beygency, a nebulous organization that eliminates those that “say the unsayable”– bad things about the queen — wasn’t too far off from reality.
We’ve proudly occupied a front seat on the B bandwagon for years, so on her 35th birthday, we present 10 reasons — a small faction from a bottomless pool — that will forever have us bowing down.
If it weren’t for her, music award shows would be boring AF
Sunday’s VMAs gave us all kinds of Kanye “good, good” and an ample amount of sweet, sweet RiRi — complete with that delicious Drake moment/the Curve Heard Round the World. But Beyoncé unequivocally stole the night with her Lemonade medley — unique, powerful, and the most rock ‘n’ roll thing about the entire show. Plus, who can forget when she and Kendrick Lamar opened the BET Awards earlier this year with an incredible rendition of Freedom, when she announced her pregnancy after performing Love on Top in 2011, or when she and Jay Z united for Crazy In Love way back in 2003. These things are a snoozefest without her.
She breaks records like a boss
B is in good company in her tie with Adele for most Grammy wins in one night (six), but she’s also the most nominated female artist in Grammy history, with 53 under her bedazzled belt. Plus, she’s the highest paid black artist of all time and left the early aughts with the title of Billboard’s best-selling artist of the decade. As if her laundry list of accomplishments isn’t impressive enough, this year’s epic Lemonade smashed Taylor Swift’s previously held record for most simultaneous Hot 100 hits any female artist has ever held. And Moonmen? After last week’s VMAs, B surpassed Madonna for most Video Music Awards by snatching up her 21st trophy.
She’s proudly wears the feminist label
Say what you will about the celebrity-ification of feminism, but the fact that the world’s biggest pop star threw a word that some megastars are still afraid of (cough, Kim Kardashian, cough), up behind her during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards was huge, especially considering how many young girls watching the broadcast might not have even heard the word before. Empowerment is the name of the game.
Her choreography is unreal
The woman’s moves are simply too much. Beyoncé’s collaborations with her choreographers have gifted fans with the iconic Single Ladies dance, this insane Run the World routine, the video-of-the-year winning Formation clip and so many GIF-able moments.
She claps back when she needs to
Given her immense success as well as the extreme degree to which she controls her image, controversy is a rare occurrence on Planet Bey. So when she was dragged through the mud by the media for performing with a backing track at President Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2013, she responded soon after during a press conference focused on that year’s Super Bowl halftime show by asking the press to stand, knocking the National Anthem out of the damn park and adding, “Any questions?” This year, when law enforcement organizations slammed her for the incredible Formation video and her epic Super Bowl return, she responded with cheeky tour merchandise reading, “BOYCOTT BEYONCE.” Middle fingers up, hands high, indeed.
She changed the game with that digital drop
Announcing an album release date ahead of time is so last century thanks to artists like Radiohead, Frank Ocean and of course, Beyoncé. Her 2013 surprise, self-titled album became the fastest selling in iTunes history and further altered the way music is released and consumed.
Her hair game is out of control
Beyoncé is so much more than her looks, but we’d be ignoring the gorgeous elephant in the room to continue this list without mentioning that she’s like THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HUMAN BEING ON PLANET EARTH. Her chameleon ability to go from short blonde bob to cornrows to her signature tour curls to the Met Gala pony is impressive, enviable and downright dope. Becky with the good hair, who?
She never stops evolving
Oh, if only we could time-travel and show our wide-eyed, naive little selves even the smallest snippet of Lemonade back in 1999 when Beyoncé was dressed like the orange Fantana with Destiny’s Child. From her girl group days to bringing “a whole lotta woman” as Foxxy Cleopatra to her early collaborations with Jay Z to Dream Girls, Single Ladies and everything in between, Beyoncé has never stopped growing and has yet to peak.
She’s never been afraid or ashamed of her sexuality
After the release of her sexy self-titled effort, Beyoncé said it best when she told OUT Magazine: “There is unbelievable power in ownership, and women should own their sexuality. There is a double standard when it comes to sexuality that still persists. Men are free and women are not. That is crazy. The old lessons of submissiveness and fragility made us victims. Women are so much more than that. You can be a businesswoman, a mother, an artist, and a feminist — whatever you want to be — and still be a sexual being. It’s not mutually exclusive.” Preach.
She’s got a heart of gold
Beyoncé’s BeyGood global initiative encourages fans to give back and allows her to partner with charities when she embarks on her massive world tours. She and Jay Z also donated $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter movement, and at Sunday’s VMAs, she brought the mothers of gun violence victims Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Oscar Grant along with her. She’s been incredibly active in response to natural disasters and generally willing to share her fortune with the world.
Bonus: She’s simply fresher than yoooou, fresher than you
Fresh to death. Happy birthday, B.
You can hear Beyoncé on The Heat (Ch. 46), Pop2k (Ch. 10), SiriusXM FLY (Ch. 47), and Venus (Ch. 3).
For a free 30-day trial, check out siriusxm.com/freetrial/blog