Happy Beyday! 20 Beyoncé Performances That Gave Us Life
Do you know what today is? It’s B’Day. Whether you’re a die-hard member of the BeyHive or a casual Beyoncé fan, there’s no denying that Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter has broken major ground in a career spanning nearly two decades. What better time to celebrate Beyoncé than on the day that Ms. Tina brought her into the world? Happy 34th birthday, Bey! Let’s look at 20 Beyoncé performances that gave us life on her big day.
2011 VMAs: “Love on Top”
This performance from Queen Bey is definitely in the top five of the greatest she’s ever done. Not only did she kill the vocals on the song, but she also ended it with a belly rub signifying the impending arrival of a one Blue Ivy Carter.
“On the Run” Tour: “Crazy in Love”
This performance from the now legendary “On the Run” tour is one of the best live renditions of the song I’ve seen her do. The tour breathed new life into all of the tracks Beyoncé and Jay Z have done together, but this one was definitely a standout display.
“The Beyoncé Experience”: “Speechless”
One of the best deep cuts from Beyoncé’s debut album, Dangerously in Love, the vocals on this track are insane. During “The Beyoncé Experience,” she performed the song effortlessly. Go Queen!
Live in Atlanta: “Baby Boy”
You can tell Beyoncé was feelin’ herself during this performance. Showing off all of her flexibility in a crochet crop top and skirt, she did her thing.
2014 VMAs: Video Vanguard Award Performance
When the rumor surfaced that Beyoncé was slated to perform her entire album at the 2014 Video Music Awards, everyone was quick to say that it was impossible. But she proved them wrong. She performed a minute or so of each track on her self-titled album, ending the show with a tribute to her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter. The toddler later joined her onstage as she accepted the Video Vanguard Award from Jay Z.
2011 Billboard Music Awards: “Run The World”
Bey had everyone in the audience on their feet while she had a dance battle with herself and then went to work with her dancers, Les Twins. The world wasn’t ready.
President Barack Obama’s 2009 Inauguration Ball: “At Last”
A classic, sweet, and unforgettable performance was Beyoncé’s contribution to this iconic moment as we welcomed America’s first Black president. History was made as the Obamas slow danced to Bey’s rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s timeless song.
2006 BET Awards: “Deja Vu”
Jay and Bey have performed together a lot, but this performance is still talked about within the BeyHive. Bey’s vocals and moves were on point and watching her dance beside her man was a beautiful thing.
Proud Mary: A Tribute to Tina Turner
Beyoncé is the Tina Turner of our generation so when the time came to pay tribute, Bey gave it her all. In a performance that had Anna Mae herself grinning from ear to ear in the audience, Beyoncé showed the world what she was made of.
2004 NFL Thanksgiving Halftime: “Lose My Breath/Soldier”
Months after the infamous Janet Jackson Super Bowl performance, Destiny’s Child took the stage in very modest attire and showed out with a marching band. Beyoncé always seemed to be having the time of her life during her performances of “Lose My Breath” and this time around was no exception.
2005 Academy Awards: “Look to Your Path”
It’s not enough to slay us vocally in English. In 2005, Beyoncé took on three musical performances at the Academy Awards, one of which was “Vois sur ton chemin,” or “Look To Your Path.” Needless to say, she killed it.
“I Am…World Tour”: “Halo” Tribute to Michael Jackson
During her “I Am… World Tour,” the world lost Michael Jackson, one of Bey’s musical heroes. So she paid tribute with a touching performance of “Halo” that will give you goosebumps.
Live at Revel: “End of Time”
“End of Time” has the sound and feel of an epic Michael Jackson song. So when Bey busts it out in concert you know you’re in for a treat. Her performance of the song at Revel after returning to the scene post-Blue Ivy might be the best version yet.
2015 Stevie Wonder Tribute
Beyoncé puts on a phenomenal tribute, am I right? When she stepped on the stage for the Stevie Wonder tribute earlier this year, she blew the roof off that place.
“American Idol”: “1+1”
The song “1+1” is an intimate, sexy ballad with big vocals, and this rehearsal of the song from the inside of a dressing room surrounded by family and friends really brought it to life. The iPhone speakers were hanging on for dear life as Beyoncé and her backup singers, the Mamas, prepared for their performance. (The rehearsal was better than the actual performance.)
2006 VMAs: “Ring The Alarm”
When Bey stormed out in a long trench to the “I’m done with your sh*t” anthem “Ring the Alarm,” she shut everything down. Watching Beyoncé and her dancers dance inside of an invisible lowrider while pushing the limits of space and gravity was astonishing. Flex on ’em, Bey!
2009 EMAs: “Sweet Dreams”
Beyoncé showed out in some red lingerie. The only fault with this performance is that we wish it had been longer.
Back in the day, Usher had the juice. He somehow managed to get Bey to be his main dancer during a performance of his hit single “Bad Girl.” Without a mic in sight, Bey proceeded to snatch every single beam of the spotlight from Usher as she shimmied and popped it all over the stage.
2013 Super Bowl Halftime Show
It doesn’t get much bigger than the most-watched TV event Stateside: the Super Bowl. That year, 90 million people got their life as Beyoncé gave a performance during the halftime show that was so electric that, well, the game had to be postponed while they looked for some light. Shout out to Destiny’s Child for the cameo.