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Beyoncé’s September 4 birthday isn’t a national holiday, but don’t tell that to the Bey Hive.
The fans of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter turn up and turn out every year for her birthday – and this is a special one.
So, in honor of the 40th birthday of our Queen, this week’s Pop Life Chronicles is an all-Bey edition.
Three things to watch
‘Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé’
Beyoncé gave one of the most famous and energized performances ever seen at Coachella when she headlined the festival in 2018.
Luckily for those of us who couldn’t score tickets to the live shows, she put together “Homecoming” for Netflix, which features performance highlights and intimate behind-the-scenes footage of her preparations for the show.
It was all types of excellence.
‘Black Is King’
This visual album was filmed as a companion to her 2019 “The Lion King: The Gift” soundtrack and is lush in its celebration of Blackness and African culture.
As with any Bey project, the production is first-rate, a treat for the eyes, and rich in symbolism.
“Black Is King” is streaming on Disney+.
“Dreamgirls” may have earned Jennifer Hudson an Oscar, but it scored Beyoncé a hit with the tune “Listen.”
Based on the Tony-winning play, the film stars Beyoncé as Deena Jones, one of a trio of Black female soul singers who struggle as they find fame.
The musical was right up her alley. You can stream it on Amazon Prime, HBO Max or Hulu.
Three things to listen to
Not many people can say their albums spur college courses.
Such was the case with “Lemonade,” a sweet success based on the tart marital problems between the singer and her superstar husband, Jay-Z (don’t worry, they are OK now).
There were also themes of race, culture and feminism in this critically acclaimed project.
It helps that the music feels pretty timeless as well.
WBEZ Chicago has got you.
Its “Making Beyoncé” podcast traces her rise from a youngster in Houston to an international icon.
Dancing Queen B
Few artists can get you off the couch to move and groove like Beyoncé (case in point, see Adele). Click play on this Bey-all-day Spotify playlist (curated by my very cool colleague Kendall Trammell), break out your hair fans and dance on the imaginary stage called your living room floor.
One thing to talk about
Beyoncé may be a massive star, but she has never forgotten from whence she came.
She is frequently showing her hometown of Houston love, even setting up Covid-19 testing sites.
Nor has she left behind her Destiny’s Child co-members, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, who have both also gone on to successful solo careers.
The trio often performs together for Bey’s biggest events, like the Super Bowl and Coachella, and she has supported them both in some of their projects.
A true sisterhood we wish would result in a reunion album!
Something to sip on
Be it with some lemonade or something a little stronger, take time to toast this inspiring woman who can sing, dance, act, be a cover girl, build a fashion empire and don a famous diamond that few have ever touched.
This week’s something to sip on is a drink in celebration of one of the brightest stars to ever grace our universe.