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Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is a powerhouse legacy in entertainment. Beyoncé’s career started with the 1997 girls group Destiny’s Child which consisted of herself as the lead vocalist, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams. Previously the group had Farrah Franklin, LeToya Luckett, LaTavia Roberson, and sisters Nikki and Nina Taylor but the final and best-known lineup consisted of Knowles, Rowland, and Williams.

Signed to Columbia Records, Destiny’s Child went on to be the best-selling R&B girls group of all time with over 50 million records sold worldwide per The Vogue. Their best-selling second album, The Writing’s on the Wall, which contained the number-one singles “Bills, Bills, Bills” and “Say My Name” brought the sound of R&B into the new millennium. Their last album Survivor, contained worldwide hits “Independent Women”, “Survivor” and “Bootylicious”. The group released four major studio albums and achieved four US No.1 singles. The group eventually broke up in 2004 after their last album Destiny Fulfilled, to take on solo careers.

As a soloist, Beyoncé has received an outstanding amount of success. She has released six studio albums, three compilation albums, five live albums, and one soundtrack album. As of the 63rd annual Grammy Awards presented earlier this year, she is now the most decorated female singer of all time with 28 wins and 78 total nominations per the Recording Academy.

Beyond the studio, Beyoncé has dived into multiple business endeavors by herself and with her husband, Grammy award-winning rapper Jay-Z. Together they created the music streaming service Tidal, and by herself she created the athleisure clothing line IVY Park and her charity foundation BEYGood, just to name a few.

Beyoncé has also starred in multiple acting roles including acting alongside Idris Elba in Obsessed in 2009 and the latest as Nala in The Lion King in 2019 which she also contributed to the film’s soundtrack album.

We celebrate Beyoncé as she turns 40 with 20 of her best songs.

 

  • 20. Halo, I AM... SASHA FIERCE

    Beyoncé - Halo

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Halo'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=B...As featured on I Am... Sasha Fierce. Clic...

    “Halo” is about a love that is so profound it’s deemed as heavenly and the writer says that it was written specifically for the Houston singer. The song was written by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder and Evan “Kidd” Bogart and although rumors swirled that Leona Lewis was the original singer in mind, both writers denied. Per Songfacts, Bogart explained to NPR, the pair went into Tedder’s home studio and wrote “Halo” in three hours. This song won the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2010.

  • 19. Love On Top, 4

    An 80’s inspired R&B ballad was penned by The-Dream who also wrote Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)” and “Run The World (Girls).” The song is about being completely in love as she sings, “Baby it’s you, you’re the one I love/You’re the one I need/You’re the only one I see/Come on baby it’s you.” The songstress used this song to announce that she was pregnant with Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s first child, Blue Ivy, at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2011. This song won, “Best Traditional R&B Performance” at the 2013 Grammy Awards.

     

  • 18. Deja Vu, B'DAY

    Beyoncé - Deja Vu (MTV Video Version) ft. Jay-Z

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Deja Vu' ft. Jay-Z. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=BeyDVAs featured on B'Day. Click...

    The lead single off of Beyoncé’s B’Day album is about the feeling of deja vu when it comes to love. Both Beyoncé and Jay-Z affirm their love for one another in this classic Bey and Jay pairing. Rodney Jerkins produced this track who previously worked with Beyoncé in Destiny’s Child on “Say My Name” and “Lose My Breath.”

  • 17. Upgrade U, B'DAY

    Beyoncé - Upgrade U (Video) ft. Jay-Z

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Upgrade U' ft. Jay-Z. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=B...As featured on B'Day. Clic...

    In this luxury love duet between Beyoncé and Jay-Z, they reference many expensive brands such as “Audemars Piguet,” “Cartier,” “Hermès,” “Lorraine Schwartz” and “Ralph Lauren Purple Label.” Throughout the song, Beyoncé offers up to “upgrade” Jay-Z through expensive items and he goes right back at her offering up the same thing. This was Jay’s second contribution to B’Day.

  • 16. Me, Myself, and I, DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE

    Beyoncé - Me, Myself and I (Video Version)

    Beyoncé's official music video for 'Me, Myself and I'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=BeyMMAIAs featured on Dange...

    “Me, Myself, and I” is from Beyoncé’s debut solo album Dangerously in Love and serves as a woman empowerment song about where a woman is cheated on but continues to keep going. Harnessing on inner strength is a theme seen throughout all of Beyoncé’s albums and this is where it all started.

  • 15. Dance For You, 4

    Beyoncé - Dance for You (Video)

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Dance For You'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=B...As featured on 4. Click to buy t...

    “Dance For You” is a Beyoncé classic that is mostly known for its film noir video as Beyoncé seductively dances and sings the romantic melody. She spoke about what the writing and shooting the music video process was like with OnMyDeck, “I wanted the video to have the same rawness that both the melody and the lyrics of the song have because ‘Dance for You’ is one of my most intimate songs. I wanted the video to have a classic feel; to be seductive but still keep the sense of mystery. When I write, when I perform, and when I make music videos, I don’t hold anything back. ‘Dance for You’ is about that same passion; to be free and unrestrained.”

  • 14. Hold Up, LEMONADE

    Beyoncé - Hold Up (Video)

    LEMONADE the Visual Album Available Now! iTunes: http://smarturl.it/LEMONADEitunes Amazon.com: http://smarturl.it/LEMONADEcd TIDAL: https://lemonade.tidal.com

    You can’t think about this song without thinking of Beyoncé in a flowy yellow dress with a large baseball bat while effortlessly breaking a car window. The track was produced by Diplo who was credited on “All Night” as well. “Hold Up” attest that no one will love Jay-Z like she does as she repeatedly sings, “They don’t love you like I love you” with interpolations from Soulja Boy’s “Turn My Swag On.” This song won Best Female Video at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards.

  • 13. Run the World (Girls), 4

    Beyoncé - Run the World (Girls) (Official Video)

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Run The World (Girls)'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=B...As featured on 4. Click ...

    The woman empowerment anthem was written by  The-Dream and samples the martial drumbeat from dancehall duo Major Lazer’s 2009 track, “Pon de Floor,” per Songfacts.  Beyoncé spoke on what the song meant to her to Billboard magazine shortly after the release. “It’s definitely riskier than something a bit more… simple. I just heard the track and loved that it was so different: it felt a bit African, a bit electronic and futuristic,” Beyoncé said. “It reminded me of what I love, which is mixing different cultures and eras – things that typically don’t go together – to create a new sound. I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.”

  • 12. Freakum Dress, B'Day

    Beyoncé - Freakum Dress (Video)

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Freakum Dress'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=BeyFDAs featured on B'Day. Click to ...

    A pre-party anthem from her B’Day album screams confidence, sexiness, and thrill from Beyoncé. Beyoncé is credited as one of the writers alongside Rich Harrison, Makeba, and Beyoncé’s cousin, Angela Beyincé. Recently, it was used as part of a TikTok trend where women would put on their “freakum dresses” just proves how this ‘07 classic surpasses time.

     

  • 11. Black Parade, THE LION KING: THE GIFT

    Beyoncé - BLACK PARADE (Official Audio)

    Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, st...

    In typical Beyoncé fashion, she dropped a surprise song in honor of Juneteenth titled “Black Parade.” This song represents how Beyoncé has been recently using her platform to push Black issues to the forefront in the best way she knows how, through her music. “Black Parade” is a standalone and not attached to any of her larger projects but shares the title with her “support black-owned small businesses” project that featured hundreds of Black owners. The song went on to win “Best R&B Performance” at the Grammy Awards in 2021.

  • 10. All Night, LEMONADE

    Beyoncé - All Night (Video)

    LEMONADE the Visual Album Available Now! iTunes: http://smarturl.it/LEMONADEitunes Amazon.com: http://smarturl.it/LEMONADEcd TIDAL: https://lemonade.tidal.co...

    As the last song featured on the Lemonade album, it gives a conclusion to the theme of the project that’s based on the raw emotion of betrayal but ends with forgiveness. Diplo is credited as the producer and on the song which samples Outkast’s “Spottieottiedopaliscious” horns that complement the poetic feeling of the song. The video features footage from Beyoncé’s home videos, including Beyoncé pregnant with Blue Ivy and Jay-Z and her’s wedding day. It also features cameos from Zendaya, sisters Chloe and Halle, and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg.

  • 9. Apeshit featuring Jay-Z, THE CARTERS

    THE CARTERS - APESHIT (Official Video)

    Music video by THE CARTERS performing APESHIT (Official Video). (C) 2018 Parkwood Entertainment LLC, under exclusive license to Sony Music Entertainment, and...

    Even though this is another Jay and Bey collab, Beyoncé really stole the show. “Apeshit” is one of the first times you hear Beyoncé rapping and she more than secures her right as a rhymer as well. The song is featured on their joint album The Carters and received the BET HipHop Award for “Best Song of the Year” and “Best Hip Hop Award for Best Collab, Duo or Group.” The music video got a lot of attention as it was filmed in the prestigious gallery, the Louvre in Paris, France. The couple was captured in front of the iconic Mona Lisa, now if that doesn’t scream Black luxury what will?

  • 8. Drunk In Love featuring Jay-Z, BEYONCÉ

    Beyoncé - Drunk in Love (Explicit) ft. JAY Z

    BEYONCÉ Platinum Edition. Available on iTunes: http://beyonce.lk/itunesplatinum Available on Amazon: http://beyonce.lk/platinumam Box Set in...

    A sexy ballad between Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the first time in almost 10 years they had been featured together on a song since “Deja Vu” and “Upgrade U,” and the couple did not disappoint. They ended up collecting two Grammys for this song in 2015 for “Best R&B Performance” and “Best R&B Song”. However, even though eight people are credited to have written the song, (Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Rasool Diaz, Brian Soko, Noel Fisher, Jordy “Boots” Asher, Andre Eric Proctor, Jerome Harmon), Beyoncé admitted that her verse was made on the spot in the studio after she heard the beat. “I kind of freestyled the verse, and Jay went in and he started flowing out his verse – we just kinda had a party,” she recalled in a video per Songfacts. “It was so great, because it wasn’t about any ego, we weren’t trying to make a hit record. We were just having fun. and I think you can hear that in the record.”

  • 7. Irreplaceable, B'Day

    Beyoncé - Irreplaceable

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Irreplaceable'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=B...As featured on B'Day. Click to b...

    R&B singer Ne-Yo wrote the lyrics behind Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable.” In an interview with VH1 for their Behind The Music special, Ne-Yo revealed that the lyrics were inspired by his aunt’s relationship with a cheating partner. “I remember him coming to the house,” recalled Ne-Yo per The Boombox, “and him looking in the closet and going, ‘Where’s my this, where’s my that?’ and she said, ‘Oh, in the box to the left of the closet. Everything you own is in that box and everything I bought is over here.'” “Irreplaceable” stayed #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 weeks, more than any other record in 2006, making it the most successful single of the year, per SongFacts

  • 6. Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), I AM... SASHA FIERCE

    Beyoncé - Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) (Video Version)

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=B...As featured o...

    The iconic lyric, “if you like it then you should’ve put a ring on it” stems from this single as Beyoncé encouraged women to dump their boyfriends if they weren’t going to propose. In 2010, the song won “Song of the Year”, “Best Female R&B Vocal Performance” and “Best R&B Song” at the Grammys. At the time, Beyoncé and Jay-Z had just gotten married on April 4, 2008, five months before the song was released.

  • 5. ***Flawless featuring Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, BEYONCÉ

    Beyoncé - ***Flawless ft. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    BEYONCÉ Platinum Edition.Available on iTunes: http://beyonce.lk/itunesplatinum Available on Amazon: http://beyonce.lk/platinumam Box Set inclu...

    The infamous “elevator” incident between Jay-Z and Solange is addressed in this song as Beyoncé sings, “We escalate, up in this b—- like elevators, of course sometime s— go down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator.” Another famous line from the song was, “I woke up like this” and at the prime of selfie culture, it was under everyone’s newest pic on Instagram. Later she dropped the remix with Nikki Minaj and was named Best Song of 2014 by Time magazine.

  • 4. Partition, BEYONCÉ

    Beyoncé - Partition (Explicit Video)

    BEYONCÉ Platinum Edition. Available on iTunes: http://beyonce.lk/itunesplatinum Available on Amazon: http://beyonce.lk/platinumam Box Set in...

    In this sexy song, Beyoncé disclosed that this song represents several facets of her personality. Per BET, Beyoncé said when speaking of her alter-egos, “I think Beyoncé is Beyoncé, Mrs. Carter is Beyoncé, Sasha Fierce is Beyoncé,” the Grammy-winner continued. “And I’m finally at a place where I don’t have to separate the two. It’s all pieces of me, and just different elements of a personality of a woman — because we are complicated.”

  • 3. Sorry, LEMONADE

    Beyoncé - Sorry (Video)

    LEMONADE the Visual Album Available Now! iTunes: http://smarturl.it/LEMONADEitunes Amazon.com: http://smarturl.it/LEMONADEcd TIDAL: https://lemonade.tidal.c...

    “Sorry” from her 2016 Lemonade album is the first time Beyoncé addresses Jay-Z’s alleged infidelity. With the lyrics, ‘He only want me when I’m not there/He better call Becky with the good hair” had everyone trying to check out who Beyoncé could possibly be calling out on the track. However, Beyoncé never put an official name to the mystery woman. Beyoncé wrote the song with singer-songwriter Wynter Gordon and Brooklyn multimedia artist Melo-X. Melo-X spoke about working on the track Beyoncé to Pitchfork, “That track was kind of like creating a vibe in the studio. We were just working on a lot of stuff and the idea came up pretty simple. It was just some cool keys, drum patterns, and we started putting down vocal ideas and lyric ideas. And throughout the month we added to it and Hit-Boy came in and sprinkled all these different sounds and layers to it and made it come together fully. We created that vibe together. It plays a key part in the record because I think it’s at a vital point in the record. It’s all these different emotions and different sounds and different layers.”

  • 2. Formation, LEMONADE

    Beyoncé - Formation (Official Video)

    Grammy nominated best video of the year "Formation" from LEMONADE the Visual Album Available Now! iTunes: http://smarturl.it/LEMONADEitunes Amazon.com: http:...

    The Houston-native left it all out there in this chart-topping hit that spoke on Louisiana Creole culture, Black pride, racism, and police brutality. Beyoncé addressed critics that claimed her Black pride anthem to be “anti-police” in an interview with Elle. “I’m an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood,” the singer said. “But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken. I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of the officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe.”

    “But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice,” Beyoncé added. “Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me. I’m proud of what we created and I’m proud to be part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way.”

    Beyoncé went on to win the 2017 Best Music Video Award at the Grammy’s and the 2016 Video of the Year award MTV Video Music Awards, where she performed the song. It also took the awards for Best Pop Video, Best Choreography (Chris Grant, JaQuel Knight, Dana Foglia), Best Director (Melina Matsoukas), Best Cinematography (Malik Sayeed), and Best Editing (Jeff Selis) per IMBd.

  • 1. Crazy in Love featuring Jay-Z, DANGEROUSLY IN LOVE

    Beyoncé - Crazy In Love ft. JAY Z

    Beyoncé's official video for 'Crazy In Love'. Click to listen to Beyoncé on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/BeyonceSpot?IQid=BeyCILAs featured on Dangerously In ...

    “Crazy In Love” is Beyoncé’s first hit single from her debut album Dangerously In Love. In MTV’s Making Of The Video Beyoncé said per Songfacts,”It celebrates the evolution of a woman. It talks about a girl who is at the point of a relationship. She realizes that she’s in love, she’s doing stuff she wouldn’t normally do but she doesn’t care. It doesn’t matter she’s just crazy in love. Rich Harrison actually wrote the song with me and after I finished the song I asked Jay Z to be part of the song and he did. The song turned out great it ended up being my first single.” The single went on to win a Grammy for Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2004.