Why It's Okay To Be A Latecomer To Beyonce
Daley Grace Sweeting
First of all, don't laugh at my picture of lemons. I know the Queen deserves better, but it was the best Sainsbury's had to offer at the time.
Today I signed up for presale tickets for a Beyonce show for the first time in my life. Why have I chosen now to jump on the bandwagon, do you ask? Well, let me start by saying that I am more accurately a late-returner than a latecomer to Beyonce: I grew up listening to Destiny's Child; I would sit, eyes glued to the TV, waiting for the "Bills, Bills Bills" video to come on; I would dance to "Happy Face" with my mum in our kitchen; There were several hairbrush-microphone moments when Bey's debut solo album came out; I too fell in love with a Sagittarius. In short: I was a fan.
Then somehow, Beyonce fell off my radar. I guess it was during my soul-searching days, being fake-deep or whatever. I suppose being a Beyonce fan was "too obvious." You know what I mean: that phase you go through where you're desperate to find some obscure band or artist to impress all your friends with your discovery. Then they become famous and you decide they're "too commercial" and start coming out with sentences like "Oh yeah, I used to love Alt-J, you know, before they were cool..." *eye roll*
Now don't get me wrong, there was never a time when I was completely unaware of Bey's music (she is Beyonce, after all). Over the years I dipped in and out of what she had going on. And while I can't say I fell in love with any of her albums, each release had one or two "life anthems" that became my soundtrack for getting ready for a night out or getting over a heartbreak.
It wasn't until Lemonade came out that I started to pay attention again. The release of something that beautiful and bold and black. I was in awe. Now, again, don't get me wrong, I was never one of those people who forgot that Beyonce was black or thought that she had somehow transcended race *vom*. But Lemonade was without a doubt the blackest thing Beyonce had ever presented to the world. And I admired her for it. On top of that, the album sounded completely different from anything I had ever heard from her. I liked it from start to finish, which is rare for me, with any artist. The visuals were stunning. As I watched, it reminded me how much of a legend Beyonce was, and asked myself how I ever could have stopped being her biggest fan.
I realised that Lemonade was the first body of work that Bey had released in a long time that really felt honest to me. I connected to the rawness of it. I basked in the audacity of it. It took that one piece of work to make me take a step back and look at all her achievements to date. To name a few:
- 22 Grammy wins
- First black singer to appear on the cover of the September issue of US Vogue
- First black female to win the ASCAP pop music songwriter of the year award
- She has her own record label
- She was the highest paid musician of 2016; top 5 2017
Obviously, there are tons more, but what I'm saying is, the woman deserve's respect. Her work ethic is something from which we could all learn a thing or two. She has accomplished more than most of us could ever dream of. Honestly, I feel a bit silly for not coming to this realisation sooner, all things considered. And this is part of the reason I have been scared to admit that I am a Beyonce fan once more: I'm here having all these revelations while what feels like the rest of the world is out here like... "DUH!"
But better late than never, right? So here I am: the prodigal daughter, returning home with my tail between my legs; the best OTR II ticket my wages will afford me as my humble offering. And if Lemonade is anything to go by, we have entered a new era of Beyonce that will not disappoint!
On The Run II Tour tickets are available for presale March 14th and general sale March 19th.