by Billy Nilles | Wed., 4 Sep. 2019 9:00 AM
Nine. Four. Eight. One.
As fans of Beyoncé know, today marks a big day for the superstar, as she celebrates her 38th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 4. (And if you don't have the spoken intro to "Get Me Bodied" off her second studio album, the appropriately-entitled B'Day, running through your head right now, can you really even call yourself a fan?) Though she kicked off the festivities a little early this year, celebrating backstage with hubby Jay-Z and other close friends at the Made in America Festival after standing in awe of Lizzo's set, it's time to do things right and pay proper tribute to our one true Queen.
Bey's mom Tina Knowles—aka the woman we have to thank for bringing the otherworldly icon down to Earth on this very day 38 years ago—already got things going for us, sharing a special message for her daughter on Instagram. "38 years ago today you came into my life and I know without a shred of doubt that God sent you!!!" she captioned a sweet snapshot of the mother-daughter duo. "I had recently lost my mom and never thought that I could feel that particular kind of love again but 7 months later I was pregnant with you (39 years ago people). The moment I saw you I knew that that was IT !!!! We've been the best of friends since then. You have brought me such Joy and pride and love and friendship!!! Your heart is as big as Texas!! You are one of the best moms ever! And I love you soo much. Have the best birthday EVER!!!! Mom."
But now it's our turn.
2019 has been a massive year for Queen Bey with the icon securing the No. 2 spot on Forbes' list of the top 10 highest-paid women in music, and when you take a look at all she's accomplished since turning 37 a year ago, it's not hard to see why. Join us as we blast our Best of Bey playlist and do this day right!
Not only did Beyoncé buy out Topshop owner Philip Green from his 50 percent share in activewear line Ivy Park in December after allegations of sexual misconduct, bullying and racial harassment arose against the him (allegations he has denied), making her the first black woman to to be the sole owner of an athleisure brand, but, in April, she and Adidas announced a new partnership that would see Ivy Park further developed while she developed new clothes and footwear for the iconic company. As Adidas' press release assured, Queen Bey would retain sole ownership of her company under the terms of their partnership. Shares for the company rose 1.3 percent upon the announcement.
In March, Bey and hubby Jay-Z received the prestigious Vanguard Award, presented annually to a member of the entertainment community who does not identify as LGBT but who has made a significant different in promoting equal rights for the LGBT community, at the 2019 GLAAD Media Awards. While accepting the award, the dedicated the honor to her late Uncle Johnny, "the most fabulous gay man that I have ever known," who had passed away from HIV. "He lived his truth. He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn't as accepting, and witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I've ever lived," she told the crowd, fighting back tears. "I am hopeful that his struggle served to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights. To choose who you love is your human right. How you identify and see yourself is your human right. Who you make love to and take that ass to Red Lobster is your human right."
Courtesy of Parkwood Entertainment
A year after wowing the crowd at Coachella with her stunning and history headlining performances, making her the first African-American woman to headline the festival, she and Netflix teamed to release Homecoming, a documentary and concert film that she executive produced, wrote and directed, chronicling the creation of the awe-inspiring show while showing it in its entirety for anyone who wanted to relive its glory. Days later, it was reported that the film was part of a three-project deal Bey had signed with the streaming giant worth an astounding $60 million.
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For her first film in six years, Bey went big, lending her voice to Disney's big-budget photorealistic computer-animated remake of The Lion King. Released on July 19, the film went on to gross $1.5 billion worldwide, surpassing Frozen as the highest-grossing animated film ever, while also becoming the second highest-grossing film of the year and the seventh-highest of all-time. Not too shabby.
Niklas Halle'n/PA Wire
While at The Lion King's U.K. premiere in July, Bey and Jay-Z finally met Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when the Duchess of Sussex made her first appearance at a major celebrity event since giving birth to Archie Harrison in early May. According to lip-readers, Queen Bey called Meghan "my princess" as she greeted her with a hug, congratulating her on the birth of her first child. "It's early days in that relationship!" a source told E! News. "But I think safe to say that they definitely struck up an instant clear rapport, bonding over their kids." The big moment came months after Bey posted a photo of her and her husband standing in front of a replica of the Mona Lisa painting that had been replaced with a tiara-wearing Meghan as she accepted her BRIT Award for Best International Group in February.
Days before The Lion King hit theaters, Bey earned a couple of invites to this year's Primetime Emmy Awards when Homecoming netted her 4 nominations total, the most she's ever received for any one project, for Outstanding Variety Special (Pre-Recorded), Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special, and Outstanding Music Direction. In fact, with these four, she doubles her career tally of Emmy nominations.
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Bey's work on The Lion King wasn't limited to simply providing the voice of lioness Nala. Never one to rest on her laurels, she also produced and curated a companion album for the film called The Lion King: The Gift. "This is sonic cinema," she said in a statement. "This is a new experience of storytelling. I wanted to do more than find a collection of songs that were inspired by the film. It is a mixture of genres and collaboration that isn't one sound. It is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat. I wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline. Each song was written to reflect the film's storytelling that gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation. It was important that the music was not only performed by the most interesting and talented artists but also produced by the best African producers. Authenticity and heart were important to me." The track list included 10 appearances from Bey herself, while also featuring Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, and her daughter, Blue Ivy.
A year after her history-making Vogue cover was revealed, ArtNews reported in August that The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery had acquired one of the shots done by photographer Tyler Mitchell, who became the first black photographer to shoot the venerated publication's cover spread in its 126 year history. "This particular work brought us closer to Beyoncé's words, appearing within the magazine's pages," the museum's curator of photographs Leslie Ureña said in a statement. "And showing us more of the historic shoot." The photograph, which features Queen Bey rocking a Valentino dress and the ornate headdress you see here as she leans her elbows on a flower-adorned Greek column, is the second of the singer to be acquired by the museum. The first, which is not currently on display, is a poster from her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love.
Happy birthday, Bey!
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