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Thread started 11/30/09 4:07pm

babybugz

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Beyoncé: Artist of the decade

It's long


It was 10 years ago that Beyoncé Knowles announced herself to the world, with the Destiny's Child hit Independent Women. Since then the 28-year-old singerhas made the decade's best single, delivered the greatest live show on earth, sung for President Obama and emerged as our last true star.


Why Beyoncé? Why this stunning 28-year-old singer/performer/actress/businesswoman from Texas now married to one of the decade's other biggest stars, and worth something like $87m a year to boot, and not, well, take your pick...? Because she made not one but two of the decade's greatest singles, with Crazy in Love and Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), not to mention her hits with Destiny's Child; and this was the decade when singles – particularly R&B singles – regained their status as pop's favourite medium. (But her three solo albums? Pretty fabulous, too.)

Because at a time when the ubiquity of TV talent shows put the onus on those who could cut it live more than ever, she and not any superannuated rock star was arguably the greatest live performer of the past 10 years.

Because her achievements chime with bigger narratives. Who was it got to sing for President Obama and Michelle at their first dance after his inauguration, after all?

Because she is a brand, but says she isn't, and because in this age of Twitter and the paparazzi, she might be a global phenomenon but in the course of 10 full years Mrs Jay-Z, as she might also be known, has kept her mystery. And because – just possibly – she helped introduce a new word into the Oxford English Dictionary: bootylicious.

She looks to have it all, and if the future sees as much flux as this decade, then perhaps we won't be seeing so many more of her kind, either. We met at one of her O2 gigs in London in mid-November. She'd come off stage only minutes earlier but I was more exhausted by the show – in a good way – than she looked to be. It was time to work again: time to shake the journalist's hand. But she was charm itself, too. We had spoken at length a week earlier.

Your first huge hit with Destiny's Child – Independent Women – was released in 2000. Have you changed over the past 10 years?

Absolutely, yes. Eighteen years old. I was a baby. When our first single came out I was 15. My lyrics, and my goals, are completely different now. In the beginning, I was so happy to be in a studio and so hungry for us just to sell half a million records. Now I want to create something that I'll be proud of 20, 30, 40 years from now – something that will last beyond me. The things that used to excite me just don't any more. I'm always trying to challenge myself.

You've just come back from China on the latest leg of your tour. They must know who you are there...

Wow. The whole experience was pretty overwhelming. I just didn't expect there to be so many photographers and so much media outside [when I arrived]. It was midnight, and they were really excited. To be able to travel the world, especially to places I never thought I'd be... it's really, you know, still fascinating for me.

It's possibly surprising that for someone who comes out of contemporary R&B and hip-hop, your live shows are incredible.

I really believe that when I perform live, I'm the strongest [that I am]. My hand is in everything – from the styling to the designing of the lights to the set list and all the little segues ways. And all of these things take so much time. For the first five or six months of this tour, I'd watch the show back every night, just to tweak and make things a little tighter. I think there's always room for improvement.

Similarly, your records push the boundaries...

I did a lot of things differently this time with my album. A lot of it was [recorded] live, less production with the vocals, I didn't do as many arrangements... that was with the I Am side. Then with the Sasha Fierce side, I tried to do things that were, sonically, a little more modern and a little more electronic. A little bit. But still mixed in with my drum loops. You know, I feel like the only way I can be around as long as I pray that I can be around is to always push the envelope. And it's really exciting that now people are allowing music to just be music... and R&B and hip-hop artists are collaborating with different types of artists. Hopefully we can just continue to grow and just step outside of hip-hop or rap or rock or whatever and it can all just be good music.

You told Forbes magazine: "I've worked too hard and sacrificed too much to do something silly that would mess up the brand I've created all of these years." What have you sacrificed?

I just sacrificed... life. Being able to walk down the street and being able to make mistakes and not have it recorded for ever... being able to have regular relationships and dates... just regular, normal things that people probably don't even think about. Sometimes it's hard.

I was in Egypt yesterday and visited the pyramids and it was so spiritual and beautiful. But then I had the news cameras and the paparazzi that follow me and.... it's really odd sometimes. I haven't had longer than a couple of months off ever in my life, since I was 15. So it's those type of things. But I was raised that anything that's worth anything takes a lot of sacrifice. And when anything is too easy for me I get scared.

You've always kept quiet about your relationship with Jay-Z. Does it seem strange to you that other stars will share the details of their private lives with the public?

It doesn't seem strange at all. It actually seems like the natural thing to do because you're being yourself and people ask and people are interested... But I never wanted to be famous for my personal life. I wanted to be famous for my music and my talent, and I always wished I could cut it out when I left the stage. And Jay was private before I met him. It was just who we were. Even before we were celebrities.

It must be quite irritating for you that you're not the most powerful African-American couple in the world any more…

That is hilarious. Absolutely not! Thank God for that couple.

You sang for the president and his wife for their first dance at their first inauguration ball. What was that like?

I just can't believe I was part of that moment. Everyone had chills, everyone had tears and you could see everyone's admiration for the president. And my admiration: I could barely sing. I still get chills when I meet them.

It felt like the country was heading down a pretty dark tunnel with the previous president.

I'm just happy for the day! I think so many people are more interested in politics and so many young people feel like they were spoken to and we're all a part of the country. And I think the perception of African-Americans has changed so much.

Just to return to the Forbes quote: what is the Beyoncé brand?

I don't really like to call myself a brand and I don't like to think of myself as a brand. I'm a singer, a songwriter, a musician and a performer. And an actress, and all the other things that I do. When you add it all together, some might call it a brand but that's not my focus. My focus is my art and that's what I love to do. I have to be really passionate in order to do something. I've turned down many things that I just didn't believe in.

What do you think about shows like American Idol which have taken over the airwaves?

I don't watch much television but I've watched those shows and I've cried, I've welled up, I'm like, "Oh my God, I hope they win, I hope they get a chance!" And me being from Houston, Texas, there weren't many outlets for me and for the girls [in Destiny's Child]. But don't they perpetuate an idea that fame is just handed to you?

There's always a new artist that people are fascinated with, and I think becoming famous is not so hard any more but staying... and I don't even like the word famous... staying a celebrity is not so easy, especially now that people have access to celebrities even when they don't want you to. In the end you have to have some kind of talent. When you think about Michael Jackson and Prince, back in the day when they were mysterious... that mystery was attractive and now it's hard to have that.

So what happens next? Is your diary already filled for the next decade?

I usually know what I'm going to do within a year. I have the next year planned out. But for the first time ever, after a couple of dates in February and a couple of award shows, I promised myself that that it's time to smell the roses. I'm going to take – hopefully – a couple of months off. I'm not going to plan anything. I'll perhaps take some art classes, I'll visit some museums and I'll check out some shows on Broadway. I'd like to travel somewhere – maybe back to Egypt – without anyone, without any security, and focus on things I've always wanted to do myself.

Is there anyone left you'd still like to record with?

Oh, where do I begin? There's so many people I'd like to work with still, but I'd like to maybe go outside of the box. My sister [Solange] has put me on to bands like [indie group] Of Montreal and some other different types of artists. I would love to do something like that on my next album.

And starting a dynasty?

I don't know. I don't think I'm ready for that yet. I still have time for myself. I've worked so hard and I need to relax and make sure I'm ready for that and I don't think I am. But knowing I have time off... I don't even know how to feel about that. I'm so excited.


http://www.guardian.co.uk...the-decade
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Reply #1 posted 11/30/09 4:08pm

Harlepolis

babybugz said:

It's bullshit


Couldn't agree with you more nod
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Reply #2 posted 11/30/09 4:12pm

purplepolitici
an

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i know it's depressing lol, but it just might be true nod. at least in terms of popular music, but i dunno shit nuts. i was a hater for a while when she kicked them broads out of destiny's child, but her solo stuff sold me on her. i still say she's uber-talented. people give her too much shit. she should just not act, like ever, and she'll be fine thumbs up! nuts
Would anybody care to get naked? smoker
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Reply #3 posted 11/30/09 4:18pm

Harlepolis

She could be labeled as the "entertainer of the decade", but no way in the pits of hell could she be titled as an "artist" lol
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Reply #4 posted 11/30/09 4:19pm

Timmy84

"Entertainer of the decade" is more like it lol no hating just saying lol
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Reply #5 posted 11/30/09 4:21pm

babybugz

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Harlepolis said:

babybugz said:

It's bullshit


Couldn't agree with you more nod

Thank you
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Reply #6 posted 11/30/09 4:21pm

DesireeNevermi
nd

Timmy84 said:

"Entertainer of the decade" is more like it lol no hating just saying lol



clapping And there it is folks. nod


Prince is artist of the decade.
[Edited 11/30/09 16:23pm]
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Reply #7 posted 11/30/09 4:22pm

BklynBabe

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yeah, basically, and she worked hard for it, so I give her props...

but if she took a few years off, I wouldn't be mad at that either wink
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Reply #8 posted 11/30/09 4:23pm

Wowugotit

She sure as hell hasn't entertained me for a decade. I have two of her albums and rarely ever listen to them. She's too plastic.
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Reply #9 posted 11/30/09 4:24pm

Vendetta1

Then what a fucked up decade it's been. disbelief
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Reply #10 posted 11/30/09 4:27pm

Bree8016

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Vendetta1 said:

Then what a fucked up decade it's been. disbelief


falloff pretty much.
How can I stand 2 stay where I am? / Poor butterfly who don't understand.

last.fm/user/thisbreeze
twitter.com/_breeahnuh
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Reply #11 posted 11/30/09 4:27pm

WaterInYourBat
h

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smile
"You put water into a cup, it becomes the cup...Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." - Bruce Lee
"Water can nourish me, but water can also carry me. Water has magic laws." - JCVD
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Reply #12 posted 11/30/09 4:28pm

babybugz

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Vendetta1 said:

Then what a fucked up decade it's been. disbelief

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Reply #13 posted 11/30/09 4:31pm

Vendetta1

babybugz said:

Vendetta1 said:

Then what a fucked up decade it's been. disbelief

giggle
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Reply #14 posted 11/30/09 4:34pm

SupaFunkyOrgan
grinderSexy

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what an indictment on our culture! lol
2010: Healing the Wounds of the Past.... http://prince.org/msg/8/325740
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Reply #15 posted 11/30/09 4:35pm

Vendetta1

SupaFunkyOrgangrinderSexy said:

what an indictment on our culture! lol
And there it is!!!
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Reply #16 posted 11/30/09 5:03pm

estelle81

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How does Beyonce get the 'Artist of the Decade' title over Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Eminem, hell, even Britney Spears. Sorry, but they all sold the same amount or more albums than Beyonce did so what gives her this title over them. Just sayin'
Motto of the Org 6 - 'Wherever we go wherever this is.' (PurpleMookieBut hug )

"My Creativity Is My Life." ~ Prince

Life is merely a dress rehearsal for eternity.
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Reply #17 posted 11/30/09 5:04pm

Vendetta1

estelle81 said:

How does Beyonce get the 'Artist of the Decade' title over Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Eminem, hell, even Britney Spears. Sorry, but they all sold the same amount or more albums than Beyonce did so what gives her this title over them. Just sayin'
She looks better than the rest of them.
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Reply #18 posted 11/30/09 5:10pm

estelle81

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Vendetta1 said:

estelle81 said:

How does Beyonce get the 'Artist of the Decade' title over Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Mariah Carey, Eminem, hell, even Britney Spears. Sorry, but they all sold the same amount or more albums than Beyonce did so what gives her this title over them. Just sayin'
She looks better than the rest of them.


spit falloff She ain't ugly, but I wouldn't say she looks better than them. Prince is 10 times prettier than Beyonce and is twice her age and he was big this decade so maybe he should get the title if they are giving her this moniker based mainly on being attractive and having the ability to shake her junk...again this is not a talent in my opinion, but I guess some think booty shaking, cootchie poppin', pole dancing, and gyrating profusely is a talent. Man, strippers and porn stars really should start getting into the music biz for realz so they can make even more money because it seems to have come to that point now with female artists. Make your paper, ladies...dolla, dolla bill, yo dancing jig
Motto of the Org 6 - 'Wherever we go wherever this is.' (PurpleMookieBut hug )

"My Creativity Is My Life." ~ Prince

Life is merely a dress rehearsal for eternity.
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Reply #19 posted 11/30/09 5:12pm

Vendetta1

estelle81 said:

Vendetta1 said:

She looks better than the rest of them.


spit falloff She ain't ugly, but I wouldn't say she looks better than them. Prince is 10 times prettier than Beyonce and is twice her age and he was big this decade so maybe he should get the title if they are giving her this moniker based mainly on being attractive and having the ability to shake her junk...again this is not a talent in my opinion, but I guess some think booty shaking, cootchie poppin', pole dancing, and gyrating profusely is a talent. Man, strippers and porn stars really should start getting into the music biz for realz so they can make even more money because it seems to have come to that point now with female artists. Make your paper, ladies...dolla, dolla bill, yo dancing jig
Beyonce is hotter than Prince to me. lol

And maybe ass shakin' is worthy of getting such a title. She's better than other people at that too. falloff
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Reply #20 posted 11/30/09 5:27pm

missfee

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Her ass, artist of the decade?
Cause I'm fabulous and I live a fabulous life. batting eyes
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Reply #21 posted 11/30/09 5:33pm

missfee

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Wowugotit said:

She sure as hell hasn't entertained me for a decade. I have two of her albums and rarely ever listen to them. She's too plastic.

when I listen to her music it's
Cause I'm fabulous and I live a fabulous life. batting eyes
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Reply #22 posted 11/30/09 5:37pm

missfee

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Well I do admire her body shape...at least. I wouldn't mind being that size.
Cause I'm fabulous and I live a fabulous life. batting eyes
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Reply #23 posted 11/30/09 5:37pm

P2daP

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I didn't know she was an artist ??? whofarted
[Edited 11/30/09 17:37pm]
"When eye want 2 hear new music, eye make it" Prince wildsign
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Reply #24 posted 11/30/09 5:38pm

Vendetta1

P2daP said:

I didn't know she was an artist ??? whofarted
[Edited 11/30/09 17:37pm]
falloff
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Reply #25 posted 11/30/09 5:55pm

Moonbeam

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Beyonce? Artist?! Of the decade?!!!! disbelief
It's only mountains...
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Reply #26 posted 11/30/09 5:58pm

Vendetta1

Moonbeam said:

Beyonce? Artist?! Of the decade?!!!! disbelief
comfort

Someone will be along to tell us how wrong we are. lol
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Reply #27 posted 11/30/09 6:10pm

Moonbeam

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Vendetta1 said:

Moonbeam said:

Beyonce? Artist?! Of the decade?!!!! disbelief
comfort

Someone will be along to tell us how wrong we are. lol


Maybe Beyonce is our punishment for global warming, or something.
It's only mountains...
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Reply #28 posted 11/30/09 6:10pm

Mars23

Moderator

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moderator

Vendetta1 said:

estelle81 said:



spit falloff She ain't ugly, but I wouldn't say she looks better than them. Prince is 10 times prettier than Beyonce and is twice her age and he was big this decade so maybe he should get the title if they are giving her this moniker based mainly on being attractive and having the ability to shake her junk...again this is not a talent in my opinion, but I guess some think booty shaking, cootchie poppin', pole dancing, and gyrating profusely is a talent. Man, strippers and porn stars really should start getting into the music biz for realz so they can make even more money because it seems to have come to that point now with female artists. Make your paper, ladies...dolla, dolla bill, yo dancing jig
Beyonce is hotter than Prince to me. lol

And maybe ass shakin' is worthy of getting such a title. She's better than other people at that too. falloff



Don't forget her mastery of stealing shit. Are you sure someone wasn't named Artist of the Decade last week? Maybe Beyonce's dad moonlights as a proofreader and the rest is now history.
Studies have shown the ass crack of the average Prince fan to be abnormally large. This explains the ease and frequency of their panties bunching up in it.
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Reply #29 posted 11/30/09 6:10pm

PurpleDiamond2
009

who do you think should have won the title?
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