Downtown New Orleans is abuzz with excitement, traffic and swarms of athletes, celebrities, athlete-celebrities and media types, which means only one thing — the Beyonce concert is quickly approaching.
OK, fine. It’s the Super Bowl and Beyonce is the halftime entertainment. But for those of us who only care about cheese dips, making sure someone is DVR-ing the Puppy Bowl and that this thing ends before Girls, Sunday’s event is a Beyonce concert bookended by some large men throwing footballs around. Anderson Cooper would agree with me.
To honor this momentous occasion in which pop star royalty is in our midst and will grace us with her performance at the 2013 expensive commercial showcase — ugh, OK, the Super Bowl — here are 10 great moments in Beyonce's career.
1. The Houston-born Beyonce Knowles forms a girl-group with childhood bestie Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett — they officially become Destiny’s Child in 1993. The group’s first major hit is “No, No, No” featuring Wycleff Jean, but we’ll all remember them for such jams as “Say My Name,” “Jumpin’ Jumpin” and the wonderful paean to obsolete modes of communication “Bug-A-Boo” (“You make me wanna throw my pager out the window / Tell MCI to cut the phone calls … I wanna put your number on the call block /Have AOL make my e-mails stop”).
The group went on a hiatus when Beyonce’s solo career took off, but returned in 2004 with the album Destiny Fulfilled. There’s been rumors the group is reuniting for the Super Bowl — member Michelle Williams initially refuted the rumors, but evidence points to a reunion.
2. The great Destiny’s Child fissure occurs when Roberson and Luckett leave the group (or are sort of passively aggressively fired). New members Williams and Farrah Franklin appear in the “Bills, Bills, Bills” video, but then soon after Frankin just sort of evaporates. The now three-member group in 2001 releases Survivor, which addresses the lineup changes as well as the haters. Of course there’s the title single that directly speaks to the member-shuffle drama, but the real gem on this album is “Bootylicious.”
3. Beyonce goes solo — which was inevitable. Soon after starring in Austin Powers in Goldmember, she releases her first solo album Dangerously in Love. The lead single “Crazy in Love” features future husband Jay-Z and the fiercest walk on the planet.
4. Beyonce does bounce. On her second solo album B’Day, which includes such I know-you’re-cheating-so-get-the-hell-out-my-apartment anthems as “Irreplacable” and “Ring the Alarm,” she also included the bounce-inspired “Get Me Bodied.” She even copped to the New Orleans inspiration at her 2007 Essence Festival performance.
5. After marrying Jay-Z, she releases I am … Sasha Fierce in 2008. This contains the hit that would soon enter the canon of wedding reception songs and would become the siren call for circles of drunk women at nightclubs: “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
… and it’s spoofed on Saturday Night Live.
6. Beyonce and Jay —Z — along with Beyonce’s sister Solange, a talented musician in her own right — attend a Grizzly Bear concert in New York, putting them on the cool-music-blog radar. Solange must be the couple's Brooklyn coolness Sherpa, with her Dirty Projectors cover and her (now defunct) Instagram account of beautiful photos that predates sister B's.
7. Beyonce releases 4 in 2011, featuring one of the greatest songs ever, “Countdown.”
… which inspires this Snuggie-clad child prodigy to make this:
8. She reveals her pregnancy at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards during her performance of instant-classic “Love on Top.” (also from 4) “I want you to feel the love that’s growin’ inside me!” she tells us before stroking her belly containing the Chosen Child. Jay-Z reacts adorably.
9. The child, Blue Ivy, is born in January 2012, fueling the imagination of Illuminati conspiracy theorists everywhere (there are a lot of Blue Ivy truthers out there). To further cement that she’s better than you, little Blue already has a feature on a track by a popular rapper.
10. Beyonce sang the National Anthem at the second inauguration for the most pro-Beyonce administration in history, and everyone gets mad because she maybe lip synced. Who cares. Are you not impressed by this woman yet? Can she have a tiny break? Plus, she has already served our country via Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign, for which she surprised a group of students:
Also, did you consider that maybe she was saving her energy to come here and eat po-boys?