I’ve been a Beyoncé stan for as long as I can remember. Since first hearing her velvety-smooth soprano on Destiny’s Child’s “No, No, No” remix, I’ve eagerly anticipated every musical offering she’s given us. The album cuts (“Now That She’s Gone) and soundtrack singles (“Perfect Man”) that didn’t receive mainstream attention during her Destiny’s Child days were regulars in my personal playlist. I got braided cornrows with blonde highlights to match her look in the “Say My Name” video and was sure to rock midriff tops that showed off my navel ring just like Beyoncé’s. I loved her! But of course, this was all before she achieved mainstream fame.
When she did, throngs of fans started to gravitate to her, and I felt myself slowly drifting away. The songs that seemed to speak to me as a teenager when she was a part of Destiny’s Child and as a young woman on her first solo album were missing from her pop records. The lyrics weren’t nearly as powerful and strong, and her glamorous look, radio-friendly sound and sex-charged dance moves weren’t enough to compensate for the change. She was offering style, sex and star power over substance, and I wasn’t into the “new” her. It was then that her live show won me over. She was phenomenal in concert and her dynamic moves coupled with her larger-than-life Sasha Fierce personality were worth every penny and more. She hadn’t lost me yet.
And then, 4 dropped. In many ways, I think Beyoncé tried to appeal to fans like me with an old-school, R&B sound alongside lyrics and melodies that could stand the test of time. However, she did it at the price of the millions of the fans she acquired with “Single Ladies” that prefer infectious pop hits and sing-a-long lyrics. To her team’s dismay, that crowd wasn’t feeling her women’s empowerment anthem, “Run The World (Girls).”
Now, it seems neither demographic has the fire for Beyoncé they once had. From the lukewarm reception of the numerous singles she has released from 4 and her feature on Watch The Throne to the little-to-no buzz her video for “1+1” generated, it’s worth it to wonder if the “Queen B” is losing her sting. Though her talent is undeniable, the constant push to crown her an icon (like Jay-Z’s comparison of her and Michael Jackson) and the incessant media coverage (both on blogs and in Beyoncé’s own magazine cover takeover) seem to be pushing people away.
It’s true. she’s been the number one female in this game for a minute–let’s just hope that minute isn’t up.
Are we tired of Beyoncé’s formula of sex, girl power and over-the-top glamour?