We know the gossip’s been flying in the blogosphere. There was a “petition” created to force Beyonce to reshoot the video for “Déjà Vu.” One site declares Beyonce “Most Annoying Of ’06,”noting that the star has been promoting Dreamgirls since “Jesus was in middle school.” Another blogger relentlessly and unsympathetically breaks down Beyonce’s every single physical trait, from scalp to manicure. Controversial gossip maven Perez Hilton continues to bait her, as he has for the past year, calling her “that Wicked B.”
But whatever. Yawn. Beyonce is unfazed. Meet her in person, and she’s as relaxed as a girl can be, on a short break from the business of world domination. Even with just lip gloss and false lashes, she’s a study in beauty, ruling the room without even trying. And her conversation flows freely too. There are the expected hiccups — she still won’t talk about Jay-Z, and she only discusses Jennifer Hudson (with whom she shared the spotlight and credit in last year’s Dreamgirls) in circular fashion. But give B a chance to chill (as if that’s totally possible: she audiotapes me as I audiotape her) and the words start coming. The House Of Dereon clothing line, the spring and summer tour that will take her through the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia, and the re-release of B’Day (Music World/Columbia), with songs in Spanish and sweaty new videos — get all of that out of the way, and let Beyonce show you what’s inside. —Danyel Smith
VIBE: Who was your first summer love?
Beyonce: Wow. Probably my third crush. I guess that was around 6th grade.
Was he a nice boy? Cute?
Very nice. Very cute.
Did he like you back?
Thank God he did.
Does he know you’re Beyonce, all grown up from that little Beyonce?
Um, I hope so.
You’re really giving a lot of sexiness in this photoshoot.
Of course, everybody wants to know what your sex life is like.
[Beyonce laughs again.]
What would people be surprised to know? Like: Does Beyonce have footie pajamas?
I’m like any and every other woman.
No one is going to believe that, Beyonce
But I am. And actually, in one of the [new] videos — it’s called ‘Flaw And All’ — I don’t sing any of the song. The whole time it’s like a silent movie and I’m being myself. I’m not performing. I reveal a side of myself no one’s ever seen. I’m silly and goofy and not…trying to be a diva, or trying to be a star — Just me. It was important for me to show that side of myself. I have no makeup.
You had no makeup on in the video?
Mmm-hmm. And another song called ‘Still In Love (Kissing You).’ It’s a beautiful ballad. I didn’t have any hair and makeup. Just me on the beach and in the sun, and I brought one bathing suit ‘cause I was there for myself. It’s very artistic and grimey, and [there’s] no retouching. It is what it is. I wanted to show a different personality in every video. One is over-the-top and I’m kind of like a drag queen. And then, there’s ‘Upgrade U,’ where I’m acting like Jay. I don’t know what people would be surprised to know,
Are there footie pajamas?
Of course. I mean, yeah, I like to relax. I love to not think about anything — anything to wear, or any kind of glamour when I’m with…at home. Or when I’m with my nephew, changing diapers. I’m doing everything like everybody else.
Is it hard to be successful?
Of course it is. You have to sacrifice a lot, you have to be very strong, you have to have a thick skin, and you have to know your priorities.