Happy Birthday, Beyoncé! Celebrate Beyoncé’s Birthday With Her 50 Best Songs Of All Time – The hardest working entertainer in the business is celebrating gracing us with her greatness for 39 years Sept. 4, 2020.
Happy Birthday, Beyoncé! Celebrate Beyoncé’s Birthday With Her 50 Best Songs Of All Time:
On Friday, our benevolent queen Beyoncé turns 39, and what better way to celebrate than by listening to her entire catalog this long weekend?
From her early days in Girl’s Tyme and Destiny’s Child, to her 15-plus-year career as a solo artist, the 24-time Grammy winner (and “Black Is King” visionary) has continued to grow and evolve, all while surprising and shaping the music industry as we know it.
As one of half of a billionaire power couple with husband Jay-Z, Queen Bey isn’t the only one reaping the benefits of her work. She has effectively changed the entire landscape in ways no one before or since can, from her surprise album drops to her celebrations of feminism and Black culture, and she’s only gotten better with time.
“The more I mature, the more I understand my value. I realized I had to take control of my work and my legacy because I wanted to be able to speak directly to my fans in an honest way,” she told Elle in December 2019. “I wanted my words and my art to come directly from me. There were things in my career that I did because I didn’t understand that I could say no. We all have more power than we realize.”
Miscarriages and becoming a mother of three changed Beyoncé, not just in her personal life, but in her professional life, and the lines between the two blurred with her raw and brutal honesty that emerged in her later solo albums.
“I began to search for deeper meaning when life began to teach me lessons I didn’t know I needed. Success looks different to me now,” she said. “I learned that all pain and loss is in fact a gift. Having miscarriages taught me that I had to mother myself before I could be a mother to someone else. Then I had Blue, and the quest for my purpose became so much deeper. I died and was reborn in my relationship, and the quest for self became even stronger.”
“It’s difficult for me to go backwards,” she admitted. “Being ‘number one’ was no longer my priority. My true win is creating art and a legacy that will live far beyond me. That’s fulfilling.”
It’s fulfilling for us all.
Enjoy the 50 best Beyoncé songs of all time from her solo career so far.
Celebrate Beyoncé’s Birthday With This Playlist That Proves She Really Does Run the World!
“Formation” was the world’s introduction to Lemonade, as well as one of the first times the pop crowd really paid attention to Beyoncé’s Creole roots and activism for racial justice in a serious way—but Bey still used playful elements, like Red Lobster shoutouts and announcing she keeps hot sauce in her bag, swag.
A throwback to her Girls Tyme Star Search days, an interlude from feminist thought leader Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the iconic “I woke up like this” made “***Flawless” an instant classic.
3. “Love on Top”
Triumphant, romantic and joyous, “Love on Top,” a single from the criminally underrated 4, has a vintage vibe and infectious hook.
4. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
Aside from the iconic choreography, Buzz Lightyear reference and leotards, let’s face it: You will never, ever hear another song for a wedding bouquet toss for the rest of your life.
“To the left, to the left.”
6. “If I Were a Boy”
From the dramatic music video (that twist!) to covers by Reba McEntire and even a bizarrely talented parrot, “If I Were a Boy”—itself a cover of a song by BC Jean—made its mark in a big way.
Years later, the world is still reeling at “Becky with the good hair.”
8. “Crazy in Love”
Regarded as one of the best songs of the 2000s and of all time, “Crazy in Love” samples The Chi-Lites‘s 1970 song “Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)” and put Queen Bey on the map as a serious solo artist for the first time.
9. “BROWN SKIN GIRL”
Flanked by Guyanese singer Saint Jhn, Nigerian singer Wizkid and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter, Beyoncé honors women of color in this beautiful midtempo track from The Lion King: The Gift, featuring shoutouts to beauties Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o and Kelly Rowland.
10. “Daddy Lessons”
Always proud of her personal country roots, Beyoncé infused country music for this track, and her live collaboration with The Chicks (then the Dixie Chicks) cemented her ability to cross any and all genres flawlessly—and dug deep into her own family‘s history of infidelity and trauma.
Featuring Kendrick Lamar, “Freedom” is a rousing call for racial and social justice in the light of the Black Lives Matter movement to fight police brutality against the Black community.
12. “Ring the Alarm”
How perfect would this have been in her movie Obsessed?
“Heaven” was speculated to be about Beyoncé’s miscarriages, but was actually written for her mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, who lost her best friend.
Written for her beloved firstborn, Beyoncé’s ode to Blue Ivy is as sweet as it gets.
15. “BLACK PARADE”
Released at the height of outrage over the slayings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, “BLACK PARADE” is a celebration of Black culture and pride at a time when they’re needed more than ever.
16. “Hold Up”
Elements of Soulja Boy and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, an Andy Williams sample and a video full of righteous anger and hurt combine to make “Hold Up” catchy and all too real.
Bey’s belting! That bass line!
This may be one of the best yet not-at-all subtle innuendos ever—and there’s no one better than Kanye West to feature on a remix of a song called “Ego.”
Beyoncé garnered backlash for using audio from the Challenger tragedy in “XO,” but she insisted her intentions were pure.
“My heart goes out to the families of those lost in the Challenger disaster. The song ‘XO’ was recorded with the sincerest intention to help heal those who have lost loved ones and to remind us that unexpected things happen, so love and appreciate every minute that you have with those who mean the most to you,” she said in a statement. “The songwriters included the audio in tribute to the unselfish work of the Challenger crew with hope that they will never be forgotten.”
20. “Schoolin’ Life”
Take notes from Beyoncé on “Schoolin’ Life,” because the message is great: Your life is what you make it, and it’s never too late to correct your course.
Beyoncé, J. Cole, André 3000 and Kanye West on one song? That is a party.
For some reason, Beyoncé isn’t as known for her power ballads as she should be. This song should change that.
23. “Grown Woman”
This song is especially poignant coming from a woman who has been working in the spotlight since she was a preteen.
24. “Drunk in Love”
An ode to getting responsibly, safely buzzed, “7/11” references the drinking game “Sevens, Elevens and Doubles.”
26. “Dangerously in Love 2”
The title track to Beyoncé’s first solo album is actually her own rendition of the Destiny’s Child song “Dangerously in Love.” It earned her a Best R&B Vocal Performance Grammy.
27. “Me, Myself and I”
Beyoncé teaches us all to love ourselves first and foremost, because we’re better than the two-timing jerk who tried to break our hearts.
This fan favorite from 4 should have been a massive hit instead of a minor one.
This may be the ultimate anthem for an addictive toxic relationship.
The video’s candy colors and roller rink vibe belie its sexual overtones.
Beyoncé gunned for an Oscar with this original song from Dreamgirls. We’re confident she’ll get there someday!
32. “Check On It”
The Pink Panther movie has largely gone forgotten, but the soundtrack hasn’t thanks to this gem.
From The Lion King: The Gift, “Spirit” opens with Swahili chants.
34. “Get Me Bodied”
The extended mix of this song is basically an entire cardio workout—and try to find the references to her past hits in this too!
35. “End of Time”
The original “End of Time” was great, live versions and the RedTop remix drive home how fantastic this 4 song really is.
36. “Run the World (Girls)”
In 2011, Beyoncé told Billboard of “Run the World (Girls),” “It’s definitely riskier than something a bit more…simple. I just heard the track and loved that it was so different: it felt a bit African, a bit electronic and futuristic. It reminded me of what I love, which is mixing different cultures and eras—things that typically don’t go together—to create a new sound,” she added. “I can never be safe; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.”
37. “I Was Here”
Beyoncé wants to leave her mark in “I Was Here,” and if there’s ever been a person who doesn’t need to worry about having an incredible legacy, it’s King Bey.
38. “Upgrade U”
Because let’s be honest: She did upgrade Jay-Z, and he was already one of the best ever in the game to start.
“Yes” is Beyoncé’s underrated, soulful ode to self-respect and moving at your own pace.
This may be the sexiest Beyoncé has ever been.
Bey teamed up with singer-songwriter Raye for “BIGGER” and put it on The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack. Raye recalled of cowriting the song with Stacy Barthe, “I remember we were both in a really dark, sad place and we wanted to create something to empower ourselves. We spent maybe two or three hours on it. It was 3 a.m. and I remember Beyoncé’s team came in and heard what we’d created so far and just completely freaked out. It was incredible.”
42. “Best Thing I Never Had”
Sometimes the one that got away is a blessing in disguise.
43. “Naughty Girl”
Beyoncé channels Donna Summer on “Naughty Girl.”
44. “Beautiful Liar”
Beyoncé teams up with Shakira for a great song about women trapped in a love triangle: Instead of attacking one another, they agree that their two-timing man is hot, but trash. We all need to learn from this!
45. “All Night”
On Lemonade, you can hear the emotion in her voice as Beyoncé gets personal about reconciling with Jay-Z after his admitted indiscretions.
46. “Baby Boy”
Beyoncé and Sean Paul combined Arabic-inspired beats for this steamy, soulful track.
47. “Suga Mama”
As hilarious as it is addictive and sexy, Beyoncé offers to “buy him a shorts set” in this tune, which samples Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers‘ “Searching for Soul.”
Beyoncé sounds straight angelic in this love song.
49. “Green Light”
Beyoncé gives herself permission to embrace her sexuality in “Green Light,” which some have claimed is a perfect foil to her take-it-slow anthem “Yes.”
50. “Why Don’t You Love Me?”
The last line of this song is as absolutely flawless as Bey herself.
51. “Savage (Remix)”
Hopping on Megan Thee Stallion‘s hit, Beyoncé references OnlyFans and the struggle to put on pants.
Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams and Salatiel team up to bring Simba and Nala’s romance to life.