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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released April 17, 2019 | Columbia

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This is history in the making. Queen B surprised us with the release of a live album taken from her two dazzling concerts at Coachella in 2018, chronicled by a Netflix documentary. B performs a retrospective, revisiting 40 tracks from her 22-year career. There are no new songs here, but there is a studio cover with Tay Keith of Before I Let Go, the Frankie Beverly and Maze 1981 soul track. Other Destiny’s Child members Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland make bonus appearances on Lose My Breath, Say My Name and Soldier, husband Jay-Z on Déjà Vu, sister Solange on Get Me Bodied, and her daughter sings Afro-American anthem Sing and Lift Every Voice. This performance effectively explains why it was nicknamed ‘Beychella’, as this makes its mark on the festival’s history. And that was the goal, with 200 people on stage, colossal high-budget visual spectacle in this immense two-hour performance highlighting afro-feminist empowerment; Beyoncé has earnt her throne. “When I decided to do Coachella, instead of me pulling out my flower crown, it was more important that I brought our culture to Coachella.” To the sound of the second lines of a New Orleans brass band, a revamped drumline, Malcolm X on Don’t Hurt Yourself and amidst multiple references to African-American history, the queen of pop inhabiting the Queen Nefertiti reminds us of the importance of her discography in the 3rd millennium. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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R&B - Released March 29, 2013 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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Pop - Released April 23, 2016 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released September 4, 2009 | Music World Music - Columbia

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 19, 2019 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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For the 2019 CGI retelling of Disney's classic animated film The Lion King, Beyoncé wore multiple crowns for the project, not only voicing the adult Nala but also curating the companion compilation/soundtrack, The Lion King: The Gift. Not to be confused with the reimagined score/soundtrack featuring Hans Zimmer, Tim Rice, Lebo M., Elton John, and Beyoncé herself, The Gift recruits a roster of African talent and American hip-hop/R&B acts to create a buoyant hybrid of futuristic, cross-Atlantic Afro-pop. Like a similar big-screen epic about a regal feline, this expertly curated collection is an artistic showcase celebrating Africa and black musical traditions, elevating the movie experience with strategic thematic interludes that could help this album endure far longer than the film. Also, like Kendrick Lamar did with Black Panther, Beyoncé is careful not to overshadow the burgeoning talents on display here, inserting herself when appropriate and evenly distributing her own songs throughout the set's expansive track list. Representing Nigeria, Tekno, Yemi Alade, and Mr Eazi form a formidable trio on the menacing highlight "Don't Jealous Me," while Burna Boy delivers a smooth "Ja Ara E." Later, Tiwa Savage teams with Eazi on the fun "Keys to the Kingdom," and Wizkid joins Guyanese rapper Saint Jhn, Beyoncé, and her daughter Blue Ivy Carter on the wholesome, empowering "Brown Skin Girl." Ghanaian reggae artist Shatta Wale collides with Major Lazer's trademark dancehall-pop on the thumping "Already." Meanwhile, a team of South African artists contributes to another standout, the explosive "My Power." Along with rising American rapper Tierra Whack, Nija, and Beyoncé, Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly deliver verses in Zulu and isiXhosa, hailing the coming king with an undeniable blend of defiance and fierce pride. Even the relative downer "Scar" -- a dramatic denouement told from the titular villain's perspective -- captures the imagination and attention, due to the dedicated performances of North American singer/rappers 070 Shake and Jessie Reyez. These collaborations are effortless in their execution, making The Gift feel more like a joyous party or family affair rather than a Beyoncé vanity project. On her end, Beyoncé does deliver a handful of showstoppers, including the inspirational de facto opener "Bigger," where she connects real-world themes of family, parenthood, and birthright, singing not only to Simba, but her own children, and "Find Your Way Back (Circle of Life)," another buoyant lesson of empowerment. "Mood 4 Eva" is a classic Beyoncé anthem featuring partner Jay-Z, film co-star Donald Glover, and enough quotable lyrics to emblazon an entire store's worth of T-shirts. As with the official score/soundtrack, The Gift closes with the unbearably uplifting "Spirit," a shiver-inducing anthem packed with enough power to inspire anyone to seize their destiny atop their own personal Pride Rock. On The Lion King: The Gift, Beyoncé deftly connects a kid's flick to something bigger, honoring not only Africa and its traditions but also shifting perspective to future destiny and greatness. It's a superior statement and a lesson on how to properly execute a winning soundtrack. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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R&B - Released November 24, 2014 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released November 14, 2008 | Music World Music - Columbia

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 31, 2020 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released May 29, 2007 | Columbia

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R&B - Released June 24, 2003 | Columbia

Beyoncé Knowles was always presented as the star of Destiny's Child -- which probably shouldn't be a big surprise since her father managed the group. So it was a natural step for her to step into the diva spotlight with a solo album in 2003, particularly since it followed on the heels of her co-starring role in Mike Myers' 2002 comedy hit, Austin Powers in Goldmember. Still, a singer takes a risk when going solo, as there's no guarantee that her/his star will still shine as bright when there's nobody to reflect upon. Plus, Survivor often sounded labored, as Knowles struggled to sound real. The Knowles clan -- Beyoncé and her father Mathew, that is (regrettably, Harry Knowles of "Ain't It Cool" is no relation) -- were apparently aware of these two pitfalls since they pull off a nifty trick of making her debut album, Dangerously in Love, appeal to a broad audience while making it sound relatively easy. Sometimes that ease can translate into carelessness (at least with regard to the final stretch of the album), with a prolonged sequence of ballads that get stuck in their own treacle, capped off by the unbearably mawkish closer, "Gift from Virgo," where she wishes her unborn child and her husband to be like her daddy. (Mind you, she's not pregnant or married, she's just planning ahead, although she gets tripped up in her wishes since there's "no one else like my daddy.") Although these are a little formless -- and perhaps would have been more digestible if spread throughout the record -- they are impeccably produced and showcase Knowles' new relaxed and smooth delivery, which is a most welcome development after the overworked Survivor. Knowles doesn't save this voice just for the ballads -- she sounds assured and sexy on the dance numbers, particularly when she has a male counterpart, as on the deliriously catchy "Crazy in Love" with her man Jay-Z or on "Baby Boy" with 2003's dancehall superstar, Sean Paul. These are the moments when Dangerously in Love not only works, but sounds like Knowles has fulfilled her potential and risen to the top of the pack of contemporary R&B divas. It's just too bad that momentum is not sustained throughout the rest of the record. About halfway through, around the astrological ode "Signs" with Missy Elliott, it starts crawling through its ballads and, while listenable, it's not as exciting as the first part of the record. Still, the first half is good enough to make Dangerously in Love one of the best mainstream urban R&B records released in 2003, and makes a strong case that Knowles might be better off fulfilling this destiny instead of reuniting with Destiny. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released April 16, 2019 | Columbia

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In April 2018, Beyoncé headlined Coachella with an epic performance that would set a new bar for festival spectacle. Arriving a year after her originally scheduled headline slot -- delayed due to the birth of her twins -- the high-stakes show was a triumph. Immortalized alongside its counterpart concert film/documentary, Homecoming: The Live Album is a monument to black excellence and empowerment. As the first African-American woman to headline the festival, Beyoncé took the duty seriously, crafting a showcase of black culture, feminism, and history that acknowledged her place in the timeline while celebrating those who paved the way, from strong black women such as Nina Simone, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Southern hip-hop inspirations like TRU, UGK, OutKast, and F.L.Y. Presented through an inspired collegiate HBCU lens, the performance later dubbed "Beychella" was less a concert and more a grand, multi-part revue. From a towering pyramid of bleachers, over 200 hand-selected performers of all shapes and sizes -- dancers, steppers, choir, orchestra, and a full marching band -- executed a precision-choreographed performance that pushed the limits of physicality and willpower. Together with this phalanx, Beyoncé barreled through a career-spanning set -- both as a solo artist and as part of Destiny's Child -- focusing on euphoric hype tracks that maintained the adrenaline rush for almost two hours. Digested as a cohesive career retrospective, Homecoming highlights Beyoncé's impressive vocal gymnastics and live stamina; at times, her voice soars like an angel and drops low in a guttural growl, sometimes switching from full-throated belting to gritty rapping, often within the same song. From hits ("Formation," "Drunk in Love," "Countdown") to deep cuts ("Freedom," "Bow Down," "I Been On"), every track is improved by the energy of the Bzzzz Drumline and string section, with the live foot stomps and handclaps of the dancing team whipping the ceremony into a celebratory frenzy. "Diva" gets cut with "Dirt Off Your Shoulder," while a rabid "Don't Hurt Yourself" swells with the familiar orchestral wave from "Kashmir." While J Balvin and Sean Paul are relegated to recorded backing vocals, husband Jay-Z pops in for "Deja Vu" and sister Solange joins Beyoncé for an endearing dance-off during "Get Me Bodied." Even firstborn Blue Ivy appears on almost-closer "Lift Every Voice and Sing." The most welcome guests, however, are Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Joining forces during a jaw-dropping stretch between "Run the World (Girls)" and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," the reunited Destiny's Child whip through "Lose My Breath," "Say My Name," and "Soldier" without missing a beat, as if the year was still 2004. The audience reaction alone is a pure thrill. As far as concert albums go, Homecoming is a master class in technical prowess, crowd pleasing, and soulful substance. Channeling the spirit of African queen Nefertiti (whose image she adopted for this show), Beyoncé proved to be a ruler in her own right, lording over Coachella for two career-defining nights. © Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released June 19, 2020 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released October 17, 2008 | Music World Music - Columbia

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R&B - Released April 21, 2011 | Columbia

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Hip-Hop/Rap - Released July 10, 2019 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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Pop - Released September 4, 2015 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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Pop - Released March 18, 2014 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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Pop - Released April 23, 2016 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia

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R&B - Released November 26, 2010 | Music World Music - Columbia

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Pop - Released November 20, 2016 | Parkwood Entertainment - Columbia