As time goes on, so many things change. People age, the seasons roll onward and oftentimes it’s said that time doesn’t stop for any man. Beyonce Knowles is no man. If there’s one thing that remains the same, unchanging, etched into the sands of time, it’s Bey’s constant slay.
It’s been said 1,000 times, but 2016 wasn’t exactly the best year ever. Between all of the craziness, there was Beyonce. She dominated red carpets, gave breathtaking performances and broke records flawlessly. 2016 may have felt like a loss in many regards, but in terms of Beyonce, it was a win from the very beginning.
Thanks for giving us the strength to persevere, Bey! We couldn’t have done it without you. Here are five of the many times Beyonce singlehandedly improved 2016.
1. When she graced the Super Bowl with her presence.
There are few things quite as satisfying as seeing Beyonce singing “Formation” while wearing a Black Panther-style uniform during the most all-American and highly-viewed television event of the year.
This performance was Beyonce’s to steal and she did exactly that. Though it was controversial, it made a statement, created conversations and left everyone with a reminder that even the best (almost) fall down sometimes.
2. When she dropped Lemonade.
Lemonade is more than an album. It’s a work of art, a piece of activism, a rebellion and a groundbreaking declaration. It’s not only “universally acclaimed” according to Metacritic, it’s also a groundbreaking pop culture staple. The album makes statements about emotional and mental health, racism, depression, infidelity and more. It spawned conversations and analysis, as well as scandal, but most of all, it solidified that there was no predicting Beyonce, placing her in a league of her own.
3. When she donated to several different important causes.
Beyonce is a notoriously private person, and unlike other stars who tend to ask for recognition, particularly for their philanthropic contributions, Beyonce tends to give without a need for validation.
In 2016, Beyonce and her husband, Jay Z, donated a generous $1.5 million to the Black Lives Matter organization, solidifying the singer’s prior statements about the necessity of a movement against police brutality. In the past, Beyonce also wired money to bail out Baltimore protestors and spoke out in favor of the country’s youth fighting against institutional racism.
Internationally, Beyonce and Jay donated several million dollars to Haiti for post-hurricane relief.
4. When she rocked the VMAs and completely blew the doors off of the CMAs.
She broke barriers at the Country Music Awards with her performance of her Billboard-charting “Daddy Lessons.” Country music legends The Dixie Chicks joined her onstage to perform the soulful song and they also released a remix together, able to be streamed on Soundcloud.
There was a lot of racially motivated backlash against Beyonce after the performance, but as usual, she didn’t care to respond after the jawdropping performance and exited the show with her head held high. The Dixie Chicks stuck up for her amidst the harsh comments, saying they were invited by Beyonce to perform, not the other way around.
5. When she broke VMA and Grammy records.
Beyonce not only performed a 15-minute long mini-concert at the VMAs, she also made history as the show’s winningest artist of all time, earning eight wins that year (out of 11 nominations) and 24 total, surpassing Madonna‘s record by four.
She also made Grammy history with her nine nominations, making her the most nominated female artist in a single season. Currently, Beyonce is nominated in the categories of Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year, and many others.