Over the course of the last two decades, Beyoncé gave us more no. 1 hits than we can count, became the most nominated woman in the Grammy Award, and inspired an entire generation of young artists – but could retirement be in the cards for Queen Bey?
Beyoncé is not retired, and she worked on several high-profile projects in the last few years. She recorded collaborative album Everything Is Love with Jay-Z, delivered a historic performance at Coachella in 2018, appeared in The Lion King remake, and curated its soundtrack.
Everything Is Love
Two years after her groundbreaking album Lemonade sparked cheating rumors, Beyoncé and Jay-Z showed the world they’re stronger than ever. The couple dropped a collaborative album Everything Is Love under the moniker The Carters, and went on to win a Grammy Award for the best urban contemporary album.
Music video for lead single “Apes—t” was filmed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, and it featured shots of several iconic works of art, including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. It received a nomination for best music video at the Grammys, but eventually lost to Childish Gambino’s “This Is America”.
The couple supported the album with On the Run II Tour. They performed a total of 48 shows across Europe and North America, and On the Run II ended up being ranked as the third highest-grossing tour of 2018, earning them over $253 million.
Coachella and “Homecoming”
Shortly before dropping Everything is Love, Beyoncé delivered an unforgettable show at 2018 Coachella. Her performance was praised for paying tribute to historically black colleges and universities, and many people saw it as a homage to African-American history.
Beyoncé gave an explosive performance of her biggest hits, and was joined on stage by her husband Jay-Z, her sister Solange Knowles, and fellow Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. All of the songs she performed were later featured on her 2019 live album Homecoming, and she captured the process of preparing for this performance in the Netflix documentary of the same name.
The Lion King
Beyoncé scored several acting roles during the 2000s, but eventually decided to fully focus on music. She changed her tune when the opportunity to appear in The Lion King remake arose, and agreed to voice Nala in this highly-anticipated project.
She also curated an entire album inspired by this film, titled The Lion King: The Gift. Lead single “Spirit” was the only track that was featured in the film itself, while the songs from The Gift were intended to “reflect the film’s storytelling that gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery”. This record was inspired by R&B, pop, hip hop and Afro Beat, and it was made in collaboration with African musicians and producers.
What’s Next for Beyoncé?
It’s been four years since Beyoncé dropped her last studio album Lemonade, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s considering retirement. She’s no stranger to surprise releases, and she never needed to tease new music for months to create enough buzz.
Queen Bey still hasn’t dropped any solo songs in 2020, but she joined Megan Thee Stallion in a new remix of her TikTok hit “Savage”. Proceeds from the song went towards Houston coronavirus relief, since both singers grew up in this Texas city. Stallion wanted to respect “Beyoncé’s method of working in silence”, and didn’t tease the single before it dropped online, but that didn’t stop it from topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
It’s unclear if Queen Bey is working on a new album right now, and we probably won’t know anything until she decides to drop it out of nowhere. She’s less secretive about her other endeavors – her Ivy Park x Adidas activewear collection was heavily promoted, and she even sent huge PR boxes to several A-list celebrities, including Reese Witherspoon and Cardi B.