On the night of Thursday Dec. 12, 2013, unsuspecting UT students drank and danced the night away after the last day of finals. Little did they know in the morning they would find an unimaginable, unthinkable and ultimately amazing thing had happened – they would wake up to a brand new Beyoncé album.
There has been no other artist like Beyoncé. In our generation perhaps there will never be one again. And someday when our kids ask us who the greatest pop artist of our lifetime is, it is likely we will say Beyoncé.
But the question remains – why? What is it about Queen Bey that makes her one of the most celebrated music artists of all time? Why exactly do we all fall down before her and declare her as the goddess of the musical realm? For one thing, in 2013 alone, she sold close to a million copies of the self-titled "Beyoncé" album in three days, flawlessly performed with Destiny's Child at the Super Bowl, and casually sang at the President's inauguration.
But besides all of that, I have four simple reasons that seem to attribute to her huge success:
1) She is classy.
Beyoncé talks, acts and performs with a finesse and an absence of ego, indicating she is aware of her roots and her long climb to the top. And though she has had her share of provocative performances and music videos, she has tact about it. For her it is not really about the shock factor of being sexual, but instead just a part of who she is and what her music is about. And that's fine. Queen Bey also has a family whom she loves and takes care of while still managing to be, dare I say, one of the most successful women in her career field and quite possibly on the entire planet. That is class, y'all.
2) She cares about her fans.
Beyoncé is said to have dropped her new album without any previous marketing before putting it directly on iTunes because she felt "there's so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn't want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it's ready and from me to my fans." Though this could be seen as just another version of a clever marketing ploy, she also does things to show she cares, like personally singing "Survivor" to a terminally-ill child cancer patient and visiting concert attendees in the hospital who were injured by fireworks at her own concert.
3) She's beautiful and can dance.
Google "Beyoncé without makeup." She's still perfect. Plus nowadays when most pop stars leave the majority of the dance moves to their backup dancers, Yoncé does not – she is the main ruler of the dance floor. For reference, let's just remember back in 2008 when "Single Ladies" was released and everyone in the world pulled out their best interpretation of the dance at parties. We, along with Justin Timberlake on SNL, may have all tried, but no one can whip their hand back and forth quite like her. And of course, this woman is in shape – have you seen her legs? Enough said.
4) She's consistent.
Ever since the early days of Destiny's Child, we've known that Beyoncé was the one. And every album released after the debut of her solo career has been highly successful. Think about it: "Crazy in Love," "Irreplaceable," "Halo," "Single Ladies" and "Love on Top" are all some of the top hits from each of her solo albums and also some of the most iconic songs of the past 10 years. With each new album, Bey has not disappointed, and there is no reason to believe that she will not continue to be just as victorious in the future.
Now, none of these four aforementioned traits of Beyoncé's success are particularly crazy, and could without much difficulty be implemented into our own lives. They are fairly simple, and yet they are the real reason she is who she is. And so just maybe, if we could all take a few pointers from her, we could incorporate a little bit of Beyoncé (and her success) into each of our own lives.
And with that, long live Queen Bey.
Victoria Knight is a senior in microbiology. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.