Beyonce's Best Music Video Moments

Beyonce's Best Music Video Moments

Beyonce's Best Music Video Moments

In honor of the Virgo queen's birthday, we've rounded up the iconic singer's most stunning video feats.

In honor of the Virgo queen's birthday, we've rounded up the iconic singer's most stunning video feats.

Text: Brooke Kushwaha

As today is Beyonce’s birthday, V can only hope to honor her iconic legacy. The multi-genre powerhouse has issued a number of jaw-dropping moments throughout her career, but we’ve sifted through the glory to find her absolute best music video moments, the ones that got every stan talking, gifing, and resharing. Bey revolutionized the music video with her visual album Lemonade, and she’s continued to break molds in the medium ever since, including a recent cameo from her eldest daughter, Blue Ivy. Come celebrate the legend with a power-walk down memory lane: 

1. Tearing Up the Streets in “Hold Up” 

Beyonce takes a swing with her trusty bat "Hot Sauce" in the video for "Hold Up" off Lemonade.

One of the opening tracks to Lemonade set the tone early to what kind of video this would be: a tale of revenge (and reconciliation). “Formation” had already dropped at this point, leaving everyone to reconsider what they thought Bey meant by “hot sauce in my bag” as she swung a bat named “Hot Sauce” through cars and shop windows. We could all relate to Beyonce’s most destructive tendencies, and the playful video shattered our impressions of a more polished, aloof pop princess. A queen knows when to get her hands dirty. 

2. Playing Thelma & Louise with Lady Gaga

Beyonce and Lady Gaga play outlaw in the iconic video for "Telephone."

It’s not often you see Beyonce playing opposite another pop star, but in 2010, the then-mostly R&B artist teamed up with Lady Gaga for two songs: “Video Phone” (which went as a bonus track to I Am....Sasha Fierce) and the radio juggernaut “Telephone.” In the iconic video, Beyonce feeds Gaga a honeybun and calls her a “bad girl,” poisons an entire diner (including her shitty boyfriend), and drives over a cliff, possibly never to be seen again. Although it’s Gaga’s video, Bey steals scene after scene, and her verse is arguably the most satisfying one to belt out. 

3. Chowing Down On a Burger in “Feeling Myself”

Beyonce and Nicki Minaj bite down on some burgers in the "Feeling Myself" music video.

Speaking of iconic duos, nothing made us more enviable of female friendship than when Nicki Minaj and Bey split burgers in the “Feeling Myself” music video. We rarely get to see Bey’s playful side, and nothing was more fun than this video, featuring bright colors, silly faces, and whimsical pool floats. This is Beyonce at her most carefree, and we like to see her guard down. 

4. Dancing on a Chair in “Partition”

Beyonce makes us jealous of furniture in "Partition."

“Partition” is one of those songs in the 21st century canon that could qualify for sex education. (Rihanna’s “S&M” and Britney Spears’ “If You Seek Amy” are some others.) An intensely sexual song deserves an equally titillating music video, and Beyonce delivered with a chair dance she would go on to recreate in her following tour. Some of us can hardly dance on the floor, let alone an elevated surface. Beyonce has the range.

5. Dancing....Everywhere in “Single Ladies”

Beyonce serves legendary moves in the "Single Ladies" video.

If you’re under 25, this is probably the first video from your lifetime that was literally EVERYWHERE. The dance became ubiquitous at just about every wedding and bar mitzvah alike, and SNL’s iconic parody solidified its cultural impact. The video is remarkably no-frills, just three women dancing on a black-and-white backdrop. You probably still know a bit of the moves. 

6. All of “Formation”

Beyonce rocks braids, chains, and a hat fit for a coven in the "Formation" music video.

We can’t choose a specific moment of “Formation” because literally all of it reaches icon status. We’ve decided her double “f**k you” in a witch-like hat defines the video pretty well, as does her slow car roll-up in floor-length blonde braids and fur coat. The entire video is an ode to Black girl empowerment, set in the plantation south. Beyonce has made plenty of history herself, but “Formation” showed she was also ready to reclaim it.

The "Formation" music video gave us many gifts, this fur ensemble one of them.

7. Twinning with Blue in “Spirit”

Beyonce twins with daughter Blue in the music video for "Spirit" off of Disney's The Lion King soundtrack.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and even better if that tree is Beyonce. In her video for “Spirit” off Disney’s The Lion King soundtrack, Bey gave her daughter Blue a taste of the limelight in a stunning family portrait. Although her mom has kept her relatively safe from the public eye, we can expect Blue to start making a name for herself sooner rather than later. 

8. Channeling Cleopatra in Homecoming

Beyonce kicks off her Coachella performance in "Homecoming" with an homage to Queen Cleopatra.

Speaking of reclaiming history, Beyonce entered her record-breaking Coachella performance in a Cleopatra costume fit for, well, a pharaoh. By streaming her Coachella performance as the first Black woman to headline, Bey made her show accessible to the audience that needed to see it most: the Black viewers who may not have had the means to attend Coachella, but most identified with her message of Black excellence. The following Netflix documentary Homecoming further democratized the Beyonce experience, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse to a wide audience. If Homecoming proved anything, it’s that Beyonce has created an empire of her own. 

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