Beyoncé: What’s Behind the Obsession?

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Beyoncé. Her name alone sparks a thought into your head, whether it be a favorite song or her media presence. Non-Beyoncé fans wonder: what is the obsession with her? Most people generally see her as a singer, but her fans, also known as The BeyHive, see more than just a musician.

The BeyHive is known for how aggressively loyal they are to their Queen Bey.

In today’s pop culture, Beyoncé is not only known for bold music choices, but her achievements throughout her career. She landed her first single “Bills, Bills, Bills” with former group members of Destiny’s Child back in 1999. The group ended in 2006, but even before then she was already working on her solo career.

In 2002, her first solo recording featured rapper, now husband, Jay Z with “Bonnie & Clyde.” A year later on June 24th her first solo album, Dangerously In Love, premiered at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts. Beyoncé has also brought her singing talents to the movie Dream Girls, co-starring with Jennifer Hudson and Jaime Foxx.

Beyoncé tries to keep her fans informed through her music and her latest album, Lemonade, is a prime example. The album was released on April 23rd, 2016 along with a visual album. It was made available for streaming exclusively on TIDAL shortly after it was premiered on HBO.

“Formation,” a hit song off the album, displays her emotions towards police brutality. The video opens up with the artist on top of a New Orleans police car submerged in water with a voice in the background saying, “what happened after New Orleans?” The reference is to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and how people are still dealing with this natural disaster after 10 years. As for the police car and the voice over, The Huffington Post states that the voice was African American social media celebrity and comedian, Messy Mya, who was shot down in New Orleans.

Throughout the video Beyoncé shows the problem of police brutality and how she is taking a stand against it. In her visual album, Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, and Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, make an appearance in her short film..

As Queen Bey keeps everyone in formation, it’s up to the rest of The Beyhive to keep the movement going. They stand by her actions, as if they’ll do anything to make sure no one does her harm.

Most artists today have their own fan base such as Rihanna’s Navy, Justin’s Beliebers, Taylor’s Swifties, but no other fan’s are as dedicated as Beyoncé’s BeyHive. In 2014, GQ Magazine named The BeyHive as “Fans of the Year,” which was part of their “Year of Hotness” list.

GQ Magazine further mentioned, “The Beyhive is probably the most revered fan base in pop culture, partially because of whom they are fans of, but also because of their cut throat behavior. Like real bees, getting stung by a member of the hive is never a pretty sight.”

The BeyHive is ready to attack whenever they see a threat being made towards Queen Bey. A lot of the fan base takes to social media to defend their Queen. After the release of her newest album, fans began to speculate whether “Becky with the good hair” was a reference to Rachel Roy, who supposedly Jay Z cheated with.

Roy had captioned one of her photo’s after the release of Lemonade, “good hair don’t care, but we will take good lighting, for selfies, or self truths, always. Live in the light #nodramaqueens.”

The BeyHive quickly took to Roy’s Instagram and began filling her comments with bee and lemon emoji’s and also offensive comments. According to The Huffington Post, angry fans started to get out of control to the point that she had to make her account private. Roy eventually took to twitter and responded: “I respect love, marriages, families and strength. What shouldn’t be tolerated by anyone, no matter what, is bullying, of any kind.”

With a fan base containing over 17,000 members as part of the online forum, TheBeyHive.com, and more dedicated to their Queen Bey, some fans tend to get lost in the hype, forgetting that Beyoncé is still a person, but The BeyHive is willing to go the extreme for her.

During the 2016 TIDAL Benefit Concert, the singer was performing “Haunted” and noticed that she was bleeding from her earing being pulled out earlier in the show. Beyoncé had no visible reaction to the incident and continued to perform. Although some fans were impressed by how professional she was, others felt they needed to feel her pain. Fans took to twitter, trending #CutForBeyonce and began to post pictures of themselves with cut marks.

Deneysha Riley, a Political Science major at Providence College, thinks Beyoncé is not that important for people to be harming themselves. Although Riley considers herself a part of The BeyHive, she doesn’t define herself as obsessed as other fans.

“I’d say I’m on the more extreme end of obsessed with her. I wouldn’t hurt myself over her, but there’s definitely a deep admiration for her,” said Riley.

Chantel Osborne, a Business major at New England College, found it “unnecessary” that fans would even go as far as creating a hashtag. Osborne also considers herself a part of The Beyhive, but doesn’t define herself as the ultimate Beyoncé fan.

Osborne states, “Beyoncé is the queen. She has done more than other artists and stands for what she believes, which I find inspiring.” She continues, “I’m not as into her as a lot of her other fans are, but I will say that I am a supporter.”

At the end of her performance for TIDAL’s charity event, directing the crowds attention away from the earlier incident, Beyoncé felt the need to express the importance of voting in this year’s election. She stated that, “doing nothing isn’t an option” and went on to say “we are not helpless.” Beyoncé brought attention to the fact that some of our grandparents had to fight for the right to vote and that we should not take advantage of it.

Leaving many fans in the crowd with, “So many people have died and sacrificed so much for us to have our voice. We have to use it. Use our voice to be something great for our children.”

But what is the reason for becoming so involved with Beyoncé?

Riley explains that Beyoncé is the “all around package.”

“She can make hits, she can make soulful music, she can dance, and she can perform really well.”

Riley continued to add that Beyoncé is one of the “rare artists” that can perform a full choreography routine and sing, all while staying on beat.

“She uses her platform to speak on social justice issues such as police brutality and equal rights for women and the queer community,”  Riley also said.

She went into detail about how Beyoncé has created the title as “Queen” for herself through the success of her career.

“Beyoncé has been around for over two decades and during her career there’s never been a time where she wasn’t at the top of the game. There has been no one in over twenty years who can do all that she does, and that alone gives her the title of Queen Bey.”

Beyoncé seems to give everyone a chance to have his or her voice be heard, whether it is through song, visual, or just simply closing out her show with a short statement.

Osborne says that her music really speaks to you, “Everybody can connect to Beyoncé at least musically if not spiritually. There’s a song for everybody.”

Riley also says her music makes her feel as if she is Beyoncé herself and that it makes her different from all the other fans in The BeyHive.

She adds, “I am Beyoncé. When you see her performing, that’s me. A lot of other fans admire her, are obsessed with her, or think they embody her, but me, I am legitimately her, like my name is Beyoncé Giselle Carter-Knowles and my daughter is Blue Ivy.”

From lead vocalist in Destiny’s Child to becoming a multi-platinum, Grammy award-winning recording artist, Beyoncé certainly created a title for herself. What makes her unique compared to other artists is that she uses her platform to help give a voice to the voiceless. Fans use her music to build courage and inspire them to speak up for what they believe in. The BeyHive sees her as a strong, well-spoken woman and that may be one of the many reasons why the hive continues to grow.

To answer the question as to why people are obsessed, many would simply answer with: because she is Beyoncé.

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Hi! My name is Kristin Walker and I am the Arts and Entertainment Editor for The New Englander. I am from Long Island, New York and I’m a Senior here at New England College, studying Communications with a focus of Public Relations. I have been writing for The New Englander for over a year. This is my first (and last) year as editor and I look forward to a great year!
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Harish

This is a great article