Ranking Beyonce's Live Performances

by Tracy Dye

When it comes to great performers, few can rival the showstoppers delivered by the R&B queen, Beyoncé. The "***Flawless" singer celebrated her birthday (Beyday?) on Friday, Sept. 4, and didn't need a single day of recovery to take the stage once more for the 2015 Budweiser Made in America Festival in Philadelphia. The headliner's performance included a series of on fleek costume changes, and renditions of hits like "Halo" and "Feeling Myself," giving all of us that didn't get to attend a case of the worst FOMO imaginable. Beyoncé's "Feeling Myself" cohort and friend, Nicki Minaj, supported the singer from the crowd, posting snippets of Queen Bey's performance, as well as an adorable clip of Minaj singing along to "Halo" on her Instagram account.

Wowing crowds has been old hat for the star since her late '90s and early 2000s days in Destiny's Child. As a solo artist, she has proven herself to be quite the chameleon (hi, Sasha Fierce) when it comes to slaying in eclectic live performances. Whether Beyoncé is levitating amid a flurry of pyrotechnics at the MTV Video Music Awards, or dialing things back for a more intimate affair, she never fails to slay. Seriously, guys, she could probably do a live reading of someone's SAT scores at the back of an Arby's, and I'd still be knocked out of my seat. She's that good.

Of all Beyoncé's sensational live performances (there's been a lot), which stand out as the best of the best? Lucky for you, I happen to be a bit of a Beyoncé connoisseur. I have hand-selected the seven best Beyoncé live performances — to quote her friend, Kanye West — "of all time," and ranked them from great to flawless.

7. "Countdown" Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (2011)

With help from The Roots, Beyoncé proved that she can slay even while scaling back her trademark theatrics during this energetic performance.

6. "Ring The Alarm" MTV Video Music Awards (2006)

That classic Beyoncé fierceness was on point during this rousing performance in 2006. Is anyone getting a Kill Bill meets Mission Impossible vibe from this? Love. It.

5. "If I Were A Boy" Grammy Awards (2010)

Belt it, Bey! The singer gave her hit ballad a sassy twist at the 2010 Grammy Awards, complete with some borrowed verses from Alanis Morissette's searing "You Outta Know."

4. "Run The World (Girls)" Billboard Awards (2011)

So much awesomeness! Where do I even start with this one? With the help of a backdrop that included lions, wings, and an army of Beyoncé's (oh my!), among other spectacles, a shower of pyrotechnics closed out what was a truly awe-worthy experience.

3. "Love On Top" MTV Video Music Awards (2011)

You have to love the retro edge in this jazzy performance. Not only was Beyoncé's staging flawless (as usual), the baby bump reveal at the conclusion made this showstopper one of the night's biggest highlights. It also spurred one of my favorite GIFs of all time.

2. "Drunk In Love" Grammy Awards (2014)

If I do say so myself, this performance was sizzling! A dapper Jay Z taking the stage to join his wife proved once again that these two are the ultimate #RelationshipGoals.

1. Super Bowl Halftime Performance (2013)

This performance cannot be touched. On top of being treated to Queen Bey's inimitable stage presence and the most dazzling pyrotechnics imaginable, we also got a Destiny's Child reunion. Seeing Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams flank Beyoncé for a performance of "Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)" made my life.

There's no denying it: Beyoncé knows how to "run the world" of live performance. Excuse me while I watch each and every one of the above videos on a continuous loop.

Images: Giphy