After the Queen Bey's earth-shattering 17-minute performance art piece Sunday night at the VMAs, the decision was unanimous: Beyoncé wins. Everyone can go home now. There's no following that. Yes, Beyoncé's flawless VMA performance had everything plus the kitchen sink: a medley of songs from her latest album, kabuki makeup, disco-ball leotards, statements about gender politics, and BABIES. It was a roller coaster of feels, unprecedented by any of Beyoncé's best VMA performances thus far. Everybody get on your feet, snap your fingers, sing along, and do Beyoncé's bidding.
Let me just clarify. Beyoncé topping Beyoncé isn't an easy feat, but somehow she managed to do so at music's most free-wheeling awards night. The singer has come a long way over her 11-year solo career, and her Video Vanguard Award was a well-deserved honor for her achievements. Plus, Sunday's performance was one of those life in summary moments. From being suspended from bungees 100 feet above the VMA stage, to eating up the stage with her "Single Ladies" dance, her performances over the years set new standards for showmanship. For a blissful moment, the nation collectively forgot about the Jay Z divorce rumors and basked in the prodigious talent and skill of Sasha Fierce.
With the 2014 VMA show having come to pass, I feel that we now have seen Beyoncé at her otherworldly pinnacle. Hence, it feels fitting to take a look back at her past VMA performances over the years and rank 'em.
5. "Ring the Alarm" in 2006
In 2006, Beyoncé utilized the tactic of being lowered into her VMA performance when she performed "Ring the Alarm." While I give her props for the strong "jailbreak" concept and those fun trench coat dresses, this feels like too many bells and whistles. Plus, the pop-and-lock thing makes me want to take a break from watching this performance to check my phone.
4. "Baby Boy"/"Crazy in Love" in 2003
You remember this, right? Back in the early aughts, when 'Yoncé just began to go it alone in music, she performed a double-header of "Baby Boy" and "Crazy in Love" at the Video Music Awards. Sure, this is a strong start to an illustrious career of stealing the show, but I will never feel great about the safety of an upside-down Beyoncé dangling from a bungee above a stage. Plus, the clashing concepts of "Arabian Nights" and "Conspicuous Western Luxe" make for a slightly messy performance in my opinion. Hey, at least we got a HOV cameo!
3. "Single Ladies" in 2009
As Kanye once said, "Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time." On top of that, this was one of the best VMA performances of all time. This routine speaks for itself, and she needs little more than her dancers, her choreography, and the mecha-hand. Plus, this command to the audience is when she won me over — "Ladies put your hand in his face." With pleasure, BB.
2. "Love on Top" in 2011
Again, Beyoncé did a relatively pared down performance in 2011 at the VMAs for "Love on Top." Her voice took center stage in this rendition of her Motown-reminiscent single. She just keeps changing the key again and again and again, free of a single crack of her voice. On top of this, she had a Blue Ivy growing in her belly. Drop the mic, Bey, because you succeeded in giving us chills at every moment of this performance.
1. Beyoncé Medley in 2014
I'm still speechless about what went down last night. From her strong feminist statement, to home videos of Blue Ivy, to her perfect banter with the audience and her powerhouse voice, the entire thing was a virtuoso display of flawlessness. Well done, Bey. Well done.
In summary, I will gladly bow down. You best do the same.
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