Well, that was incredible! Beyoncé debuted her visual album film, Lemonade, on HBO on Saturday, April 23. The one-hour special was a roller-coaster of emotions, all leading up to the release of the singer’s sixth studio album of the same name. Check out Us Weekly’s compilation of the seven most brilliant moments below!
1. The Film Is Visually Stunning
Lemonade set an incredibly high bar for future music videos to come. The special was beautifully filmed and edited from the moment Beyoncé, 34, strolled through the streets of New Orleans, smashing car windows with a baseball bat while wearing a yellow couture dress, to the final scenes where she spent some quality family time with husband Jay Z and daughter Blue, 4.
2. Beyoncé Went Country!
The “Formation” singer tried her hand at country on “Daddy Lessons,” a tune about a father who teaches his daughter to always stand up for herself. “My daddy warned me about men like you,” she croons, before warning, “My daddy said shoot.” Somebody get this girl a Country Music Award!
3. The Special Guests Were Unexpected, But Amazing
For her last album, Beyoncé got some assistance from Nicki Minaj, Drake and Frank Ocean, but this time around she gathered together an entirely new group of friends. Serena Williams twerked alongside the entertainer during “Sorry,” while Zendaya posed with Amandla Stenberg. Jay Z also made a brief cameo during the emotional track “Sandcastles.” As for the album’s vocal features? The Weeknd, Jack White, James Blake and Kendrick Lamar.
4. The Story Line Is Heartbreaking
Lemonade is broken down into several chapters, including “Denial,” “Anger,” “Accountability” and “Redemption.” It follows the story of the downfall of a relationship caused by an unfaithful lover. Tidal, which has the exclusive streaming rights for the LP, called the visual album a “conceptual project based on every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing.” Beyoncé goes from yelling, “Who the f–k do you think I is? You ain’t married to no average bitch, boy!” to cradling Jay Z while singing, “What is it about you that I can’t erase, baby?”
5. Why Lemonade?
As the visual album nears its end, the Lemonade metaphor is explained by Beyoncé’s late grandmother, Agnéz Deréon: “I had my ups and downs, but I always found the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.”
6. Beyoncé Rented Out an Entire Stadium
During the “Reformation” chapter of the film, Beyoncé lays down on a football field, with tears in her eyes, as she reflects on her seemingly tumultuous relationship. “You are the love of my life,” she notes, as the camera pans away, revealing an empty football stadium behind her. Shortly after, adorable footage of her husband and daughter playing on the field is shown, reminiscent of the photos that Queen Bey shared on Instagram after her Super Bowl 50 performance in February.
7. The Celebration of Black Women
The story not only follows Beyoncé’s trials and tribulations, but also the experience of African American women. On the anthemic “Freedom,” which features Lamar, the entertainer points out the racism that is still prevalent in today’s society as she sings, “Freedom, where are you? ‘Cause I need freedom too. I break chains all by myself. Won’t let my freedom rot in hell! Hey, I’mma keep running ’cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.”
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