‘Beychella’ was about more than just the music.
It was supposed to happen last year. But Beyoncé’s historic headline act was well worth the wait.
This past weekend, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter became the first black woman to headline the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, one year after she was forced to cancel what would have been her inaugural appearance to give birth to twins.
“Coachella, thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline,” she said on-stage before launching into her hit single, “Run the World (Girls).”
“My QUEEN for life . Always . And forever . You continuously make me feel so proud to be a Black woman & artist . Last night was EXCEPTIONAL . We must protect you at all costs !” Monae wrote on Twitter.
“I saw it with my own two eyes,” Chance the Rapper wrote. “Beyoncé is the greatest entertainer to ever live and the Queen of Music.”
Her headline act was notable not just for the songs she sang, or the reunions she orchestrated, but also for its powerful stage moments that shone a light on black icons past and present.
Queen Bey sampled a Malcolm X quote and repped a Black Panther Party crest, invited a marching band from a historically black college on stage, and honored the late Nina Simone, to name just a few.
She has worked with worked with Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE (where she’s a co-founder) to bring clean water to people living in poverty in Burundi; spoken out about women’s empowerment at the Grammy’s; and started a scholarship program to help send black women to school.