Beyoncé’s ‘B’Day’ Turns 10: Album Planted Roots of Fierce Persona

Originally published with on September 1, 2016.

On Sunday (September 4) Beyonce’s B’Day celebrates its tenth b-day. It was her second solo album, but her first since Destiny’s Child split. Here, we take a look back on the album, and wish Queen Bey a happy 35th (9/4 is her birthday!). 

Released three years after her sizzling solo debut Dangerously in Love, B’Day found Beyoncé willing to push the boundaries of the pop musicthat defined her career up until that point. More than that, though, she offered an original statement—both musically and lyrically—about celebrating strong, independent women. It wasn’t exactly a new theme for Beyoncé, who had addressed the subject with Destiny’s Child. But it did mark the formation of the Queen Bey fans know and love today. While the Beyhive is still recovering from her stunning, long-form performance at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards, they can trace the roots of her fierce, take-no-crap persona back to B’Day.

B’Day signaled her transformation from girl-group member to solo artist. Yes, Dangerously in Love predated B’Day by three years, but Beyoncé was still a member of Destiny’s Child at the time of her solo debut. After releasing Dangerously in Love in 2003, she headed back into the studio to work on what would become the trio’s swan song, 2004’s Destiny Fulfilled. It’s important to note the timeline here, because Dangerously in Love felt as if Beyoncé dabbled with DC’s sound on her own terms. B’Day, by contrast, felt like a fully realized solo project delivered from the Queen herself.

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