September 4 marks the day that Beyoncé was born — 36 years ago.
The pop superstar is likely somewhere opening gifts from her rapper husband, JAY-Z, and her singer sister, Solange. As she should! Beyoncé has been giving all of us regular gifts of her own from the very first day she busted onto the music scene in 1997 with her girl group, Destiny’s Child.
From words and phrases that seemingly describe everything we’re going through, to weight loss regimens that actually work, Queen Bey has blessed us.
On her 36th birthday, we’ve listed the nine (3 + 6 = 9!) best pop culture gifts Beyoncé has given the world, in no particular order:
1. “Boy Bye”
Admit it. You’ve likely uttered the coupled words, “boy bye,” ever since Beyoncé defiantly said them in her recent single, “Sorry.” The song is from her latest surprise visual album, “Lemonade,” which made headlines around the world for the deeply personal topics it explores. It also helps that in the music video for “Sorry,” Bey was seen with her friend, tennis superstar Serena Williams, dancing to the song, which is centered on a woman moving on after being cheated on.
2. Speaking of Surprise
Bey is the queen of the unexpected. She made “surprise albums” a regular part of the music industry zeitgeist ever since she released her first visual album, “Beyoncé,” on Dec. 13, 2013 without advanced notice. This was during a time when singers would embark on a worldwide press tour before letting fans hear new music. Since then, Beyoncé has continuously surprised fans with her music offerings, including “Lemonade.” The move even influenced her husband, JAY-Z, who surprised his fans with his latest album, “4:44,” on June 30.
3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
OK, so to be fair, Beyoncé didn’t really gift us Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Literary insiders and booklovers had long heard the name before Beyoncé took the writer’s TED Talk and placed in the middle of her hit song, “Flawless.” But the majority of us were introduced to the Nigerian-born feminist thought leader thanks to Bey. In “Flawless,” you can hear Ngozi Adichie say: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls: ‘You can have ambition, but not too much.’”The speech hit a nerve with many fans.
It’s clear that yellow is Beyoncé’s color of the moment. Not only did she name her most recent album, “Lemonade,” but in one of the most striking visuals from her album, she’s seen floating through the streets wearing a bright yellow dress, while swinging a baseball bat no less. It’s prompted many fast fashion retailers to stock up on yellow clothes, and even lemon-printed dresses.
5. Embrace Your Belly
Beyoncé loves a maternity photo shoot. Fans suspect that she’s particularly fond of showing off her pregnancy through photography after a hurtful rumor spread that she faked her pregnancy with 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy. “That was crazy,” Bey told People magazine in 2012 of the fake pregnancy rumors. “It wasn’t hurtful, it was just crazy. [I thought] ‘Where did they come up with this?'”
6. Double Tap Your Love
The notoriously private singer doesn’t do much social media. She’s largely mum on Twitter. (Beyoncé hasn’t tweeted since June 30, and before that she hadn’t tweeted since April 2016.) And her Facebook feed appears to be run by a professional, and not the woman herself. Still, Instagram is a platform where Beyoncé seemingly gets personal. She definitely uses the photo-sharing social media network more often than any other, often showcasing her fashion choices and behind the scenes photos of her family. It’s also the place where Bey announced her pregnancy with twins, Rumi and Sir Carter, who she welcomed to the world back in June.
7. The 22-Day Revolution
Thanks to Beyoncé, many slimmed down a bit after she introduced her plant-based diet, “The 22-Day Revolution,” which was detailed in exercise physiologist Marco Borges’ book. “I am not naturally the thinnest woman,” she said on “Good Morning America. “And I have struggled since a young age with diets. And finding something that actually works and actually keeps the weight off has been difficult for me. The plan is based on the theory that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit. It advises people to go vegan and avoid gluten, alcohol and soy for 22 days.
8. Youngest Rapper Alive
Beyoncé and JAY-Z are also responsible for bringing us the youngest rapper alive — their 5-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy. The tot debuted her first song, “Blue’s Freestyle/We Family,” on her father’s latest album, “4:44.” It’s a no brainer that a love of music runs in this family.
9. “Put A Ring On It”
To be fair, the phrase “put a ring on it” definitely existed before Beyoncé. But thanks to her 2008 hit, “Single Ladies,” it returned in full force to pop culture, reminding men (and women) that if they “like it” they should go ahead and “put a ring on it.” The song and it’s subsequent Bob Fosse-inspired music video not only prompted many Halloween costumes, but also became a staple at any wedding that year, and still today. Not to mention, the song was covered by many, including “The Chipettes.”