12. Beyoncé

In honor of me turning 30, I’m making mix CDs of my favorite songs from each of my 30 favorite musical artists/groups. Read the introductory post for more background information on my 30 at 30 project. Reminder: there is no scientific rationale for this list. They’re simply my personal favorites. Coming in at number 12 is Beyoncé.


I was a Beyoncé fan when BEYONCÉ was still just Beyonce, one fourth of Destiny’s Child. I was a big Wyclef Jean fan, so naturally I gravitated toward “No, No, No Part 2”, the remix featuring Wyclef that became Destiny Child’s first single. As much as I enjoyed the group—I own three of there albums as well as a few singles—none of the group’s tracks are included on this compilation. The Destiny’s Child version of Beyoncé is great for what it is, but it feels like a child version of Beyoncé, which is not far off considering she began with the group when she was just a teenager.

Fast forward to 2014. Beyoncé is a grown woman, the biggest star in music and arguably all of entertainment. She was on the cover of Time magazine’s 2014 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. From her 2011 VMAs performance while rocking the baby bump to the Super Bowl Halftime show in 2013 to the On the Run Tour she co-headlined with husband Jay-Z this past summer, Beyoncé has reigned unparalleled as a singerdancerperformerentertainer. Yes, that’s intentionally one word. She’s in a category all by herself.

Queen Bey had no trouble transitioning to a solo career after Destiny’s Child. Her résumé defies summarization: her list of achievements and awards is simply too extensive. Get lost in her Wikipedia page instead.

The music that made the cut for my ultimate Beyoncé compilation includes several crowd pleasers while leaving out a few of her bigger crowd-pleasers that speak more strongly to a female audience like “Single Ladies.”

“I Was Here” is a stark opening track, a serious, claim-my-territory song on which she proclaims quite clearly that she wants to leave her mark on the world. Mission accomplished, Beyoncé.

Three tracks made the cut from Beyoncé’s 2003 solo debut Dangerously In Love, including “Crazy In Love”, her follow-up to Jay-Z’s “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” and chapter two in the collaboration history of pop culture’s most-talked about superstar couple. As with Jay-Z’s compilation, some of the best tracks on this mix are the collaborations between the dynamic duo.

2006’s B’Day landed two tracks on the compilation, including the workout-friendly “Get Me Bodied.” In fact, any combination of tracks 2-15 makes for a great playlist at the gym or when going for a run.

Leading the way with five tracks on the album was her album 4, released in 2011, including “Love On Top”, which is my go-to song to remind myself what a key change is. I also get a kick out of “Countdown”, which has a little fun with double meanings as Beyoncé professes her affection for Jay-Z:

My baby is a ten
We dressin’ to the nine
He pick me up we eight
He make me feel so lucky seven
He kiss me in his six
We be makin’ love in five
Still the one I do this four
I’m trying to make us three
From the two
He’s still the one

But my favorite track from that album is the not-so-subtle love song, “1 + 1.” It’s emotionally raw and uncompromisingly blunt in its message. Her love for Jay-Z is her everything. I think everyone can relate to feeling or else wanting to feel love that passionately for another person.

Her 2013 album BEYONCÉ took the world by storm when it was released overnight without any warning that it was in the works. In addition to the feelgood anthem, “XO”, BEYONCÉ features the sultry “Yoncé / Partition”, the sensational “Drunk in Love” and the seductive “Rocket” which clearly targets a more mature audience.

As she proclaims on the 2013 single “Grown Woman”: “I’m a grown woman. I can do whatever I want.” As she celebrates her 33rd birthday today, this chart makes it pretty clear that yes, she most certainly can. If you’re looking for some birthday celebratory songs to listen to today, check out my tracklist below:

MM 30 at 30: Beyoncé tracklist (finalized June 26, 2014)
1. I Was Here
2. Ego (Remix) feat. Kanye West
3. Work It Out / 54-46 (That’s My Number) – Beyoncé vs. Ernest Ranglin mashup
4. XO
5. Countdown
6. Deja Vu feat. Jay-Z
7. Crazy In Love feat. Jay-Z
8. End of Time
9. Love On Top
10. Get Me Bodied
11. Naughty Girl
12. Drunk in Love feat. Jay-Z
13. Grown Woman
14. That’s How You Like It
15. Yoncé / Partition
16. Rocket
17. 1 + 1
18. Halo

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