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The Year in Urban 2014 — Beyonce Dominates


Eric McCandless/CBSNot one week went by in 2014 without Beyonce‘s name being featured in headlines, which is one of the reasons the entertainer topped TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list this year.

The singer kicked off her 2014 with a steamy performance of “Drunk in Love” at the 2014 Grammy Awards alongside her husband Jay Z.  The song was lifted from her self-titled visual album, which was later re-release and expanded with four remixes and two new songs.

One of the most unexpected highlights of the year came from an incident that the public was never supposed to see — the infamous elevator fight. Beyonce’s sister, Solange, was caught on surveillance video attacking Bey’s husband inside a New York City hotel elevator following a Met Gala after-party on May 5. Less than two weeks later, the trio assured the media that all was well with them. Five months later, Bey addressed the altercation in her Nicki Minaj-assisted “Flawless” remix: “Of course sometimes sh** go down when there’s a billion dollars on an elevator,” Bey sang.

Just days after the elevator incident, the couple moved forward and released a super-trailer titled “Run,” confirming reports they were set to go on their first joint tour together, dubbed On the Run. The pair filmed a fake movie trailer to promote the tour, starring several A-listers, including Don Cheadle, Sean Penn, Rashida Jones, and Jake Gyllenhaal.  The tour ultimately ranked among the highest-grossing treks of 2014.

Despite its popularity, though, divorce rumors followed the couple from city to city, reaching a boiling point just before they filmed their HBO concert special in Paris. Gossip sites and tabloids were the first to pick up on Beyonce’s notorious lyric change in her love-scorned song, “Resentment,” in which she implied that Jay cheated on her. She ad-libbed, “I know she was attractive, but I was here first/Been ridin’ with you for 12 years, why did I deserve to be treated this way by you?” However, Beyoncé subtly assured her Instagram followers that everything was just fine by posing happy family photos.  She and her husband reportedly renewed their wedding vows in October.  

Beyonce received some serious recognition in August: Jay Z called his wife “the greatest living entertainer” as he presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the 2014 VMAs, just moments after she performed a 16-minute medley of songs from her self-titled album. Though the diva looked gorgeous in a sequined leotard, her daughter Blue Ivy stole the show when cameras caught the toddler dancing along while sitting of Jay’s lap. 

Beyonce also brought the sexy this year: her sensual songs like “Haunted” and a reworked version of “Crazy in Love” were used to soundtrack Fifty Shades of Grey, the film adaptation of E. L. James’ bestselling erotic novel, which hits theaters Valentine’s Day of 2015. In addition, Bey expanded her brand by announcing a 50-50 partnership with retailer Topshop for a new line of athletic wear called Parkwood Topshop Athletic Ltd. The singer also scored an exhibit inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, which featured her most iconic outfits.

Queen Bey concluded the year by gifting fans with the unexpected music video for “7/11,” in which Bey parties with girlfriends and alcohol inside a hotel room. The video was such a viral sensation that it accumulated more than 10 million views in 48 hours. Three days later, she released Beyoncé: The Platinum Edition, featuring two new tracks, four remixes and 10 live performances. In December, she also released an emotionally-charged retrospective film in honor of the one-year anniversary of her self-titled album. The 11-minute video, entitled “Yours and Mine,” features the singer reflecting on feminism, fame, marriage and pursuing her passions.

2015 will see Bey competing with British singer Sam Smith during the 2015 Grammy Awards: both artists have received six nominations, including Album of the Year. Beyoncé has become the most Grammy-nominated female in history, with 47 nods in total.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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