While most of us hate seeing our bank balance on a Monday, Beyoncé will likely be beaming when she sees hers. On Saturday night, the singer went back on stage for the first time in more than four years to perform at the grand opening of Atlantis the Royal, a new luxury resort in Dubai.
A press release said that Beyonce was paid $35 million for a one-hour show that was seen by more than 1,000 people, including celebrities and “special guests.”
During the hour-long set, the singer sang 19 songs from her back catalogue, starting with a stirring version of At Last by Etta James. Her oldest daughter, Blue Ivy, who is 11 years old, joined her on stage for a live performance of Brown Skin Girl from Beyonce’s soundtrack for Disney’s 2019 remake of The Lion King.
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The show was kept secret, and only a small number of stars, including Kendall Jenner, Blank Panther star Letitia Wright, and Amir Khan, were able to get tickets. There were also a few Australian guests, like Rebel Wilson, Olympia Valance, and Sonia Kruger. Scott Cam was a name on that list as well.
Beyonce’s lavish return to the stage, which included fireworks, dance troupes, and multiple outfit changes, was, as expected, spectacular. However, it did raise some eyebrows because of the United Arab Emirates’ stance on homosexuality and the fact that the 41-year-old has long been seen as a champion for LGBTQ communities.
— Yesha (@YeshaCallahan) January 21, 2023
She won the Vanguard Award at the GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) Media Awards in 2019 for helping the LGBTQ community become more accepted. Her 2022 album, Renaissance, was praised as a love letter to the pioneers of black and queer dance music.
This makes it even stranger that Beyonce, who once said “LGBTQ rights are human rights,” would give an exclusive concert in the United Arab Emirates, where being gay is against the law and a crime that can get you killed.
enjoyed beyonce day in dubai 🤣🎉❤️ pic.twitter.com/KnxdKLXyP4
— Halle (@HalleBailey) January 22, 2023
Beyonce’s $35 million set didn’t have any songs from her most recent album, Renaissance, even though the lead single, “Break My Soul,” is her biggest and most well-known hit.
Beyonce’s big paycheck comes after a big fuss about the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and a rise in interest in the Middle East in the ambassadors-for-sale model.
Several prominent ex-footballers, like David Beckham and Australia’s Tim Cahill, faced backlash for taking ambassador roles for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in a country with a harsh stance on LGBTQ rights, a poor human rights record, and claims of maltreatment of migrant workers.
Beyoncé’s fans were quick to challenge her decision to play in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), pointing out that other musicians have canceled performances there and in Saudi Arabia due to the nation’s severe human rights violations… How do you feel about Beyonce’s performance in Dubai? Please share your thoughts in the area below.