It was the hottest single of 2000s. Its video made Kanye West the most hated man in America.
Though, at first, it seemed just a catchy pop song, Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)” turned out to be so much more. From the single ladies of America who could relate to its message of female empowerment to the folks who turned its black and white video into a You Tube phenomenon, “Single Ladies” was more than a hit single from a popular artist. It was a pop culture phenomenon.
Beyonce was already big, of course. Her third CD, 2008’s “I Am … Sasha Fierce,” was a double CD set that introduced her alter ego. “Single Ladies” and “If I Were a Boy” (a video for which was also shot in black and white) were the first double-sided single from the CD. If the label expected “If I Were A Boy” to be the hit, they were dead wrong.
It may have been a combination of Beyonce’s then-recent marriage, which co-writer The-Dream said influenced “Single Ladies.” It may have been the retro video based on dancer/choreographer Bob Fosse’s 1969 “Mexican Breakfast.” Mexican Breakfast.” Or it could have been the song’s catchy hook, on which Beyonce decried and dismissed non-committal men who wouldn’t put a ring on their girl’s finger.
Whatever the magic, not only did the song – written by Christopher “Tricky” Stewart, Thaddus “Kuk” Harrell, Knowles and Terius “The-Dream” Nash – run up the charts; it sparked a YouTube revolution. The “Single Ladies” video is a no-frills, no-backgroud clip, with Bey and two able dancers performing in black leotards and high heels, yet it’s become one of her most popular videos ever. As the song rose in popularity, thousands of fans took it upon themselves to create videos with their own versions of the choreography. Their YouTube video responses went viral, and the many versions of the song only pushed the original further up the charts. Beyonce appeared on “Saturday Night Live” to parody the video herself, with Justin Timberlake hilariously playing one of the video’s background dancers.
CLICK HERE to view “Single Ladies” video.
The accolades for “Single Ladies” were many. Rolling Stone named it the year’s top song, and Beyonce won three Grammys for it at the 2009 Awards. It went number-one in the U.S. Billboard charts and sold over 6 million copies.
When Beyonce lost the MTV Video Award for Best Female Video to Taylor Swift in 2009, a reportedly drunk West infamously jumped on stage before Swift could accept the award to proclaim Beyonce’s video the year’s best. He became a pariah in the media afterwards, while. for her part, Beyonce appeared shocked, and when she came onstage to accept the award for Video of the Year for “Single Ladies,” she graciously asked Swift to came and claim her time in the spotlight.
“Single Ladies” may be the first song and video of the Internet age – one that was a perfect storm of performer, video, timing and song. It stands out still as the most impactful video of the 2000s, a decade ruled by Beyonce and her husband, Jay-Z.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
1 of 25
2 of 25
3 of 25
4 of 25
5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
5 of 25
6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
6 of 25
7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
7 of 25
8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
8 of 25
9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
9 of 25
10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
10 of 25
11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
11 of 25
12. Late nights mornings
12 of 25
13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
13 of 25
14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
14 of 25
15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
15 of 25
16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
16 of 25
17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
17 of 25
18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
18 of 25
19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
19 of 25
20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
20 of 25
21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
21 of 25
22. Claudia Jordan: ....
22 of 25
23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
23 of 25
24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
24 of 25
25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
25 of 25