Beyoncé Reveals the Incredible Reason Her ‘Single Ladies’ Video Is Black-and-White

Everyone remembers Beyoncé’s iconic 2008 music video for “Single Ladies.” The choreography! The leotards! The continuous shots, all filmed in black-and-white! It’s easily one of the best music videos ever made, and Bey offered some details about it in her new cover interview with Harper’s Bazaar. Turns out, there’s a specific reason Beyoncé chose to have the video made in black-and-white. 

“I remember being in a meeting discussing analytics, and I was told the research discovered that my fans did not like when my photography was black-and-white,” Bey told the magazine. “They told me I wouldn’t sell if it wasn’t in color. That was ridiculous. It pissed me off that an agency could dictate what my fans wanted based on a survey. Who did they ask? How is it possible to generalize people this much? Are these studies accurate? Are they fair? Are all the people I’m trying to uplift and shine a light on included? They’re not. It triggered me when I was told, ‘These studies show….’” 

She continued, “I was so exhausted and annoyed with these formulaic corporate companies that I based my whole next project off of black-and-white photography, including the videos for ‘Single Ladies’ and ‘If I Were a Boy,’ and all of the artwork by Peter Lindbergh for I Am…Sasha Fierce, which ended up being my biggest commercial success to date. I try to keep the human feeling and spirit and emotion in my decision making.” 

I’m sure that’s the last time anyone told Beyoncé how to create her music. And if you’re curious, yes, more is coming—soon. 

She shared with Bazaar, “With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. I’ve been in the studio for a year and a half. Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies. Still, there’s nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old. Yes, the music is coming!”

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