With a spectacular extravaganza, a Destiny’s Child reunion and duets with family, plus dozens of dancers and a marching band echoing those of historically black colleges and universities, music star Beyoncé on Saturday became the first woman of color to headline the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California.
“Y’all ready, Coachella?” the 22-time Grammy Award winner, 36, asked the cacophonous crowd as she took the stage. “Coachella, thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline,” she continued, as quoted by CNN, before launching into “Run the World (Girls).” The desert festival began in 1999.
Later in the nearly two-hour show, she strutted onto the stage flanked by her former Destiny’s Child bandmates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and together performed “Lose My Breath,” “Say My Name” and “Soldier.”
“My sisters!” Beyoncé told the crowd as their set concluded, according to an online video of the performance. “Please give it up for Kelly and Michelle!” she added, before telling her old cohorts, “I love y’all.” The R&B trio has occasionally reunited, including for a few numbers at the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show in February 2013, and in March 2015 at gospel music’s Stellar Awards, at which they performed Williams’ “Say Yes.”
Beyoncé also performed a high-energy dance-off with her singer sister Solange Knowles on “Get Me Bodied,” and sang “Déjà Vu” with her rapper-producer husband Jay-Z.
“YES #QUEEN @beyonce @solangeknowles DOING THE #NAOMICAMPBELLWALK” tweeted supermodel Naomi Campbell, who then added a hashtag with the nickname Beyoncé’s performance quickly inspired: “#BEYCHELLA.”
“I just saw the greatest show to ever happen,” rhapsodized Chance the Rapper on Twitter, later adding, “I saw it with my own two eyes. Beyonce is the greatest entertainer to ever live and the Queen of Music.”
Also tweeting was Rep. Sheila Jackson, the Texas congresswoman whose district includes Beyoncé’s hometown, writing, “Houston’s own @Beyonce is giving us the dream performance at the 2018 @coachella! I am very proud of the artist, entertainer, and global philanthropist Beyonce has become... @Beyonce giving us #HBCU [historically black colleges and universities] Vibes! Proud of her!”
Before her performance, Beyoncé posted on Facebook, “I am so excited to see the BeyHive tonight at Coachella. We have been working hard and have a special show planned for you so please be safe and stay hydrated. We need your energy! There will be an hour intermission before my performance, so mark your spot, charge your phones, grab your drinks. Can’t wait to see y’all at 11:05pm!”
She had been scheduled to headline last year while pregnant with twins Rumi and Sir, and had to cancel on doctor’s orders.
“I was supposed to perform at Coachella before, but I ended up getting pregnant,” she told the crowd, according to Rolling Stone magazine.
“So I had time to dream and dream and dream with two beautiful souls in my belly,” she said, “and I dreamed up this performance.”