By Multimedia Producer Wedaeli Chibelushi
As 'Break My Soul' scaled the world's charts, some filmed themselves voguing to the 90s house throwback, while others built comedy skits from the lyrics. A handful of these clips amalgamated for Beyoncé's debut TikTok, which has had a huge 26.7 million views already.
By capturing this generation, some of whom weren't yet born when she swept on to the scene in 1997, Beyoncé has demonstrated that rare, ageless appeal many artists crave.
In a bid to better understand the multi-Grammy award winner's 'secret sauce', ITV News heard from Beyoncé fans from Gen X, the millennial generation, and Gen Z.
Abena, 40-years-old, Gen X
Abena came across Beyoncé in the late 90s, when alongside Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett, the future megastar was making her name for herself as part of Destiny's Child
"I think I was in secondary school - they were the new, cool, hip girl band," Abena, from north London, says.
On turning 18, Abena found Destiny's Child were dominating not just the airwaves, but the dancefloor at clubs and parties.
"We could all vibe to them," she reminisces. "Tunes like 'No, No, No', with Wyclef Jean…they had really good beats from producers like Darkchild."
So, how does Beyoncé keep her Gen X fans, like Abena, while also drawing in new ones?
"She’s able to adapt and change, even with her new song, throwing it back to ['90s house]," Abena theorises.
She notes that, when west African genre Afrobeats started to go global, Beyoncé compiled 'The Gift', a soundtrack to the 2019 Lion King remake that featured hoards of artists from the continent.
Olivia Gregorian, 28-years-old, millennial
“It was crazy, we literally couldn’t believe it,” Olivia says, describing the moment she and her sisters discovered they were among the fans cherry-picked for Beyoncé's first TikTok.
The west London-based trio have racked up 270,000 followers with their dance routines, but for Olivia their 'Break My Soul' number is perhaps their crowning achievement.
As a little girl, Olivia was aware of Destiny's Child. However, it was only in 2003, when Beyoncé went solo with 'Crazy in Love' that Olivia clocked: “Oh my god, Beyoncé is like, a massive star".
Olivia, left, and her sisters in the video chosen for Beyoncé's first TikTok
Beyoncé has since amassed Grammy awards (the most among any female artist), Hollywood acting credits and a billionaire credential, but Olivia said millennials love Beyoncé for another reason.
"We’re that weird age group where we didn’t grow up with that much technology, but we had it when we were young enough, so we know what are doing with it," she explains.
"We remember Beyoncé from when things were a bit simpler. She’s moved with the times, the same as we have, but you can look back and think ‘remember Beyoncé back then’."
Xavier George, 21-years-old, Gen Z
By the time Xavier was born, Beyoncé had released three albums with Destiny's Child and was on the cusp of a solo career.
"I can remember as far back as eight-years-old, when I would see her on my TV, watching her 'Crazy In Love' music video and listening to her Sasha Fierce album on my way to a family gathering," Xavier, who's part of a Twitter group comprising fans from across the world, says.
The 21-year-old, from Indianapolis, US, cites Baby Boy, Get Me Bodied and Formation as his favourite Beyoncé songs, tunes released as early as 2003 and as late as 2016.
Although musicians in their early twenties, like Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X, are wildly popular with Gen Z, Xavier believes young consumers also respect experience.
"The most appealing thing about Beyoncé is her resilience to withstand time and reinvent herself," he says.
"She will always be relevant, even in my kids generation!"
'Renaissance', Beyoncé's seventh solo album, will be released on July 29. Her single 'Break My Soul' is out now.
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