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Everything to Know About Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour

Atlantis The Royal Grand Reveal Weekend 2023 - Beyonce Performance

B eyoncé’s fans have been waiting for this day: the pop megastar finally announced that she will embark on the long-awaited Renaissance World Tour. She uploaded a post to Instagram early Wednesday morning with the caption: “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR 2023,” and her official website has been updated to show the tour dates. The tour starts in May in Sweden and will hit Belgium, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Poland, before she makes her way to North America. The first date stateside will be in Philadelphia, Pa., in July and the tour will hit the major U.S. cities before wrapping up in New Orleans, La., on Sept. 27.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce)

Following the release of her seventh album, Renaissance , in July, fans have been itching for a tour announcement, in addition to music videos to accompany the songs. Beyoncé’s last solo tour was the Formation World Tour back in 2016 to support her sixth album, Lemonade . Following that, she went on the On The Run Tour with her husband, Jay-Z, in 2018 after releasing their joint project, Everything Is Love . The announcement of a new tour just before the Grammy Awards on Sunday raises suspicion that Beyoncé might be performing or, at the very least, attending the night’s festivities.

The singer is nominated for nine Grammys at this year’s awards ceremony, which are set to take place on Feb. 5 in Los Angeles. This year, she is up against Adele for multiple awards, including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year. There has been speculation about whether or not Beyoncé would be performing ever since the nominations were announced. The last time fans saw her perform on a major televised stage was at last year’s Oscars ceremony, where she performed “Be Alive” from the King Richard movie for the first time.

Read More: 6 Takeaways from Beyoncé’s New Album Renaissance

Beyoncé most recently took the stage for a private concert at the opening of the Atlantis The Royal resort in Dubai in January. However, she did not perform any songs from Renaissance . Also, given that Beyoncé unveiled the album’s title on Instagram as “act [one],” her dedicated fanbase has been busy theorizing what acts two and three might be. Some have hypothesized that the tour would be act two and then a concert movie would be act three. Others have ventured to guess that this is a three-part album and that Renaissance was just the beginning.

Tickets for the concert will not be an easy get if Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour is any indication. Beyoncé’s fans can click on the date they would like to attend to register for Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan program and will then have to wait to see if they are given an access code to purchase tickets to the event. With Verified Fan and the “unexpected” traffic the pre-sale brought to the site, many Swifties likened the ticket-buying process to a warzone. The disastrous rollout drew ire from Swift’s fans and political officials alike. After the ticketing fiasco, the Senate held a hearing to look into whether Live Nation and Ticketmaster have a monopoly over the ticketing industry. This, coupled with the technical problems that Swift fans faced, have Beyoncé fans worrying that finding their way to an actual concert will be nothing short of an ordeal.

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Beyoncé Announces Her Renaissance World Tour 2023: All We Know

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Beyoncé kicked off Black History Month with the announcement the world has been waiting months for: Her Renaissance World Tour is happening, this year. Bey unveiled the news with a simple Instagram post: “RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR 2023.” She did not immediately provide more information, but more is obviously coming.

So, what is known so far about her tour? What can the world expect? Here, we've gathered everything released so far.

When is the Renaissance World Tour happening?

  • May 10: Stockholm, Sweden @ Friends Arena
  • May 14: Brussels, Belgium @ King Baudouin Stadium
  • May 17: Cardiff, Wales, U.K. @ Cardiff Principality Stadium
  • May 20: Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K. @ BT Murrayfield Stadium
  • May 23: Sunderland, U.K. @ Stadium of Light
  • May 26: Paris, France @ Stade de France
  • May 29: London, U.K. @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • May 30: London, U.K. @ Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
  • June 8: Barcelona, Spain @ Olympic Stadium
  • June 11: Marseille, France @ Orange Vélodrome
  • June 15: Cologne, Germany @ Rhein Energie Stadion
  • June 17: Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Johan Cruijff Arena
  • June 21: Hamburg, Germany @ Volksparkstadion
  • June 24: Frankfurt, Germany @ Deutsche Bank Park
  • June 27: Warsaw, Poland @ PGE Narodowy
  • July 8: Toronto, Canada @ Rogers Centre
  • July 12: Philadelphia, PA @ Lincoln Financial Field
  • July 15: Nashville, TN @ Nissan Stadium
  • July 17: Louisville, KY @ L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium
  • July 20: Minneapolis, MN @ Huntington Bank Stadium
  • July 22: Chicago, IL @ Soldier Field Stadium
  • July 26: Detroit, MI @ Ford Field
  • July 29: East Rutherford, NJ @ MetLife Stadium
  • August 1: Boston, MA @ Gillette Stadium
  • August 3: Pittsburgh, PA @ Acrisure Stadium
  • August 5: Washington, DC @ FedEx Field
  • August 9: Charlotte, NC @ Bank of America Stadium
  • August 11: Atlanta, GA @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium
  • August 16: Tampa, FL @ Raymond James Stadium
  • August 18: Miami, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium
  • August 21: St. Louis, MO @ Dome at America's Center
  • August 24: Phoenix, AZ @ State Farm Stadium
  • August 26: Las Vegas, NV @ Allegiant Stadium
  • August 30, San Francisco, CA @ Levi’s Stadium
  • September 2: Inglewood, CA @ SoFi Stadium
  • September 11: Vancouver, BC @ BC Place
  • September 13: Seattle, WA @ Lumen Field
  • September 18: Kansas City, MO @ Arrowhead Stadium
  • September 21: Dallas, TX @ AT&T Stadium
  • September 23: Houston, TX @ NRG Stadium
  • September 27: New Orleans, LA @ Caesars Superdome

Where can you get tickets?

Tickets for the North American leg of the tour will be available through Ticketmaster's Verified Fan program. Tickets will go on sale Monday, Feb 6, with an exclusive presale to BeyHive members, according to a Live Nation press release.

Verified Fan registration is now open. Once you register, you'll be placed in a lottery system that determines which fans get invited to purchase tickets. Registration alone doesn't guarantee tickets. If you're selected, you'll get an access code the day before tickets go on sale. Everyone else will be placed on a waitlist. According to Live Nation, this process is intended to help Ticketmaster weed out the resellers and verify your account so that actual fans get priority to buy tickets.

Citi cardmembers will have a special Citi Presale after the Verified Fan process. Get more details here . Verizon will also offer an exclusive presale through their customer loyalty program Verizon Up .

Will Beyoncé be using Ticketmaster like Taylor Swift to sell tickets?

Yes, but given what happened with Taylor Swift's Eras tour (and the fact it led to Congressional hearings about Ticketmaster ’s practices), it seems very likely both Beyoncé and Ticketmaster would want to avoid repeating that mess. That most likely explains the usage of the Verified Fan system.

Where will Beyoncé be playing?

The Renaissance World Tour will hit 40 cities in North America and across Europe. Stops include Paris, London, Amsterdam, Toronto, Chicago, East Rutherford, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Houston, and many more.

What has Beyoncé said about the Renaissance World Tour?

She just announced it was happening with a post on February 1. Her website didn't immediately contain any more details. But during the Wearable Art Gala in October 2022, she appeared to confirm it would start this summer, as a backstage tour with her mother Tina Lawson was up for auction at the event.

Will Beyoncé be performing at the Grammys (on February 5) and sharing more tour details there?

Not clear yet, but she is the most nominated artist at the ceremony . On January 21, Variety reported that “ talks with show producers are ongoing for a possible onstage appearance ” by Beyoncé.

What can we expect from the tour on stage?

Beyoncé hasn't shared that yet either, but given the artistry she put into her recent Dubai show , it's fair to say we can expect no less than excellence, elaborate costumes, and an incredible experience.

This post will be updated the moment more detail is released.

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Beyoncé performs during the opening night of the Renaissance World Tour on 10 May at Friends Arena in Stockholm, Sweden

Beyoncé: Renaissance World Tour review – a dizzying three-hour spectacular

Friends Arena, Stockholm Queen Bey’s first solo headline tour in seven years is a lavish leap forward for live entertainment, dripping with sci-fi disco decadence, sex and Black pride

E ven without Taylor Swift’s Ticketmaster-melting Eras Tour nipping at her heels, it wouldn’t do for a star as compulsively ambitious as Beyoncé to merely protect her status as the greatest pop show on Earth. Not when her first solo headline tour since 2016 could instead push 21st-century live entertainment another lavish leap forward.

Titled after the Texan’s disco glitter bomb post-pandemic party album of the same name , Renaissance is a monster blockbuster concert experience on a different plane. Fifty-seven stadium dates globally, starting in Stockholm, are projected to gross as much as £1.9bn ($2.4bn) by the time the tour ends in New Orleans late September. Dripping with sci-fi disco decadence, sex, body positivity and feminine Black pride, the near three-hour spectacular plays out in front, behind and, at times, inside a football-pitch-wide high-definition video screen designed to assault the senses at dizzying scale.

The BeyHive, as Beyoncé’s fans collectively style themselves, are buzzing pre-show as they flood into the venue from around the world for their first chance proper to see their queen live since 2018’s On the Run II co-headliner with Mr B, Jay-Z. Dressed head to toe in official tour merch, including a cap and hoodie both emblazoned with the word “THIQUE”, Mykwain Gainey has been to 20 Beyoncé shows over the past two decades and has spent nearly £2,000 to fly here from New York. “To see her transcend, and become what she has become, especially as a Black woman, is exciting,” he enthuses.

Beyoncé in Stockholm on Wednesday. With many of the show’s 36 songs abridged, the tempo was relentless.

Brazilian Yhes Bezerra wears a spangly cowboy hat like the one sported by Beyoncé in the tour poster, except theirs is homemade; sticking on the thousands of tiny mirror panels took nine hours. They were determined to come to the opening night to avoid social media spoilers about what to expect. “I want everything to be a surprise,” Bezerra smiles.

Beyoncé appears first in a video cut scene, laid out luxuriously across the giant screen semi-naked in dimensions big enough to be visible from space. And yet, once she emerges in the flesh – all sequins, shoulder pads and that megawatt smile, drinking in the crowd’s screams – she begins disarmingly with a slew of her rawest soul songs. By the second, Flaws and All, she already appears to be fighting back tears, whether of release or gratitude or both. It’s an opening that seems designed to strip away artifice, if only to provide some sharp contrast for the heavily technologically augmented spectacle about to follow.

Harking back to early house and techno and the ecstatic utopia of the dancefloor, a segment dedicated to the Renaissance album ensues with Beyoncé done up something akin to the Maschinenmensch in Metropolis. She grinds with a dozen backing dancers to the jittery reggaeton of her boss bitch mission statement I’m That Girl, then dances with some actual robots (a pair of mechanical arms) during Cosy. Were all that not semi-hallucinogenic enough, Alien Superstar interpolates narcissistic anthem I’m Too Sexy by 90s dance-pop twosome Right Said Fred.

Beyoncé performing on Wednesday

With many of the setlist’s whopping 36 songs abridged, the tempo is relentless. Blink and you’ll miss dancers popping out of the stage like champagne corks, or Beyoncé’s powerhouse band getting wheeled into occasional view on a tall stepped riser (shades of Beychella), such as during Chic-style feelgood funk workout Cuff It. “Y’all having a good time, Stockholm?” our host inquires, wiping an imperceptible bead of sweat from her brow. “Me too.”

Black Parade finds Beyoncé cruising the stage atop what looks like a kind of lunar rover. Somewhat comically, it exits up the gusset of a pair of massive splayed legs. Later she sings Plastic Off the Sofa stretched out in a clamshell. Come Crazy in Love, the show finally gets the enormous disco ball it seems to have long craved, dangled from the rafters for only a bit longer than the time it takes for the crew to get it up there and back down.

Bass-quaking, envelope-pushing Black power anthem Formation is a powerful political statement in any setting. Performed in a kind of virtual cathedral, horny southern rap and gospel cocktail Church Girl (sample lyric: “drop it like a thottie, drop it like a thottie”) might just be intended to provoke. But by Beyoncé’s own standards, it’s hard not to read Renaissance as a show much lighter on overt socio-political messaging than it is sheer, unfettered, mildly chaotic indulgence. And who could blame her?

In a final, unsubtle, retro-futuristic fanfare, Bey summons Bianca Jagger’s iconic Studio 54 moment by gliding through the air on a glitter-encrusted white horse while Summer Renaissance – which samples Donna Summer’s I Feel Love – blares. The disco history references may or may not be landing with the mostly young BeyHive, but that’s not really the point. By rewiring dance music past in a sensory overload of truly stunning ambition and stamina, Beyoncé is writing some history of her own.

The Renaissance World Tour continues until 27 September, see https://tour.beyonce.com/ for dates

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Beyoncé's 'renaissance' tour remixes her archive for an intergalactic future.

Bilal Qureshi

beyonce renaissance tour full show

In a concert that spans almost three hours, featuring robots, tanks, flying horses and maximalist filmmaking, Beyoncé remixed and embedded the entire 16-track Renaissance album into her full musical archive. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Parkwood hide caption

In a concert that spans almost three hours, featuring robots, tanks, flying horses and maximalist filmmaking, Beyoncé remixed and embedded the entire 16-track Renaissance album into her full musical archive.

After almost a year of releasing no accompanying videos or performing any of its songs live, last night in Stockholm, Beyoncé finally unveiled what she meant by Renaissance . Not simply a masterpiece of production, vocal and dance futurism, the album was finally unveiled as a multi-dimensional planet in which fans are to be immersed and fully transformed as she has been. In a concert that spans almost three hours — featuring robots, tanks, flying horses and maximalist filmmaking — Beyoncé remixed and embedded the entire 16-track Renaissance album into her full musical archive, crafting a 37-song setlist that brilliantly merges the earthly R&B from where she came and the intergalactic future in which she and her music have already been living.

Stockholm wasn't quite prepared for the pop culture spectacle that descended on the city last night, with fans, industry insiders and critics flying in from all over the world to witness the opening night performance. Public transportation to the city's 60,000 capacity soccer stadium was snarled and the lines to enter the arena equally exhausting. But the anticipation was palpable as the lights finally dimmed to restart an ambient recording of thundering clouds after what may have been a technical glitch.

On the massive film screen that spans the entire stage, clouds began to float across blue skies as Beyoncé, dressed in an Alexander McQueen suit, rose from below at the show's start. Anyone expecting a night at the club got their first surprise here. Instead of the slithering sounds and hard edges of Renaissance 's house-infused opening, it was vintage, R&B Beyoncé: the title song from her debut 2003 album Dangerously in Love . Opening with the warmly intoned lyrics, "I love you," she welcomed the audience with a huge smile and a series of exquisite ballads, including her cover of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" and the lush longing of "1+1" from her 2011 album 4 .

Then she departed the stage, and the technical wizardry and cinematic imagery made it immediately evident that the preceding setlist of analog, undiluted performances was proof that a nostalgic past is prelude. Right before the lush electronic soundscapes of the new album's opening and the words "these motherf****** ain't stopping me," the title Renaissance appeared in glittering silver across the entire span of the screen followed by an IMAX-scale montage of intergalactic travel, hyperspeed portals and a filmed Beyoncé in robotic shields marching toward the audience. "Come with me through my portal to the House of Chrome," she said, "where I'm reborn." The visual landscapes of space and chrome referenced a combination of Fritz Lang's Metropolis , Tron , The Matrix , Ex Machina and even Michael and Janet Jackson's video for "Scream."

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There was, of course, also: fierce dancing, ballroom showdowns and the vocal brilliance featured in the album's sexually uninhibited ode to Black queer culture grounded in '70s and '80s dance genres like house and disco. But the Beyoncé on stage and screen here presented herself as an artist flying across time and space. When it seemed Renaissance would be played in full without skips — the album is so impeccably sequenced — the setlist swerves and surprises, with samples of Britney Spears' "Toxic," Madonna's "Vogue" and of course Beyoncé's own extraordinary catalog remixed to euphoric reactions. The bass drops of "Yoncé," from the self-titled fifth album, transition into the orchestral drum lines of "Family Feud" with Jay-Z before elevating the audience into "Church Girl" from Renaissance . Just as her on-stage character here has moved through a portal to be rebooted as a chrome Athena riding rockets across time, Beyoncé the musician was uploading, updating and renewing her artistic past in real-time before the audience. Each of her albums becomes part of the Renaissance , and songs from each are threaded, integrated and brought into the future with her.

There are also odes to previous visual signatures. Where the album interpolates, samples and credits countless pioneers of dance and queer culture, the reference library for the Renaissance tour is herself. The wide-brimmed Southern hats of "Formation" become chrome discs from outer space in this era, and the sultry choreography from "Partition" is performed on what is quite literally a silver tank that drives onto the stage ramp extending into the stadium's "Club Renaissance" section of the audience. The spirit of the show is regeneration and revival, a display of extraordinary confidence. Functioning robotic arms also constantly dressing, re-assembling and rebooting Beyoncé between the show's chapter breaks to underscore the constant sense of movement and hyperspeed updates.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

Beyoncé in a gold bodysuit by the luxury brand Loewe. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Parkwood hide caption

Beyoncé in a gold bodysuit by the luxury brand Loewe.

The fashion industry's inevitable metabolism, dissection and celebration of what she and her team have achieved here is bound to be one of the tour's greatest triumphs. Fashion is intricately woven into the show's narrative, as is Beyoncé's physicality and undeniable sensuality. As the show shifts from deep house into the album's lush, R&B center — "Plastic Off the Sofa," "Virgo's Groove" — Beyoncé emerges in a literal shell on a bed of silver cushions, wearing a gold bodysuit by the luxury brand Loewe, covered in images of black arms and hands. She, too, is wearing long black gloves with red nails that extend the images across her body, and different versions of that same gold suit are worn by her dancers. As the mood shifts from the intergalactic to the bedroom, the language of assembly, embrace and touch continues in more human, Earthly forms.

When I first heard the album, I wondered how such a layered album of soundscapes would sound as a live experience. As is to be expected, seamless and possible delivered by Beyoncé in live, human form. In the vocal pyrotechnics of the most challenging sections of songs like "Heated" and "Virgo's Groove," Beyoncé embodies the superpowered musical machine the tour imagery presents, capable of tangible feats of excellence. With the show's breathless momentum and expansive ambitions, at one point even Beyoncé joked to say, "so many songs, but I'm giving you them all." And it certainly felt like she did.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

At the first stop of her "Renaissance" tour in Stockholm, the pop star's visual landscape referenced a combination of Fritz Lang's Metropolis , Tron , The Matrix and more. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Parkwood hide caption

At the first stop of her "Renaissance" tour in Stockholm, the pop star's visual landscape referenced a combination of Fritz Lang's Metropolis , Tron , The Matrix and more.

It wasn't long after the performance that all the images, videos and commentariat from the show flooded social media. After the drought, a feast has arrived. Even the internet demands since last July to "release the visuals" are hilariously referenced in the ballroom narration of the show. But if I could make one recommendation to anyone fortunate enough to be attending one of the upcoming dates in Europe and North America, there is value in retaining a visual blackout. Nothing on phone screens can compare to the immersive three-dimensions of design, music, fashion and storytelling Beyoncé has crafted. The Renaissance only occurs in her now globally traveling court — a cyborg palace of metallics and lavish textiles of sound that must be experienced in person. The show is a triumph of live performance and designed for ticketed admission.

Throughout the show, I was curious about one aspect of the album in particular — "Reneigh," as fans have named Beyoncé's glittering, disco ball-mirrored steed from the album's cover. How and when would the horse finally make its appearance? As the show reached its conclusion, Beyoncé came back center stage astride Reneigh. As her guards and technicians braced them each to a harness waiting above, the platform gradually rose into the crowd and Beyoncé rode Reneigh above the crowd as she sang "Summer Renaissance." It took me walking around Stockholm earlier in the day — amid all its medieval equine statuary of dead European kings — to finally unlock the meaning of Reneigh and the album's title. The future belongs to an American monarch and the gates to her undeniable renaissance have finally opened.

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Here’s Everything That Happened During Beyoncé’s Once-in-a-Lifetime ‘Renaissance’ Tour Opener

By Brittany Spanos

Brittany Spanos

The moment Beyoncé fans have been impatiently waiting for finally arrived on Wednesday: The superstar kicked off her highly anticipated Renaissance World Tour in Sweden , filling up Stockholm’s 50,000-seat Friends Arena with excited spectators, many who had flown from all corners of the world to witness the surprises what Beyoncé had in store. Hundreds of thousands more people at home scrambled to find livestreams on TikTok and Instagram and watch the event for themselves.

The show had a twist start: Instead of throwing a Studio 54-esque party right off the bat, Yoncé arrived on stage in a gold suit with her band, a giant, heavenly cloud scene on the stage-wide screen behind her. She sang “Dangerously in Love,” a song she hasn’t performed live since 2009, and a ballad. It was like she was her own opening act (there were no other opening acts, for the record), showing off her vocals effortlessly through a handful of songs she doesn’t sing often: “Flaws and All,” “1+1” and “I Care.” She even tossed in a cover of Mary J. Blige’s “I’m Goin’ Down,” to boot. She was chatty and joyful the whole time, shedding the type of icy diva-stare she owns during most shows.

Beyoncé covering “I’m Going Down” by Mary J. Blige at the #RWT2022 . My life is finally complete! #RenaissanceWorldTour pic.twitter.com/dsCPTGx092 — 🥂 (@afroesthetic) May 10, 2023

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In between stage settings, fans got to see some long-awaited visuals, which included mix of new material and old footage from her past videos, often as megamixes of her songs played over them. She perfectly broke up Renaissance — and played the album in full, as many had hoped — creating mini-worlds around them. During the Opulence portion, she performed atop a mechanical structure that seemed to take the place of a bull or horse for her verse from Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage Remix.” The structure then carried Bey through a pair of robot legs as she prepared for the next section. Later, she performed “Plastic Off the Sofa” from a giant shell and wore a bee costume while delivering the news on KNTY TV.

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Beyoncé’ has always included artfully done covers of other people’s songs in her sets but this time she did so as mash-ups and interludes: Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright,” Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” “Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” and Nina Sky’s “Move Ya Body” could be heard, among them. Her back-up singers even did a fantastic take on Diana Ross’ “Love Hangover” during one of the transitions between acts.

The finale was a showstopper. She flew from the stage atop the disco horse seen on the album cover for “Summer Renaissance” and gave thanks to the audience, dancers and band from a harness that carried her off the horse. It was a mystical end to a once-in-a-lifetime show from one of pop’s greatest live performers.

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Beyoncé's Renaissance Tour costumes as books: What to read with Beyoncé on the brain

beyonce renaissance tour full show

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Beyoncé’s epic Renaissance World Tour is here, and we're smitten.

In a review of Beyoncé's American tour opener in Philadelphia, USA TODAY's music critic Melissa Ruggieri wrote, "Beyoncé is an unstoppable force of precise movement and vocal dynamics, a superstar who, two months shy of turning 42 and in the where-did-the-time-go third decade of her career, has raised – and cleared – her own ambitious bar yet again."

One crucial ingredient to the tour's impact? The costumes. During her three-hour set, Beyoncé’s wardrobe is striking, full of gorgeous, custom-made piece by top designers. Her looks are so instantly iconic, we had to pair them with equally striking book covers that match the vibe.

Here's what to read when you've got Beyoncé on the brain.

Check out: USA TODAY's weekly Best-selling Booklist

See photos: Beyoncé's eye-popping outfits on the Renaissance World Tour

'All of Our Demise,' by Amanda Foody and C.L. Herman

This show-stopping Loewe catsuit reminds us so much of the cover of “All of Our Demise,” the second in the “All of Us Villains” duology (and check out the red nails on the catsuit). This YA fantasy series is like if "The Hunger Games" had dark magic with some very rich, pretentious kids fighting against each other for their family’s right to control all the magic in their city. If you like morally gray characters and messy teen romances, you have to check this series out.

  • "All of Our Demise" at Amazon for $10
  • "All of Our Demise" at Bookshop for $18

'All Systems Red,' by Martha Wells

We love the futuristic metallics on this tour and how they embody some of our favorite science fiction covers. This bodysuit pairs perfectly with “All Systems Red,” the first of Wells’ novellas in her Murderbot Diaries series, which follows a self-aware security android given to a planetary exploration team in a corporate-dominated future. This series has swept the science fiction scene and its seventh installment, “System Collapse,” comes out Nov. 14. 

  • "All Systems Red" at Amazon for $17
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Beyoncé Renaissance tour 2023 set list: Full list of all songs in her nearly 3-hour show

'Silver Nitrate,' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This custom Off-White red suit is such a powerful statement piece and grabs your attention, just like the cover for Moreno-Garcia’s latest release, “Silver Nitrate.” The author of the bestselling book “Mexican Gothic” writes some of our favorite modern genre-benders. “Silver Nitrate,” set in Mexico City in the 1990s, is a dark thriller/horror following a sound editor and a faded soap opera star unraveling a decades-old curse on a lost film.

  • "Silver Nitrate" at Amazon for $23
  • "Silver Nitrate" at Bookshop for $26

'The Fragile Threads of Power,' by V.E. Schwab

This stunning custom dress by Roksanda has a floating skirt with matching gloves for an ethereal yet structured look, and it could not be a better fit for “The Fragile Threads of Power.” Schwab returns to the world of “A Darker Shade of Magic” with familiar friends and new enemies in a tale of alternate Londons in a magical feud with one another. We are obsessed with the original Shades of Magic trilogy and can’t wait to go back to Schwab’s London when the book releases Sept. 26. 

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'Beholder,' by Ryan La Sala

This holographic mini-dress by David Koma is such an eye-catching look, as is the cover of La Sala's "Beholder." This upcoming YA horror is about aesthetics and supernatural conspiracy, following a teen art handler who can rewind the reflections in any mirror, allowing him to look into its recent past. This book is a wild ride that incorporating several genres, and we know it's going to be a hit when it comes out Oct. 3.

  • "Beholder" at Amazon for $19
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'Forging a Nightmare,' by Patricia A. Jackson

This Del Core ensemble with a matching cape and boots atop a crystal horse is one of Beyoncé’s most dramatic looks of the Renaissance tour and it pairs perfectly with the epic cover of Jackson’s “Forging a Nightmare.” This is an adult urban fantasy mystery following an FBI detective who must solve a series of murders in New York City, and it puts a new spin on the four horsemen of the apocalypse –– what a ride!

  • "Forging a Nightmare" at Amazon for $11
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'The Bees,' by Laline Paull

Donning a custom, standout bee costume by Mugler, Beyoncé pays homage to her fandom, the Beyhive. So naturally, we had to pair this look with Paull’s “The Bees,” a fantasy dystopia about the court politics and inner workings of a bee hive told from the perspective of a lowly sanitation bee. Pitched as “The Handmaid’s Tale” meets “The Hunger Games,” this book has gorgeous prose and compelling drama. If you’re in the hive, this book is worth the buzz. 

  • "The Bees" at Amazon for $15
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AMC Theatres CEO says ‘Renaissance’ leak nearly tanked Beyoncé deal

Beyoncé smiles and strikes a pose onstage while wearing a beaded white bodysuit and white cat-eye sunglasses.

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The rollout for Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” movie was not so flawless, according the head of AMC Theatres, which distributed the concert film.

Adam Aron, chief executive of the nation’s largest theater chain , told Variety in an interview published last week that the company’s distribution deal with the musician nearly fell through after news of the project leaked.

“Beyoncé was seriously thinking about not doing the movie at all because the secret was blown,” Aron said.

En esta imagen proporcionada por Parkwood Entertainment el arte promocional de "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé". (Parkwood Entertainment vía AP)

Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ reigns at the box office. The year of the concert film continues

‘Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé’ took home the top spot at this weekend’s box office, becoming the second concert film to do so in the last two months.

Dec. 3, 2023

The revelation came several months after “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” opened in wide release on the heels of Taylor Swift and AMC’s wildly successful “Eras Tour” concert film.

According to Aron, AMC went to great lengths to keep the “Eras Tour” movie under wraps — a clandestine move that gave the company a ticket sales advantage and reportedly irked other theater chains.

In an effort to smooth things over with industry peers, AMC decided to handle the “Renaissance” launch a little differently — giving fellow exhibitors a quiet, early heads-up about the picture to level the playing field.

“At least half a dozen movie circuits leaked the news,” Aron told Variety. “So, they didn’t keep their word.”

Ariana Grande wears a pink flower dress, holds hands and locks eyes with Cynthia Erivo, who wears a green and silver dress.

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Representatives for AMC and Beyoncé did not immediately respond to The Times’ requests for comment.

“Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé” — which features dazzling footage from the singer’s blockbuster world tour — hit theaters Dec. 1 and grossed $44 million at the global box office. It was only the second title released by AMC, which previously operated exclusively as an exhibitor.

Following the success of “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” — which pulled in $261.7 million worldwide — AMC plans to distribute “two to three” concert films per year, Aron told Variety. Theater owners are increasingly turning to alternative programming , such as live music and sports, in hopes of increasing attendance in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown.

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En esta imagen proporcionada por Parkwood Entertainment el arte promocional de "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé". (Parkwood Entertainment vía AP)

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The AMC The Grove theatre marquee is pictured ahead of the "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" concert movie world premiere in Los Angeles, California on October 11, 2023. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP) (Photo by VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

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The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.

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Christi Carras reports on the entertainment industry for the Los Angeles Times. She previously covered entertainment news for The Times after graduating from UCLA and working at Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and CNN Newsource.

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It's Queen Bey: Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Tour Movie Hits Theaters With 100% Rotten Tomatoes Score

Posted: March 27, 2024 | Last updated: March 27, 2024

<p>“I’m really excited for everyone to see the process,” she expressed in the film.</p>

In her concert film, Beyoncé described her recent Renaissance World Tour as being run like a machine, where she played a hands-on role in every production aspect, from lighting to set design. This superstar singer’s dedication to excellence drove her to work tirelessly for nearly 50 consecutive days, all in pursuit of crafting an extraordinary concert experience. These insights are vividly captured in her film, “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé,” a project for which she assumed the roles of writer, director, and producer.

Unlike her past decade of privacy and rare interviews, this film offers a unique peek into Beyoncé’s world. She released the nearly three-hour “Renaissance” movie through AMC Theaters, following a similar approach to Taylor Swift’s recent concert film success. However, Beyoncé diverged by delving deeper into her personal life, providing viewers with a more intimate understanding of her journey.

“I’m really excited for everyone to see the process,” she expressed in the film.

<p>Beyoncé opens up about the challenges she faced in striving to achieve her ambitious tour goals and her feelings of not being heard, partly due to her identity as a Black woman. Despite the obstacles, the tour ultimately grossed around $500 million, according to Billboard. She candidly discusses her knee surgery, which necessitated rehabilitation just a month before her first show in Stockholm.</p><p>Yet, Beyoncé emphasizes that she’s “not a machine.” Despite her physical and emotional challenges, she not only showed up but performed at an exceptionally high level, a standard she expected of herself and those who shared her commitment to making each show a success.</p>

Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Tour Movie Hits Theaters

Beyoncé opens up about the challenges she faced in striving to achieve her ambitious tour goals and her feelings of not being heard, partly due to her identity as a Black woman. Despite the obstacles, the tour ultimately grossed around $500 million, according to Billboard. She candidly discusses her knee surgery, which necessitated rehabilitation just a month before her first show in Stockholm.

Yet, Beyoncé emphasizes that she’s “not a machine.” Despite her physical and emotional challenges, she not only showed up but performed at an exceptionally high level, a standard she expected of herself and those who shared her commitment to making each show a success.

<p>The film also highlights some notable guest appearances during Beyoncé’s performances, including Megan Thee Stallion in Houston, Kendrick Lamar in Los Angeles, and Diana Ross, who serenaded Beyoncé for her 42nd birthday. However, the standout moment came from Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, who became a background dancer despite initial reservations from her mother.</p><p>“She told me she was ready to perform, and I told her no,” Beyoncé revealed in the film. Over time, Beyoncé relented, allowing Blue Ivy to showcase her talent. Although Blue Ivy faced initial criticism on social media, she used it as motivation to improve, gaining confidence with each stage appearance.</p><p>Blue Ivy’s growth brought joy not only to Beyoncé but also to Mathew Knowles, her proud grandfather, who affectionately exclaimed, “Now, that’s a Knowles!”</p>

The film also highlights some notable guest appearances during Beyoncé’s performances, including Megan Thee Stallion in Houston, Kendrick Lamar in Los Angeles, and Diana Ross, who serenaded Beyoncé for her 42nd birthday. However, the standout moment came from Beyoncé’s 11-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy, who became a background dancer despite initial reservations from her mother.

“She told me she was ready to perform, and I told her no,” Beyoncé revealed in the film. Over time, Beyoncé relented, allowing Blue Ivy to showcase her talent. Although Blue Ivy faced initial criticism on social media, she used it as motivation to improve, gaining confidence with each stage appearance.

Blue Ivy’s growth brought joy not only to Beyoncé but also to Mathew Knowles, her proud grandfather, who affectionately exclaimed, “Now, that’s a Knowles!”

<p>The film also captures a poignant moment when Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles, revisit her childhood home during a stop in Houston. Additionally, it marks a reunion of all the members of Destiny’s Child, a girl group that once included Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, LeToya Luckett, and LaTavia Roberson, who was previously ousted from the group. This reunion signifies healing and a fresh start for them.</p><p>Beyoncé and her mother also share heartfelt memories of Beyoncé’s late uncle Johnny, a Black gay man who introduced her to house music and crafted her prom dress. The “Renaissance” album is dedicated to his memory.</p>

The film also captures a poignant moment when Beyoncé and her mother, Tina Knowles, revisit her childhood home during a stop in Houston. Additionally, it marks a reunion of all the members of Destiny’s Child, a girl group that once included Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, LeToya Luckett, and LaTavia Roberson, who was previously ousted from the group. This reunion signifies healing and a fresh start for them.

Beyoncé and her mother also share heartfelt memories of Beyoncé’s late uncle Johnny, a Black gay man who introduced her to house music and crafted her prom dress. The “Renaissance” album is dedicated to his memory.

<p>The film takes a moment to acknowledge Beyoncé’s devoted BeyHive fanbase, showcasing their presence in various cities. During her performances, Beyoncé expresses her gratitude to her fans, referring to them as “beautiful faces.”</p><p>  <h3><strong>What To Read Next</strong></h3>   <ul> <li><strong><a href="https://financiallyplus.com/this-genius-trick-every-online-shopper-should-know/?utm_source=msnlnx&utm_campaign=msnlnx">This Genius Trick Every Online Shopper Should Know</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="https://financiallyplus.com/best-high-yield-savings-accounts-this-month/?utm_source=msn&utm_channel=6189189859">Best High-Yield Savings Accounts This Month</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="https://financiallyplus.com/best-gold-ira-this-year/?utm_source=msn&utm_channel=6189189859">Best Gold IRA This Year</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="https://financiallyplus.com/deals-on-popular-cruises/?utm_source=msn&utm_channel=6189189859">Deals On Popular Cruises</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="https://financiallyplus.com/the-best-internet-deals-older-americans-need-to-take-advantage-of-this-year/?utm_source=msn&utm_channel=6189189859">The Best Internet Deals For Seniors</a></strong></li> <li><strong><a href="https://financiallyplus.com/affordable-life-insurance-options-for-seniors/?utm_source=msn&utm_channel=6189189859">Affordable Life Insurance Options for Seniors</a></strong></li> </ul>  </p><p><a href="https://moviesplustvshows.com/?utm_source=msnstart">For the Latest Movies, TV Shows & Entertainment News, head to Movies + TV Shows</a></p>

The film takes a moment to acknowledge Beyoncé’s devoted BeyHive fanbase, showcasing their presence in various cities. During her performances, Beyoncé expresses her gratitude to her fans, referring to them as “beautiful faces.”

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AMC Theatres CEO says 'Renaissance' leak nearly tanked Beyoncé deal

The rollout for Beyoncé's "Renaissance" movie was not so flawless, according the head of AMC Theatres, which distributed the concert film.

Adam Aron, chief executive of the nation's largest theater chain , told Variety in an interview published last week that the company's distribution deal with the musician nearly fell through after news of the project leaked.

“Beyoncé was seriously thinking about not doing the movie at all because the secret was blown," Aron said.

Read more: Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' reigns at the box office. The year of the concert film continues

The revelation came several months after "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé" opened in wide release on the heels of Taylor Swift and AMC's wildly successful "Eras Tour" concert film.

According to Aron, AMC went to great lengths to keep the "Eras Tour" movie under wraps — a clandestine move that gave the company a ticket sales advantage and reportedly irked other theater chains.

In an effort to smooth things over with industry peers, AMC decided to handle the "Renaissance" launch a little differently — giving fellow exhibitors a quiet, early heads-up about the picture to level the playing field.

“At least half a dozen movie circuits leaked the news,” Aron told Variety. “So, they didn’t keep their word.”

Read more: 'Wicked' spectacles, merger gossip and movie industry woes at CinemaCon 2024

Representatives for AMC and Beyoncé did not immediately respond to The Times' requests for comment.

"Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé" — which features dazzling footage from the singer's blockbuster world tour — hit theaters Dec. 1 and grossed $44 million at the global box office. It was only the second title released by AMC, which previously operated exclusively as an exhibitor.

Following the success of "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" — which pulled in $261.7 million worldwide — AMC plans to distribute “two to three” concert films per year, Aron told Variety. Theater owners are increasingly turning to alternative programming , such as live music and sports, in hopes of increasing attendance in the wake of the COVID-19 shutdown.

Sign up for our Wide Shot newsletter to get the latest entertainment business news, analysis and insights.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times .

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How Big Is Taylor Swift?

beyonce renaissance tour full show

Taylor Swift?

As big as the Beatles? Michael Jackson? Beyoncé? We crunched the numbers.

By Joe Coscarelli Graphics and additional reporting by Courtney Cox and Fred Bierman

You might have heard: Taylor Swift cannot be stopped.

Her new album , “The Tortured Poets Department,” sold 2.6 million copies in its opening week last month, earning Swift her eighth Billboard No. 1 album since 2020.

At the Grammy Awards in February, she became the first artist to win album of the year for a fourth time, breaking a tie with Frank Sinatra, Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.

And earlier this month, Swift’s Eras Tour, the 152-date, billion-dollar stadium takeover that began last year, resumed abroad before it returns to the U.S. in October.

Taylor Swift, in a sparkly leotard, stands onstage on a riser while singing into a microphone with one arm extended in the air. On video screens behind her, the large crowd is visible.

Taylor Swift onstage at an Eras Tour show in New Jersey last year.

In 2023, according to the data tracking service Luminate, one in every 78 songs streamed in the U.S. was by Swift.

With a mix of prolific artistic output and relentless business savvy, plus cultural dominance as a celebrity, Swift, 34, has created such a swell of momentum that she is probably more popular — more omnipresent — 19 years into her professional music career than she ever has been.

That is not normal.

A crowd of excited fans stands in a parking lot outside a concert. Of the three in the foreground, one holds her phone in the air, one looks up and shouts and one closes her eyes and pumps her fist.

Swift fans in the parking lot of MetLife Stadium in New Jersey.

But just how big is Taylor Swift, in terms of the all-time pop pantheon?

The singer’s ongoing surge has inspired inevitable debates about how her success stacks up not only against her pop peers, like Beyoncé and Drake, but to the greats that came before them. Even Billy Joel said he could only compare this Swift moment to Beatlemania.

A black-and-white photo of Beatles fans screaming in a  crowd, with a security officer placing a white-gloved hand on the shoulder of one screeching girl.

Enraptured Beatles fans in 1964.

It may be impossible to do an exact, one-to-one comparison between Swift’s career and that of the Beatles — or Madonna, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John or your icon of choice. Besides music being personal and subjective, the nature of success (and how it is calculated) has changed drastically over time. Much of a star’s grip on the zeitgeist is also intangible — a vibe in the air, their influence moving subtly but undeniably through culture.

But the absence of a truly scientific comparison has never stopped the amusement that comes from the eternal sports and pop culture debates of our time: Jordan vs. LeBron (or Kareem, or Kobe). Brady vs. Montana (or Marino, or Mahomes). “Star Wars” vs. “Star Trek” (or Harry Potter, or the Marvel Universe).

Even without definitive conclusions, it’s impossible for certain loyalists, haters and obsessives not to wonder how giants match up using whatever evidence might be available.

So with Swift’s career still peaking late into its second decade, we ran the numbers and analyzed the data, taking stock of what she has accomplished so far — and when — alongside some of the heaviest hitters in each category.

Taylor vs. the Beatles Hit Singles

A page from Billboard magazine listing the “Hot 100” hits in the week ending April 4, 1964.

First, there are the Beatles, who for most music fans still represent the gold standard of pop mania in modern times.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

When it comes to Billboard No. 1 singles …

… they set the benchmark.

From the early 1960s, when pop music usually came in the form of two-sided vinyl singles, until the Fab Four broke up in 1970, the band released 64 songs that landed on Billboard’s all-genre chart, known as the Hot 100.

In that time, the Beatles helped to usher in the rock ’n’ roll revolution — and the album age — by releasing more than a dozen LPs.

But many of the records they set for hit singles still stand today.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

THE BEATLES

TAYLOR SWIFT

beyonce renaissance tour full show

‘Change’

beyonce renaissance tour full show

‘We Are Never Ever Getting

Back Together’ (2012)

beyonce renaissance tour full show

Let’s look at how Swift’s Top 10 hits compare to the Beatles’ over the course of their careers, starting with the year each of them released their first original single in the U.S.

What is incredible to remember is that almost all of the Beatles’ success — and their entire artistic output — happened very quickly.

Of the band’s 35 total Top 10 hits, 32 of them arrived in just eight years. (Three more Top 10s came after the band split.)

The Beatles came in hot, then they were gone — a risk for groups, with their various egos and complications, that Swift will never have to face.

Her career, on the other hand, has been a much slower burn, as she grew from country music ingénue to full-bore pop star.

Swift’s first Top 10 song (“Change”) didn’t hit until around her second album, “Fearless,” in 2008.

When we focus on No. 1s, the Beatles really dominate, with more chart-toppers than any other artist, a record they’ve held since 1965.

Out of the Beatles’ 20 No. 1s, the majority also came quickly, with 11 songs , including “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Love Me Do” and “Yesterday,” topping the chart in 1964 and 1965, their earliest years as a fresh-faced phenomenon.

Swift’s first chart-topper, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” in 2012, needed a more dramatic twist.

Seven years into her career, she left behind her Nashville sound and collaborated with the pop guru Max Martin, who trails only John Lennon and Paul McCartney with 25 career No. 1s as a songwriter.

The bulk of Swift’s singles success has come even later, with seven of her 12 total No. 1s, including “Fortnight,” “Cruel Summer” and “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version),” arriving in the last five years , as her career entered its teens.

By that point in their musical lives, the individual Beatles were well into their various solo endeavors, with McCartney experimenting with new wave and George Harrison writing songs about race cars .

A black-and-white photo of a race-car driver, George Harrison of the Beatles and a race-car advisor standing in conversation.

But as with any comparison across eras, there must be footnotes and asterisks. When we look at Top 10s from the 1960s, we’re only counting an artist’s actual “singles” — songs released for purchase outside of a full album.

After 1998, the rules began changing to include any song on the radio, regardless of how it was released, and eventually counting digital downloads and streams. By today’s rules, the Beatles would have even more hits than Billboard’s official count.

A young person in a sun visor stares at an old fashioned computer monitor with the a screen up reading "Napster."

Swift, whose new album features 31 songs, each of which hit the Hot 100, has dominated with these new metrics: In 2022, she became the first artist to occupy the entire Top 10 on the Hot 100 at once following the release of “Midnights.”

She repeated and expanded upon that feat last month with songs from “The Tortured Poets Department,” which filled the top 14 spots on the singles chart.

This might measure a different kind of fervor than the musical ubiquity of the Beatles or others who ruled the radio later — a depth of obsession for Swift’s fans who stream her music billions of times and purchase it in multiple formats.

A screenshot of the Billboard Hot 100 list from the week of May 4, 2024. Taylor Swift occupies all top ten spots.

The length of Swift’s career has allowed her into the Beatles’ vaunted ballpark by giving her the chance to evolve her sound, grow her loyal audience and take full advantage of technological advances.

Yet as wild as it is for the Beatles to have accomplished so much in so little time, Swift’s longevity might be considered equally impressive in pop music, which often overvalues the new and — especially among female artists — the young.

Taylor vs. Michael Jackson Album Sales

A 1984-era photo of Michael Jackson in a sparkly black jacket, white shirt and dark pants, dancing onstage with a backup singer visible behind him.

Despite Swift’s streaming success — and ability to move even vinyl records — the high bar can only be Michael Jackson when it comes to album sales.

Like the Beatles, Jackson reached heights pop had never seen, changing the very nature of stardom, for better and worse, by kicking off the MTV video age and ruling popular culture amid tabloid mayhem.

Unlike the Beatles’, Jackson’s career was relatively long, from his time as a child star in the Jackson 5 until his death in 2009 at 50.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

MICHAEL JACKSON

PLATINUM CERTIFICATIONS

beyonce renaissance tour full show

‘Thriller’

beyonce renaissance tour full show

‘Fearless’

‘1989’

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ALBUM SALES

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‘1989

(Taylor’s Version)’

But the meat of Jackson’s solo career lasted from 1972 through 2001, during which he put out 10 albums and followed a fairly typical arc for a pop career …

… the release of starter albums like “Got to Be There” and “Ben” in the early 1970s, then a big breakthrough — “Off the Wall” in 1979 — and a peak, before Jackson slowed down somewhat, at least commercially.

That peak just happened to be “Thriller” — arguably the peak of all pop peaks — which came out in 1982, when Jackson was 24.

For albums, going platinum — or selling one million copies — is the go-to stat. Let’s look at Jackson’s platinum albums vs. Swift’s , starting with the beginning of their careers as solo artists.

In the four-plus decades since “Thriller” was released, it has been certified 34 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, making it one of the most successful albums of all time.

Swift’s biggest albums so far are “Fearless,” which is officially 10 times platinum, and “1989,” at nine times platinum.

However, Swift’s platinum certifications are not totally up to date and do not yet count the sales of her redone “Taylor’s Version” releases, which have not been officially tallied by the R.I.A.A.

(It’s also worth noting that an album “sale” now means something different: a set amount of song streams or downloads is considered the equivalent of one album sold.)

Using the more recent sales data available for Swift’s albums, which can help us estimate where her R.I.A.A. certifications will be when they’re updated …

… she starts to approach — and even pass — Jackson’s monster platinum totals, giving us a better idea of how Swift will stack up to Jackson long term. Remember, Swift’s albums have about 30 years less of collective sales when compared to “Thriller” — and they’re still being actively promoted.

Swift’s “1989” — also released when she was 24 — may be the closest thing she has to Jackson’s biggest blockbuster …

… and she’s been strategic enough to release it twice, elongating what could be considered her career peak by stretching it across two distinct eras nearly a decade apart.

Part of Swift’s genius as she’s run up the stats these last few years — releasing nearly 200 songs since the pandemic — is that the music that first made her a star in the mid-to-late 2000s is exploding again alongside her latest hits, giving new fans a fresh entry point.

Already, Swift has released more solo albums than Jackson ever did, and with her productivity — including those two different versions of four of her albums so far — she can approach the King of Pop.

In all, Jackson’s 10 solo albums have been certified 72 times platinum. Swift’s 11 original albums have been certified 50 times platinum. But her album sales tell us that number, including Taylor’s Versions, is likely to be closer to 90. And she is very much still going, with “The Tortured Poets Department” already topping three million in about a month.

Taylor vs. Britney Spears A Pop-Star Arc

Britney Spears onstage with backup dancers visible behind her, wearing a crop top that's half pink and half silver, with silver pants.

Swift’s extended peak becomes even more of a standout when compared to a more typical pop trajectory — even one with towering highs.

Like Swift, Britney Spears released her debut single at age 16 and came to absolutely dominate the cultural conversation (sometimes in ways that discounted her music in favor of her love life).

Commercially huge in its moment, Spears’s music career was also relatively short-lived, which tends to be the case more often than not, especially for singers who are known as performers and celebrities more than quote-unquote serious artists.

Swift, unlike Spears, has been firm in branding herself as a songwriter from the beginning, helping stave off some sexist criticism of her music as frivolous.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

BRITNEY SPEARS

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‘... Baby One More Time’

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For reasons that became more complicated as time went on, Spears’s career sloped downward commercially basically from the moment it began, if you’re looking at album sales .

“ ... Baby One More Time ,” Spears’s 1999 debut, sold impressively. It’s certified platinum more times than, say, “Abbey Road” ...

… but it’s not quite “ 1989 ” even in raw numbers, leaving aside any questions of authorship, artistic merit and staying power.

The diminishing returns of Spears’s subsequent releases represent a sadly common path for the kind of pop singers that audiences can treat as disposable, with a new model always on the horizon.

Taylor vs. Madonna Era After Era

Madonna in 1990, with curly blond hair, red lipstick, and her famous Gaultier corset cone bra, singing into a hands-free mic headset.

Madonna’s ability to reinvent — to persist as a woman in pop — is the reason we talk about artist “eras” to begin with. Another path-breaking solo pop singer with a huge peak, a long run of domination, a savvy command of marketing and unexpected longevity, Madonna has had a career that is 43 years long and counting.

From her breakthrough second album, “Like a Virgin,” released in 1984, when she was 26, through “Bedtime Stories” in 1994, Madonna was inescapable, pushing the boundaries of visual and sonic reinvention that are now considered prerequisites for top acts.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

‘Vogue’ (1990)

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‘This Used To Be

My Playground’(1992)

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‘Music’

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Let’s look at Madonna’s Top 10 Billboard hits compared to Swift’s, which shows how consistent both artists have been over extended periods of time — but also when in their careers each was most in the mix.

Madonna scored No. 1 hits across three decades, beginning with the title track from “Like a Virgin” in 1984.

In her first 10 years dominating the charts , Madonna had 10 No. 1s, ruling radio, MTV and nightclubs. She also appeared in blockbuster movies like “Dick Tracy” and “Evita,” expanding her cultural omnipresence.

Madonna’s peak was fueled in part by the kind of polarizing, shock-value controversy — think “Like a Virgin,” “Like a Prayer” or the “Sex” book from 1992 — that Swift has studiously avoided. (Although she, too, has had her share of extra-musical headlines, like the Kanye West V.M.A.s moment in 2009.)

But it was Madonna’s multifaceted fame as a triple threat that helped lead to many of her No. 1 hits, including “ Vogue ” (from “I’m Breathless,” the “Dick Tracy” soundtrack album) and …

… “ This Used to Be My Playground ” (the theme from “A League of Their Own”).

Swift has also dipped a toe into Hollywood, although her roles in “Valentine’s Day,” “Cats” and David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam” are less fondly remembered (and have resulted in no hit songs).

The most recent of Madonna’s 12 No. 1 hits (“ Music ,” from 2000) came 19 years into her career — where Swift is now — at the age of 42.

Madonna’s eight-year comeback period , from “Ray of Light” in 1998 to “Confessions on a Dance Floor” in 2005, resulted in six Top 10 hits. She has 38 overall (with none since 2012), compared to Swift’s 59 so far.

Taylor vs. the Veterans Touring and Awards

In a black and white photograph, Elton John wears large glasses and sings while seated at a microphone.

Alongside a pop survivor like Madonna, now 65, acts like Elton John, 77, and Bruce Springsteen, 74, are an interesting comparison point for Swift because of their productivity, longevity and critical acclaim — all of which has paid off on the road.

(See also: Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones, who are not included here, but would be interesting points of comparison using slightly different metrics.)

While Madonna has slipped on the charts — none of her most recent four albums has gone platinum — she remains a major live draw, a standard give-and-take for a top-tier legacy act.

In a black-and-white photograph, Bruce Springsteen plays guitar against a large American flag backdrop. He is wearing a sleeveless plaid button down and denim pants.

John and Springsteen, both veterans about 50 years into their careers, also had periods of commercial dominance beginning in the 1970s with albums like “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (released when John was 26, that pop-star sweet spot) and “Born to Run” (from when Springsteen was 25).

But as they settled into pop-star middle age, plateauing commercially, they too have persisted with uber-successful, long-running tours fueled by fan allegiance and critical acclaim.

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APPROXIMATE GROSS FOR TOP TOUR

Taylor Swift

Eras Tour (through mid-Nov. 2023)

Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour (2018-23)

Sticky & Sweet Tour (2008-9)

Renaissance World Tour (2023)

Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen and the E Street Band Tour (2023)

Michael Jackson

History World Tour (1996-7)

It’s All a Blur Tour (through mid-Nov. 2023)

All figures in 2023-24 dollars

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APPROXIMATE GROSS PER SHOW

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Let’s look at the total grosses for the best-selling tours by John and Springsteen, which put them in the company of more commercially dominant artists like Swift, Madonna and Jackson.

John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, a late-career greatest hits show named for his biggest album, made nearly $1 billion in part because it lasted for six years and more than 300 dates.

Madonna’s best-selling tour was Sticky & Sweet , from 2008 and 2009. (Like Swift’s Eras Tour, Madonna’s recent Celebration Tour highlighted all the periods of her four-decade career, although it was less profitable and played arenas rather than stadiums.)

If you look at how much these major tours made per show, the list changes.

This is where Swift shines, taking in more than $17 million per concert. By the time it’s over, the Eras Tour could bring in over $2 billion in ticket sales.

One notable aspect of Swift’s career so far is that it seems to bridge the gap between two kinds of artists, both of which can become legacy acts with strong enough catalogs and fan bases: the sustained, hit-making entertainers who may be overlooked, at least at first, as musicians, and the serious singer-songwriters who tend to be more critically lauded.

The Grammy Awards, love them or hate them, are voted on by other musicians and provide a proxy stat for prestige and overall acclaim in the moment.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

NOMINATIONS

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TOP CATEGORY

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Let’s look at Grammy nominations among the crop of top artists we’re considering.

While Swift has already outpaced Jackson and Springsteen, it’s Beyoncé — another artist who has changed the way we talk about pop stars — who has the most nominations ever.

Looking at Grammy wins …

… we see artists like John and Drake, another modern juggernaut, drop on this list, having converted fewer of their nominations to victories compared with, say, Jackson and Springsteen.

Springsteen has won 20 Grammys across the decades, from his first for “Dancing in the Dark” in 1985 to his most recent, in 2010, for “Working on a Dream.”

Beyoncé is the winningest musician ever at the Grammys, where she has been awarded 32 times, topping the conductor Georg Solti (31) and the producer Quincy Jones (28), who was behind Jackson’s “Thriller.”

Yet Beyoncé has still never taken album of the year — where Swift has four trophies — and has won only once in the top categories , which include record, song and album of the year, plus best new artist.

It's been more than a decade since Beyoncé earned a top-tier Grammy, when “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” was awarded song of the year.

Madonna didn’t win her first Grammy until 1992 (for best music video!) and only has scattered victories since, indicating she may have been viewed by her industry peers as more of a commercial force than a musician’s musician.

It is worth pointing out that the Beatles won just four Grammys while active, including two in the big four categories, out of 20 nominations, demonstrating how hard it is to quantify musical quality and how esteem tends to shift over time. (Three more nominations and wins came after they broke up.)

The band took the top prize just once — for “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the first rock album to win, in 1968 — in part because the Grammys, until the late 1960s, were quite conservative, often recognizing old-school, traditional pop acts like Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. (“Help!” and “Revolver” both lost to Sinatra.)

Looking at stats like that, you could argue that the most popular musicians are taken more seriously as artists now than ever before, in no small part because of acts like the Beatles, Jackson and Madonna.

Taylor vs. Beyoncé and Drake Modern Heavyweights

Beyonce, dressed in all red and sunglasses, stands on stage with backup dancers in similar red outfits. There is smoke in the background and being emitted from the stage floor.

While Swift’s overall pound-for-pound standing in each of the categories we’ve looked at puts her in rare historical company, it is notable that two of her most immediate contemporaries — Beyoncé, 42, and Drake, 37 — are also legitimate challengers across the board.

All three artists have maneuvered the industry transition between CDs, downloads and streaming to become defining modern superstars while also maximizing those intangibles like cultural reach and celebrity domination.

Beyoncé, now 23 years into a solo career after her time with the group Destiny’s Child, stands with Swift when it comes to versatility and longevity, plus sustained commercial dominance.

beyonce renaissance tour full show

‘I Am ...

Sasha Fierce’

beyonce renaissance tour full show

‘The Tortured

Poets Department’

‘Cowboy

Carter’

Let’s look at their album sales as solo artists side by side.

Beyoncé’s commercial peak (so far) came with “ I Am… Sasha Fierce ,” released in 2008, when she was 27. That album has sold more than nine million copies.

Since then , while selling fewer records, she has focused on different pillars of legacy, pioneering the visual album format (“Beyoncé,” “Lemonade”), experimenting with genre (“Renaissance,” “Cowboy Carter”) and pushing the limits of an extravagant live spectacle (Coachella, the Renaissance World Tour).

Both Beyoncé and Swift have had big-selling No. 1 albums this year , during fresh periods of productivity.

Like Madonna and Swift, Beyoncé has continued to stretch the limits of what a woman’s pop career can hold, landing two chart-topping singles in her 40s (with “Break My Soul,” in 2022, and again earlier this year, with the country-influenced “Texas Hold ’Em”).

She has also performed twice at the Super Bowl — something Swift has yet to do — a stage where acts like Madonna, Jackson and Springsteen have solidified their unquantifiable grasp on culture.

A video board showing Drake rapping into a microphone looms over a round stage where the rapper performs.

And then there is Drake, a relentless hitmaker. Like Swift, Drake has optimized his output to take advantage of the way streaming has reshaped the industry and its accolades to set new records, including 328 total entries on the Hot 100.

Swift, with 232, is the only other artist with at least 200.

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Featured Artist

Drake has 78 Top 10 hits so far in his career …

… and 13 No. 1s stemming from a variety of projects: official albums, less official mixtapes, streaming-only “playlists,” one-off singles, collaborative albums and more.

As a rapper and frequent guest artist, Drake, unlike Swift, has appeared on many hits by others …

… like his first No. 1, on Rihanna’s “What’s My Name?” in 2010, accounting for a wide reach beyond his own releases.

Yet somehow Drake and Swift have never released a song together, despite sharing a certain canniness and expressing mutual appreciation for one another.

Even in his recent battle with Kendrick Lamar, Drake made clear that he sees Swift as his only real contemporary competition. (He has also rapped about having “more slaps than the Beatles” and frequently invokes Jackson’s success as a touchstone.)

Drake, Beyoncé and Swift all have this modern characteristic in common: They’re each actively playing for legacy, one eye on history and another on the record books. Ambitious and autonomous, they’re proudly writing their résumés in real time, juicing Billboard numbers and even gunning for accolades.

Taylor Swift appears onstage wearing a red, sparkled unitard and flexing one arm powerfully.

As a shrewd student of music and fame, Swift may know that she will never achieve the exact kind of domination that the Beatles, Jackson and Madonna had at the height of global monoculture, when everyone might pay attention to the same thing. But she’s certainly trying, taking bits and pieces from each’s career and making sure to maximize her work and reach in all the ways that weren’t available then.

She cares how she’s perceived and how she’ll be remembered when the noise fades and all that’s left are the songs — and the stats.

So far, it’s working.

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Fans convinced Billie Eilish shaded Taylor Swift and Beyoncé’s ‘psychotic’ three-hour concerts

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Does Billie Eilish have more “Bad Blood” with Taylor Swift?

Swifties are convinced Eilish shaded Swift and Beyoncé’s respective Eras and “Renaissance” tours by taking aim at marathon-length concerts — despite her previously calling them “untouchable superstars.”

The “Bad Guy” singer, 22, told her fans that “doing a three-hour show” is “literally psychotic” in a Stationhead clip that went viral Thursday.

Taylor Swift and Billie Eilish

“Nobody wants that,” Eilish said. “You guys don’t want that. I don’t want that. I don’t even want that as a fan.

“Even my favorite artists, I’m not trying to hear them for three hours,” she concluded. “That’s far too long.”

Eilish’s rep did not immediately respond to Page Six’s request for comment.

Taylor Swift

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Social media users called out the apparent shade via X, as Swift’s Eras Tour concerts span three-plus hours, while Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” shows averaged three.

One user wrote , “millions of people seem to want that but ok,” while another added , “it’s weird saying that when all of the shows were sold out and even made into a movie that ppl bought tickets to also see so saying ‘nobody wants that’ is an actual lie .”

Others, however, told Swifties to “calm down” and pointed out that Eilish didn’t “specifically mention” any artist .

Many pointed out Eilish’s previous comments praising Swift and Beyoncé since she finds it “really hard to play stadiums” herself.

Taylor Swift

“The fact that they can put on a show that long, and it’s filled with so many incredible moments, is really amazing,” she gushed to the Los Angeles Times in 2023.

Eilish last found herself at odds with Swifties in March when she bashed “big artists” for their “wasteful packaging” when releasing multiple versions of albums.

While many believed she was referring to Swift in her Billboard interview, Eilish clapped back via Instagram Stories.

Billie Eilish

“Okay so it would be so awesome if people would stop putting words into my mouth and actually read what I said,” she wrote at the time. “When it comes to variants, so many artists release them, including me, which ! clearly state in the article.”

Eilish clarified that she wasn’t “singling anyone out” since it is an “industry-wide systemic issue.”

Swift never responded to the online chatter.

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What to watch, from Beyonce's country journey to Benedict Cumberbatch and his seven-foot-tall imaginary friend

A giant blue monster puppet stands next to a man in a dark office

The weather is getting colder, the days are getting darker and all you feel like doing is curling up with some good TV. But it's so tedious scrolling through streamers trying to find gold!

Well, you're in luck, because the ABC Entertainment team has done the mining for you, serving up six sizeable nuggets that will keep you toasty.

Let us tell you about…

  • The gritty cop drama that is also about imaginary friends (no really)
  • A comedy special where First Nations sporting stars dish on their greatest/most embarrassing moments
  • A moving look at the life of the great puppeteer himself, Jim Henson
  • The sparkling and dramatic retelling of India's independence through the eyes of courtesans
  • A deep examination of racism and sexism in Nashville's country music scene, with a focus on Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter
  • The new late night talkshow that interviews celebs and earthquake experts with equal enthusiasm

Eric — Netflix

Velvet Winter

The inspiration du jour for film and TV seems to be the imaginary friend. Blumhouse Productions gave the concept the horror treatment in February with Imaginary, Universal took it in a kid friendly (but creatively grating) direction with IF , and now it's Netflix's turn to jump on the imaginary friend bandwagon with Eric.

Eric is set in the grittiest of timelines — 80s New York City — where corrupt governments do their shady business above shanty towns of sewer-dwelling unhoused people, and people still think you can get AIDS via a handshake.

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Vincent, an alcoholic puppeteer and creator of Good Morning Sunshine, a Sesame Street stand-in that reminds the city's children that everything is going to be okay.

Until it isn't.

One night, after Vincent has a barn burner of a fight with his wife Cassie (Gaby Hoffmann, eyes as expressive as ever), their nine-year-old son Edgar goes missing. In the days that follow, Vincent's drinking worsens until he's being followed by a seven-foot blue monster named Eric, which Edgar had been obsessively doodling before his disappearance.

He might not be the obvious protagonist, but this series belongs to hard-boiled detective Michael Ledroit (McKinley Belcher III). Ledritt is snuffling around a conspiracy that involves underage sex rings, trash king city officials and possible police involvement. But he's also allowed a rich character arc away from work and into the arms of his dying partner, William (Mark Gillis).

Created and written by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady) and directed by Lucy Forbes (This Is Going To Hurt; The End of the F**king World), the mostly female creative team makes Eric's characters feel human.

The Netflix marketing hangs off Cumberbatch and his monsters (real and imaginary), but the tight, tense police mystery at the core of Eric is what will make you want to binge all six episodes at once.

For fans of: The Wire, Law and Order.

Blak Ball — ABC iview

Jared Richards

Got a spare 30 minutes and looking for a laugh? Blak Ball is a one-off special that celebrates both the big wins and most embarrassing stories of some of our most successful First Nations sporting stars.

Set up as a 90s-tinged parody of sporting shows, hosts Luke Carroll and Kevin Kropinyeri don the ABC's dustiest wigs and guide us through a set of stories told by sporting legends and acted out by a crew of First Nations actors. (There are so, so many intentionally terrible wigs.)

This special features anecdotes from the likes of netballer Donnell Wallam, soccer star Lydia Williams, figure skater Harley Windsor and plenty more. We won't spoil the stories, but part of the fun is having no idea whether you're about to be told of someone vomiting on an interviewer, the lead-up to an unforgettable goal, or a run-in with Bosnian border patrol.

We will mention Tony Armstrong's story of fleecing Adam Gilchrist's bar tab on a night out back when he was 18, if not purely to pressure him to pay Gilly back.

Silly and irreverent, these sketches are reminiscent of stories told to friends, then acted out by big names unafraid to share awkward moments for a laugh.

For fans of: Roy & HG, Drunk History, Miracle Workers, Black Comedy

Jim Henson: Idea Man — Disney+

Al Newstead

Jim Henson: Idea Man is a lightly sugar-coated but deeply reverential tribute to the legendary Muppets creator. Directed by Ron Howard, the film was made with full access to Henson's family, collaborators and archival footage, offering a renewed appreciation for a once-in-a-lifetime talent.

An early career in commercials and sketch comedy led to not one, but two cultural phenomena: landmark children's TV show Sesame Street in 1968 and The Muppet Show in 1974.

At its height, The Muppet Show was viewed by a weekly audience of 250 million, as Orson Welles details in a featured interview; vindicated success after Henson struggled for years to sell the show.

A black and white photo of Jim Henson with a sea of his Muppet creations.

The film is at its best showcasing a treasure trove of rarely seen material, including Henson's personal sketches, early animations and experimental filmmaking, unrealised Broadway productions and even an immersive nightclub project titled Cyclia.

We even get to see some of his wild studio pitches, as well as learning how his talents were despised by Saturday Night Live, who booted his crew after the first season.

Screen time is also devoted to Henson's ambitious films The Dark Crystal (1982) and Labyrinth (1986). While considered dazzling artistic achievements today, they were thought of as "colossal" failures at the time, competing at the box office with E.T. and widely misunderstood by studio execs and casual audiences.

The doco's lasting impression is that Henson was a man all-too aware he wanted to accomplish more than he would be able to in the time he had.

That's why his death, in 1990 at age 53, stings as "unfair, early", as his second daughter Cheryl Henson puts it. And good luck not shedding a tear at the sight of Big Bird singing 'It Ain't Easy Being Green' at Henson's funeral.

Idea Man isn't interested in asking deeper questions about how the art of puppetry struggled to evolve after Henson's death, or untangling the knotty aspects of his private life. Instead, it's a loving portrait of his enduring influence, a celebration of his "most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational" life and legacy.

For fans of: Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street, literally every Muppets movie.

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar — Netflix

Bhakthi Puvanenthiran

Aesthetic extravagance touches every aspect of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's new Netflix offering, Heeramandi: the Diamond Bazaar — a historical romance set among the courtesans and upper class families of Lahore on the edge of Independence.

To give you a sense of the proportion of the thing, reporting in the local press claimed 700 craftsmen worked for seven months straight at Mumbai's Film City to erect the set.

The grand visuals are one thing (along with the titular gems), but it's also an epic script that swirls around Mallikajaan, the so-called queen of Lahore's red light district, and expounds on the power and the desperation of women who want agency over their lives.

The sensual and stunning Mallikajan (Manisha Koirala) knows all, sees all, and can make even the most powerful man tremble, but her life has never truly been her own. She meets her match in Fareedan (Sonakshi Sinha), who knows not all that glitters is gold.

Could the script do with a little more nuance? Perhaps. Does it nail all the historical detail? Not quite. Will you be completely entertained? Absolutely.

For fans of: The Crown, Asoka, The Queen's Gambit.

Call Me Country: Beyoncé & Nashville's Renaissance — Binge

Katherine Smyrk

When I realised that Call Me Country: Beyoncé and Nashville's Renaissance didn't feature any interviews with Queen Bey herself, I was worried it would be…lame.

Primarily made up of talking-head interviews, I half expected it to be 50 minutes of unfiltered gushing about the star's latest album, Cowboy Carter. And while I wasn't entirely mad at the thought, it didn't feel like it was going to offer much that hadn't already been covered elsewhere.

But this documentary uses Beyoncé and her album — and the backlash she received before and after — as a launching point to examine the racism, sexism and homophobia that is rife in the US country music industry, primarily focused on Nashville.

Interviewing a range of incredible black and queer country musicians — including gorgeous snippets of live performance — the egregious gatekeeping in the industry is laid bare.

As said by oft-overlooked country star Rissi Palmer (one of only eight black women to appear on the Billboard country charts): "Black people have a hard time in country music, queer people have a hard time in country music. Even white women have a hard time in country music."

A close up shot of Rissi Palmer talking

There's also some fascinating history lessons included that highlight the deliberate acts to keep black people out of the biz. For instance, did you know the music industry originally segregated country music into the categories of Hillbilly (white country music) and Race Records (black country music), which then became modern Country and R'n'B in turn?

As the doco progressed, I realised it was probably good they hadn't spoken to Bey.

This project celebrates the way her album has pushed the conversation forward and alerted the wider world to the issues the industry faces. But it also allows a lot of other voices — belonging to people who live and breathe country music, who have been fighting for recognition for decades — to sing out strong and proud.

As well as an important acknowledgement that it's much simpler to cut through discrimination when you're one of the most famous people on the planet, it also leads to some great new music discoveries.

For fans of: Lemonade, I am Not Your Negro, This Changes Everything, Searching for Sugarman.

John Mulaney Presents: Everybody's In LA — Netflix

James Brennan

Australian television legend Rove McManus recently told Double J's Zan Rowe that live television was "a lost art and… so much fun."

John Mulaney may have rediscovered the art. Everybody's in L.A. is a talk show with the soul of a punk community television broadcast from the 90s, and the budget of a streamer suddenly leaning hard into "live television events" for some reason, after spending years disrupting and eroding the traditional network ecosystem.

Filmed over six nights between May 3 and May 10 to promote the Netflix Is A Joke festival, this limited run of interviews, sketches and televised talkback aims to investigate the unique quirks of LA.

From ghosts and coyotes to the looming destruction of The Big One, each episode hosts an assortment of comedians and experts trying to figure out how they got sucked into this trip of a talkshow.

For any other host, having late night legend David Letterman would be a crowning achievement. While the significance doesn't seem lost on Mulaney, you can tell he's just as interested in talking to "earthquake lady" Dr. Lucy Jones about fault lines and quake-proof hotels.

Mulaney's having fun with the late night structure here, also. Should we throw to the musical guest straight after the monologue? Why not? No commercials to break up segment times? Throw to some absurdist pre-tapes with up-and-comers instead. Guess what! Tonight is sunglasses night. Deal with it. It's a fun rendezvous.

For fans of: Saturday Night Live, The Late Show, Wayne's World, Oh Hello.

Honourable new-to-streaming mentions:

Louis Theroux Interviews — ABC iview: Your favourite bespeckled interviewer is back with a line-up that includes everyone from whistleblower Chelsea Manning to Libertines frontperson Pete Doherty.

We Are Lady Parts Season 2 — Stan: The UK's premier all-female Muslim punk band are back after their wildly successful national tour (and critically acclaimed first season), with hilarious and heartwarming friendships, catchy original songs and subtle commentary on the world around them. But will a rival group threaten their new-found popularity?

The Beach Boys — Disney+: A nostalgic look back at one of the most influential bands of all time, which only lightly touches on the unrest that would eventually lead to the group's separation.

Colin From Accounts Season 2 — Stan: Audiences at home and overseas fell in love with the messy dating lives of Sydneysiders Gordon and Ashley (played by real-life married couple Harriet Dyer and Patrick Brammall). Now back for season two, the not-exactly-star-crossed lovers need to make it work long term.

Tony Armstrong's Extra-ordinary Things — ABC iview: Bubbly news presenter Tony Armstrong is hitting the road to show you the ordinary Australian things that hold extra-ordinary stories — from a firefighters signet ring to a refugee's photograph.

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‘We’re Still Here’: How AMC Theatres Is Struggling With $4.5 Billion in Debt and Surviving Thanks to Taylor Swift, Viral Popcorn Buckets and More

Adam Aron , the CEO of AMC Theatres , gives me a choice.

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At CinemaCon, where cinema owners are treated like gods, Aron is a big deal. But outside the smoke-filled walls of Caesars, it’s hard to envy him. He’s running the world’s largest theater chain at a time when it faces questions about its survival — and he’s doing it as the movie business is flailing, having been shellacked by COVID and then two labor strikes. Since the pandemic, Aron has cycled through nine lives and then some, while averting the dreaded “B” word — bankruptcy — a fate that befell competitors like Cineworld and Alamo Drafthouse. 

Privately, studio executives and rival exhibitors would love to see AMC file for Chapter 11. It’s not a case of schadenfreude. Given its stature, AMC is seen as the barometer for the industry’s financial health. This upsets other theater owners because they have more pristine balance sheets and feel the company’s current woes are a drag on the sector. The next two years will be crucial, as AMC has more than $2.8 billion of maturities due in 2026. Because of the looming deadline, the company is reportedly weighing debt-extension proposals. 

“Adam wants to avoid bankruptcy, and it sounds like investors are open to renegotiating debt,” says Alicia Reese, VP of Equity Research at Wedbush Securities. “But there’s so much noise about AMC’s lack of profitability that unfairly implies an unhealthy industry. Studios and rivals want to reduce that noise.” 

The pandemic exacerbated things, but AMC’s debt dilemma is largely self-created. Aron became CEO in 2016, having previously overseen the Philadelphia 76ers and Norwegian Cruise Line. He quickly transformed the company into a global powerhouse, acquiring Carmike Cinemas, London-based Odeon & UCI Cinemas and Nordic Cinema Group — deals that didn’t always pay off.  

“Hindsight is tough,” says Eric Wold, senior analyst with B. Riley Securities. “In terms of Adam’s desire to get bigger and have more control over the industry, it was smart. He now has a lot of pull with studios.” 

Despite its financial challenges, AMC is still a buyer, picking up several high-performing leases formerly operated by Arclight, Pacific Theatres and Bow Tie Cinemas that shuttered during COVID. And Aron is open to expanding again. Would he buy Alamo Drafthouse, the Texas-based circuit that’s like church to cinephiles and is exploring a sale ? 

“We would be willing to grow AMC through acquisition going forward if we can find the right theaters at the right price,” Aron says, adding that he “won’t talk about individual theaters.” 

That AMC is even afloat right now, let alone entertaining another spending spree, is due to a financial deus ex machina that’s bizarre even by Hollywood standards. In 2021, as movie theaters were struggling to stay open and Wall Street was betting against the business’s recovery, the “meme stock” frenzy — fueled by young retail investors, many of whom were more interested in sticking it to hedge funds seeking to short-sell the stock than they were supporting the big screen — sent the circuit’s stock price to the moon. It miraculously allowed AMC to improve its financial situation and renegotiate its massive debt obligations. Shares subsequently fell back to earth and are trading at slightly under $5.

He not only communicates with them on social media; he also embraces their ideas, which include accepting bitcoin and crypto payments for tickets and concessions. Those investors, who call themselves “Apes,” hail Aron as “the Silverback.” (It’s a reference to “The Planet of the Apes,” a movie in which primates overthrow humans.) And Aron, a 69-year-old Harvard Business School graduate, has embraced the disruption with a showman’s flair.  

Being the center of attention comes naturally. At dinner, Aron interjects as the waiter asks if we’ve ever dined at Carmine’s, famous for platters of food so big that a wrestler in bulking season would struggle to polish them off. “Can I help? Order a lot,” Aron says, “because the portion sizes are very small.” 

Aron is charming in a “dad joke-y” way, but Hollywood executives and rival exhibitors can’t decide whether he’s a business savant or the captain of the Titanic. Aron captured lightning in a bottle with the chain’s $25 million promotional campaign to get people back to the movies, in which he hired Nicole Kidman to tout the “magic” of the AMC theatrical experience and famously declare that “somehow, heartbreak feels good in a place like this.” Moviegoers committed her melodramatic speech to memory and petitioned when AMC attempted to shorten the commercial, which still plays before every showtime. But some feel that Aron puts the exhibition industry in the news for the wrong reasons — like in 2023, when he revealed he had been the victim of an “ elaborate criminal extortion ” by a woman who “threatened to release sexually explicit photographs of, and sexually explicitly communications” with the CEO. And despite the company’s economic hardships, he’s profiting handsomely; his total compensation in 2023 rose to $25.4 million in salary, stock and bonuses, according to public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Retail shareholders may have saved AMC from catastrophe, but there are dangers ahead. These include a lighter release calendar and underperforming blockbusters that sent the box office tumbling 20% behind 2023 and 40% behind pre-pandemic levels. 

Over the past four years, Aron has made attempts — some more unusual than others — to expand the company’s business outside of box office. AMC has invested in a Nevada-based gold and silver mining company, started selling popcorn in shopping malls, launched a branded credit card and partnered with Zoom so audience members can schedule conference calls from the comfort of their local multiplex. There’s also that “Dune” popcorn bucket (you know the one) that ignited the internet, to say nothing of the wildly successful AMC-distributed concert film “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour.” 

AMC still needs to survive the next seven months. This year doesn’t look like it’ll match the grosses of 2023 — the best post-pandemic year but far below pre-COVID revenues. Last year’s strikes derailed the recovery as anticipated blockbusters were delayed while the industry shut down for months. Cinemas were collateral damage in the strikes, which Aron calls a “needless, self-inflicted wound.” He estimates theaters need six to nine months to recover.

“We’re aware of our current circumstances. Believe me,” he says. “But it’s not going to stay that way. It’s the first time in four years that I’ve been able to look ahead and say with some confidence that it’s not going to be atrocious.” 

It helps that traditional studios, after a torrid affair with streaming, fell back in love with theaters. In 2020, during the worst of the pandemic, AMC and Universal feuded over the video-on-demand release of “Trolls World Tour.” It ended with the companies striking a historic deal to shorten the theatrical window from 90 days to roughly three weeks — sending shockwaves through a slow-to-change sector of the business. Now there’s a shift in attitude from the major distributors when assessing the value of the big screen; studios once again want their movies to enjoy a longer stay in theaters.   

“People were writing off the existence of theaters as some bizarre anachronism,” Aron says about pandemic-era disputes. “Then studios finally realized again, ‘Wait a second — there’s a shitload of money to be made in movie theaters.’”  

Despite the change of heart, studios are releasing fewer films. In response, AMC is filling in the gaps in the calendar: Aron once again shook up the industry in 2023 by beating out traditional studios to partner with Swift on “The Eras Tour” and Beyoncé’s concert film “Renaissance.”

Swift’s movie set all kinds of benchmarks, becoming the highest-grossing concert film ever, with $261 million globally. “And it was really good,” Aron says. “It got an ‘A+’ on CinemaScore and 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s not like we threw together some garbage.” 

Aron expects that AMC will unveil “two to three” concert films a year and recently expanded the company’s distribution team, underscoring its commitment to releasing its own movies.  

Hollywood studios, which regularly work with AMC, aren’t thrilled about the chain’s foray into distribution, feeling that the exhibitor is encroaching on their territory. Theater owners, too, feel slighted by the arrangements with Swift and Beyoncé. AMC was the only chain to know about the existence of those films in advance, so it could put tickets on sale first. 

To soothe bruised feelings, before Beyoncé’s film went on sale, AMC gave its competition a super-secret heads-up: Don’t tell anyone , but be ready to put tickets on sale. 

“At least half a dozen movie circuits leaked the news,” Aron laments. “Beyoncé was seriously thinking about not doing the movie at all because the secret was blown. So, they didn’t keep their word.”  

Aron has other plans to revitalize the company’s languishing stock price. He wants to improve the moviegoing experience. To do that, he’ll deploy $200 million in capital annually to reinvest in theaters, which will renovate auditoriums with comfy recliner seats, upgrade projection systems and add premium large-format screens. AMC already boasts the largest North American footprint of the newly popular Imax screens. “Those are the seats that sell first,” he adds. 

Aron tends to speak in outlines, ticking off the one, two, three steps in his multipronged plan of attack. When it comes to appeasing shareholders, it’s twofold. “No. 1 is to make sure we survive since COVID. And we’ve done a pretty good or, I’d say, very good job at that. No. 2 is to deliver increased earnings going forward. We’re quite focused on that.”

He adds, “It’s generally smart for people in my role not to talk externally about the share price. I happen to be a very large AMC shareholder. So clearly I would prefer that the stock price be higher rather than lower.”  

According to Aron, AMC doesn’t need the box office to return to pre-COVID levels. He says the company has cut costs and let go of underperforming leases. “We’re focused on delivering more revenue and bottom-line profit,” he says. “At some point, the share price will take care of itself.”   

Another win: Customers have been spending more freely at the concession stand, which helps revenues. A big growth driver has been movie-themed merchandise, like a top hat for “Wonka” or a toy pink convertible for “Barbie.” In 2023, those collectibles delivered $54 million in sales. Aron expects 25 or more movie tie-ins in 2024.  

Thanks to those efforts, AMC went viral last year after the internet discovered the souvenir canister for “Dune: Part Two” looked more like a sex toy than a sandworm. The now-iconic bucket has been memed to hell and even immortalized on “Saturday Night Live” in a sketch about a teenager with other plans for the popcorn container. Aron tuned in, but he wasn’t impressed.

“It wasn’t their best skit,” Aron says. “It was great they did it. But you gotta remember that I’m so much older than you. When I think of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ I’m going back to John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Eddie Murphy. I have very high standards for comedy on ‘SNL.’”  

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IMAGES

  1. On Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour, the World Is Her Ball

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  2. Beyoncé Renaissance Tour: All the must-see fashion moments

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  3. Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour: Photos

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  4. Beyonce’s Renaissance Photographer Gives a Behind the Scenes Look

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  5. Beyonce's Renaissance Tour: Opening Night Photos

    beyonce renaissance tour full show

  6. Here’s what Beyoncé performed during her ‘Renaissance’ tour kickoff

    beyonce renaissance tour full show

VIDEO

  1. BEYONCÉ • RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR: Louisville, Kentucky • July 17, 2023

  2. BEYONCÉ

  3. BEYONCE 🐝 Renaissance World Tour, Part One ....Happy 40th Bday, Yonce❣️

  4. Beyonce’s ballroom 'Renaissance'

COMMENTS

  1. RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR LIVE

    ***For copyright reasons the small outro of THIQUE had to be muted from 2:01:31 — 2:01:42! Watch the full unedited, unmuted video on Vimeo here: https://vime...

  2. Beyoncé

    Instagram: _leogiordaniALL CREDITS TO THE RIGHTFUL OWNERSIn this video, the audio of the Amsterdam show that I went to on June 18th was used as a basis, so w...

  3. BEYONCÉ

    Footage: - Nashville, Tennessee • Nissan Stadium • July 15, 2023 (Beyhive A Pit, Front Row) - Kansas City, Missouri • GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium • October 1, 2023 (Club Renaissance, Front Row) This concert, the views, the overall experience was a once in a lifetime event and I'm happy to share :) Instagram: instagram.com ...

  4. Beyoncé

    Instagram: _leogiordaniALL CREDITS TO THE RIGHTFUL OWNERSAs promised, this is the new version of my Renaissance World Tour edit that includes images from the...

  5. Beyoncé

    The Official Website of Beyoncé

  6. Beyonce 2023 Renaissance World Tour Dates Announced

    Beyonce Announces 2023 Renaissance World Tour. The 41-show global outing kicks off in Stockholm in May. ... Beyonce performed a full concert for the first time in four years at a luxury resort in ...

  7. Beyoncé's Renaissance Tour: Everything to Know

    February 1, 2023 11:15 AM EST. B eyoncé's fans have been waiting for this day: the pop megastar finally announced that she will embark on the long-awaited Renaissance World Tour. She uploaded a ...

  8. Beyonce Announces 'Renaissance' World Tour Dates

    Beyoncé's last full tour was the nearly six-month, 49-date "Formation" tour in 2016, which unusually featured no guest appearances until the final show, at New Jersey's MetLife Stadium ...

  9. Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour 2023: Dates, Venues, Details

    Bey unveiled the news with a simple Instagram post: "RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR 2023." She did not immediately provide more information, but more is obviously coming. View full post on Instagram

  10. Beyoncé Renaissance World Tour: Dates, how Bey Hive can buy tickets

    How to purchase tickets, presale information. Ticketing begins Feb. 6, starting with an exclusive presale to BeyHive members. There are several presale ticket options for Beyoncé fans. Verified ...

  11. Beyonce Renaissance Tour setlist: All the songs you'll hear

    The Bey-aissance has arrived.. After more than two months of traversing Europe with her six-part, nearly three-hour show, Beyoncé has landed in the U.S. with the Renaissance World Tour. Five-plus ...

  12. Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Tour: Inside the Set List and Spectacle

    Beyoncé 's Renaissance tour, a stadium-shaking dance party built around last year's album of the same name, won't begin its U.S. run until a July 12 show in Philadelphia, but thanks to ...

  13. Renaissance World Tour

    The Renaissance World Tour was the ninth concert tour by American singer and songwriter Beyoncé.Her highest-grossing tour to date, it was staged in support of her seventh studio album, Renaissance (2022). The tour comprised 56 shows, beginning on May 10, 2023, in Stockholm, Sweden, and concluding on October 1, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri.It was Beyoncé's first tour since the On the Run II ...

  14. Beyoncé Renaissance Tour: The Full Setlist From Opening Night

    Beyoncé performed her first full concert in four years in January at the new Atlantis Royal Resort in Dubai.It was an elaborate and highly theatrical performance — for which sources say she was ...

  15. Beyoncé: Renaissance World Tour review

    Beyoncé appears first in a video cut scene, laid out luxuriously across the giant screen semi-naked in dimensions big enough to be visible from space. And yet, once she emerges in the flesh ...

  16. Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' tour remixes her archive for an ...

    In a concert that spans almost three hours, featuring robots, tanks, flying horses and maximalist filmmaking, Beyoncé remixed and embedded the entire 16-track Renaissance album into her full ...

  17. RENAISSANCE WORLD TOUR

    tour.beyonce.com

  18. Beyoncé Announces Renaissance World Tour

    Feb. 1, 2023. For the first time since 2016 — a world before Beychella, Covid-19 and "Renaissance" — Beyoncé will headline a solo tour, the singer announced in a social media post on ...

  19. Cardi B at Beyoncé's Final Renaissance Tour Show: Photos & Videos

    The "Bongos" rapper spammed her Instagram story with a bevy of pictures & videos chronicling her journey to Kansas City for Beyoncé's last Renaissance World Tour show. By Kyle Denis. 10/2/2023 ...

  20. What to know before you go to one of Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' shows

    CNN —. If you're one of the lucky members of the BeyHive who scored tickets to Beyoncé's "Renaissance" tour this summer, expect one of the more epic nights of your life. The theme is ...

  21. Beyoncé 'Renaissance' Tour Opener Kicks Off in Sweden

    May 10, 2023. Beyoncé returned to the stage in the first of 56 shows for the 'Renaissance' world tour, at Friends Arena in Stockholm. Andrew White/Parkwood Entertainment. The moment Beyoncé fans ...

  22. Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour looks as books: What to read

    Pitched as "The Handmaid's Tale" meets "The Hunger Games," this book has gorgeous prose and compelling drama. If you're in the hive, this book is worth the buzz. "The Bees" at Amazon ...

  23. AMC chief: Beyoncé deal nearly tanked by 'Renaissance' leak

    AMC Theatres CEO says 'Renaissance' leak nearly tanked Beyoncé deal. Beyoncé performs during her Renaissance concert tour stop at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Sept. 1, 2023. (Kevin Mazur ...

  24. It's Queen Bey: Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Tour Movie Hits Theaters ...

    Beyoncé's 'Renaissance' Tour Movie Hits Theaters. The film also highlights some notable guest appearances during Beyoncé's performances, including Megan Thee Stallion in Houston ...

  25. Beyonce Renaissance Tour

    Beyonce Live in London - Renaissance Tour | Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 2023 | Full ConcertWelcome to my YouTube channel! Get ready to be blown away by the ele...

  26. AMC Theatres CEO says 'Renaissance' leak nearly tanked Beyoncé ...

    "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé" — which features dazzling footage from the singer's blockbuster world tour — hit theaters Dec. 1 and grossed $44 million at the global box office.

  27. How Big Is Taylor Swift?

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  28. Billie Eilish shades Taylor Swift, Beyoncé's three-hour concerts

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  29. What to watch, from Beyonce's country journey to Benedict Cumberbatch

    At its height, The Muppet Show was viewed by a weekly audience of 250 million, as Orson Welles details in a featured interview; vindicated success after Henson struggled for years to sell the show.

  30. AMC Theatres Survives Bankruptcy Thanks to Taylor Swift, Dune ...

    In 2023, AMC CEO Adam Aron, left, partnered with Taylor Swift on "The Eras Tour" and Beyoncé on her concert film "Renaissance." Getty Images The pandemic exacerbated things, but AMC's ...