Queen Bey: A Celebration of the Power and Creativity of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

, ed. 224p. photos. St. Martin's. Mar. 2019. Tr $27.99. ISBN 9781250200525.
In this collection of 19 essays, compiled by author and New York Times archival storytelling editor Chambers, academics, journalists, social media personalities, designers, and other contributors expound on the majesty of Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. Author Luvvie Ajayi attributes Beyoncé's greatness as an entertainer to the singer's desire for perfection, as seen in the hours spent "every day, practicing" for "25 years" and evident in her powerful 2018 Coachella Festival performance. Producer and actor Lena Waithe says that Beyoncé's effort to show how "we're all made of the same stuff and on the same boat" makes her so admired, down-to-earth, and approachable. Author and professor Brittney Cooper says that the singer changed rap and hip-hop's negative perceptions of black women when husband Jay-Z admitted to having affairs. His decision to publicly take responsibility through his and Beyoncé's music and tours was a catalyst that made it possible "for a different kind of cultural conversation" to occur. Perhaps one of the first seriously published biographic reflections of the performer often referred to as "Queen Bey," this compendium of carefully curated pieces reveals the modern-day activism and feminist mystique behind the actions on and off-stage of a contemporary icon.
VERDICT A pop culture must-have in libraries that serve older teens and new adults.

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