Beyoncé released her second studio album B’Day, ten years ago today on 31st August 2006.
B’Day was released three years after her platinum bestselling Dangerously In Love, which featured the hugely popular songs ‘Crazy In Love’ and ‘Me, Myself and I’.
B’Day was released by Sony Urban Music and Columbia Records, and had such hits as ‘Déjà Vu’, ‘Freakum Dress’ and ‘Irreplaceable’. ‘Déjà Vu’ was the lead single from the album, featured vocals from Jay Z, and showed the more R&B, hip hop side to Knowles’ music. Some songs have 1970s and 1980s styles, like ‘Suga Mama’ which has blues-guitar samples, and ‘Upgrade U’ which was sampled from the 1968 Betty Wright song ‘Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do’.
Many of the themes and styles were inspired by her role as Deena in the film Dreamgirls, which revolves around a fictional 1960s group of three female singers called The Dreams, who try to break into the music industry. Deena Jones is the lead singer and the wife of their manager, and is emotionally abused by him. Knowles was inspired to write an album inspired by, much like her later albums, feminism and female empowerment. She said in the bonus track ‘Encore for the Fans’ that: “Because I was so inspired by Deena, I wrote songs that were saying all the things I wish she would have said in the film”.
B’Day was nominated for five Grammy Awards in 2007, including Best Contemporary R&B Album, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for ‘Ring the Alarm’ and Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for ‘Déjà Vu’ (it won Best Contemporary R&B Album). In 2008 it received two nominations for Record of the Year for ‘Irreplaceable’ and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for ‘Beautiful Liar’ with Shakira. Vibe magazine named it the 41st best album since 1993 in April 2013.
Listen to the classic album below: