Today marks the 5th year anniversary of Beyoncé’s album, ‘Lemonade’, an album which achieved an enormous amount of success. Returning Label writer, Leah Langley, summarises the album’s success, as well as providing her opinion on the album.
Beyoncé’s sixth solo studio album, ‘Lemonade’, was released on April 23rd, 2016 and was quick to make history for itself. The album depicted the journey she has been on after learning of her husband’s infidelity.
‘Lemonade’ is the most acclaimed album of Beyoncé’s career. After debuting at Number 1 on the US Billboard 200, it was named the greatest album of the decade in 2019 by Associated Press. Over 1.5 million copies had been sold in the US by the end of 2016, making it the third-best selling US album of the year, and with more than 2.5 million copies sold globally, it was also the best-selling album of 2016. The album contributed to Beyoncé being nominated for 9 Grammy Awards in 2017, taking home the awards for ‘Best Urban Contemporary Album’ and ‘Best Music Video’. She also took home 8 MTV Video Music Awards for the album in 2016, after its visuals received 11 nominations. Beyoncé is one of the most awarded musicians in history, including 28 Grammy Awards. In 2014, she was named Billboard’s highest-earning black musician, and, in 2020, she was included on Time’s list of 100 women who defined the last century.
The now certified triple platinum record is still popular today with its edgy and emotional tracks, featuring an array of features. The moody tracks hide no secrets as Beyoncé lays her soul bare for all to listen to. The album is one of my favourites that she has ever created for the raw honesty that is depicted across the songs. Sandcastles and Freedom are definitely the two standout tracks for me. Sandcastles is a chillingly emotional ballad that explores the art of forgiveness and reconciliation. The lyrics are enough to stop anyone in their tracks and it is a truly beautiful masterpiece. The message behind Freedom is what makes it stand out most. Featuring Kendrick Lamar, the song illustrates the prevalence of systemic racism as well as depicting the injustices faced in the US dating all the way back to slavery. There is a call for action and an encouragement for people to take control of their own future in a bid to overcome the oppression that they are subjected to. It is an incredibly powerful track that tells the unnerving truth of the disparities in the world.
5 years on, the impact of the album is still being felt worldwide. The artistry and message behind much of the album has become more applicable and prevalent in today’s world, and much of the album is often used as an anthem for many around the world. Whilst it was popular at the time of its release, it was thought to be before its time, but with the events that have recently unfolded in the world, it suddenly fits into society even more than before.
Header by Christos Alamaniotis – Head of Design
Article Edited by Matthew Rousou – Label Music Editor