FOUR YEARS AGO ON APRIL 23, 2016 — BEYONCÉ RELEASED “LEMONADE”
The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 485,000 copies in its first week of sales and Beyoncé became the first artist in the chart’s history to have their first six studio albums debut at number one. This made the highest opening-week sales for a female act of the year. In the same week, Beyoncé became the first female artist to chart twelve or more songs on the US Billboard Hot 100 at the same time, with every song on the album debuting on the chart.
Lemonade was nominated for nine awards at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards in 2017, winning Grammy Awards for Best Urban Contemporary Album and Best Music Video. Metacritic lists it as the second-most critically acclaimed album of 2016, the third most critically acclaimed album of the decade, and the eighteenth-most critically acclaimed album of all time.
Lemonade has also inspired artists in media other than music, including art, literature, film and theatre. Bill Condon, director of the film Beauty and the Beast (2017) says the visuals behind Lemonade inspired him for the movie: “You look at Beyoncé’s brilliant movie Lemonade, this genre is taking on so many different forms… I do think that this very old-school break-out-into-song traditional musical is something that people understand again and really want.” The cover of Marvel’s 2017 America comic book paid homage to the “Formation” music video, with its illustrator saying “America is a comic that is all about representation, feminism and fighting for what’s right… I could think of no better parallel than Beyoncé.”
Megan Carpentier of The Guardian named the album “a pop culture phenomenon” and wrote: “It is not an exaggeration to say that there is no other living musical artist who could ignite such a broad and unavoidable conversation just by releasing a new album – even a visual one.“
LEMONADE (APRIL 23, 2016)