On December 13, 2008, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” by Beyoncé hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. As the first single from Beyoncé’s third studio, “I Am… Sasha Fierce,” it won Beyoncé three Grammy Awards in 2010, including Song of the Year, and was 2009’s best-selling digital single with 6.1 million sold. The accompanying black and white music video featured Beyoncé’s now legendary, and often imitated, dance routine and won the Video of the Year award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
In “I Am… Sasha Fierce,” Beyoncé introduced the world to her alter ego persona, Sasha Fierce. As she explained on her website, “Sasha Fierce is the fun, more sensual, more aggressive, more outspoken side and [a] more glamorous side that comes out when I’m working and when I’m on the stage… she’s the party girl, she’s Bootylicious. She is but I’m not.”
The beat-driven song highlights her attitudinal and sexy alter ego, with lyrics like “If you liked it, you should have put a ring on it” and “Up in the club, just broke up/I’m doing my own little thing.” The simple black and white music video for “Single Ladies” features Beyoncé and two backup dancers in high-cut leotards, shaking their hips and legs while performing the now iconic hand-twirl move.
Eight years after her shout-out to single ladies, Beyoncé solidified herself as a powerful feminist voice with her 2016 album and film, “Lemonade.” In the album and corresponding HBO special, she explores her personal romantic struggles while also celebrating strong African American women. Thanks to Beyoncé, women across the globe have been inspired to tap into their self-confidence, with a flick of the wrist and a shake of their hips.