|Studio album by|
|Released||September 1, 2006|
|Deluxe edition cover|
|Beyoncé studio album chronology|
|Singles from B'Day|
B'Day is the second solo studio album by American singer Beyoncé. It was released to coincide with her twenty-fifth birthday on September 4, 2006, in various countries and a day later in the United States by Columbia Records, Music World Entertainment, and Sony Urban Music. The album was originally planned as a follow-up to Beyoncé's 2003 solo debut Dangerously in Love to be released in 2004; however, it was delayed to accommodate the recording of Destiny's Child's final album Destiny Fulfilled (2004) and the singer's starring role in the 2006 film Dreamgirls. While on vacation after filming, Beyoncé began contacting various producers and rented Sony Music Studios, completing B'Day in two weeks.
Most of the lyrical content of the album was inspired by Beyoncé's role in the film, with its musical style ranging from 1970s-1980s funk influences and balladry to urban contemporary elements such as hip hop and R&B. Live instrumentation was employed in recording most of the tracks as part of Beyoncé's vision of creating a record using live instruments.
Upon its release, B'Day received generally favorable reviews from critics and earned several accolades, including the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary R&B Album at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards in 2007. The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling over 541,000 copies in its first week of sales and scoring the second-highest debut-week sales for Beyoncé. It was also successful in international music markets and yielded six singles, including three commercial hits: "Déjà Vu", "Irreplaceable", and "Beautiful Liar". The B'Day Anthology Video Album, which features thirteen music videos to accompany the songs, was released alongside the deluxe edition of B'Day. Beyoncé then embarked on her second solo concert tour, titled The Beyoncé Experience, in 2007; a live album titled The Beyoncé Experience Live was released featuring footage from the tour. B'Day has since been certified triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and has sold eight million copies worldwide as of 2015.
In 2002, Beyoncé had productive studio sessions while making her debut album Dangerously in Love, recording up to forty-five songs. After the release of Dangerously in Love in 2003, Beyoncé had planned to produce a follow-up album using several of the leftover tracks. However, on January 7, 2004, a spokesperson for her record label Columbia Records announced that Beyoncé had put her plans on hold in order to concentrate on the recording of Destiny Fulfilled, the final studio album by Destiny's Child, and to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Texas, which was a childhood dream of hers. In late 2005, Beyoncé decided to postpone the recording of her second studio album because she had landed the lead role in Dreamgirls, a film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name (1981). As she wanted to focus on one project at a time, Beyoncé decided to wait until the film was completed before returning to the recording studio. Beyoncé later told Billboard: "I'm not going to write for the album until I finish doing the movie."
While having a month-long vacation after filming Dreamgirls, Beyoncé went to the studio to start working on the album. She said: "[When filming ended] I had so many things bottled up, so many emotions, so many ideas", prompting her to begin working without telling her father and then-manager Mathew Knowles. Beyoncé kept the recording of B'Day somewhat quiet, telling only her artists and repertoire executive Max Gousse, and the team of producers they contacted to collaborate for the album. She began working with songwriters and producers Rich Harrison, Rodney Jerkins, Sean Garrett, Cameron Wallace, the Neptunes, Norwegian production duo Stargate, American hip hop producer and rapper Swizz Beatz, and Walter Millsap. Two female songwriters were also included in the production team who helped structure the album - Beyoncé's cousin Angela Beyincé, who had previously collaborated in Dangerously in Love, and up-and-coming songwriter Makeba Riddick, who made her way onto the team after writing "Déjà Vu", the lead single off the album.
Beyoncé rented the Sony Music Studios in New York City, New York, and was influenced by her now-husband Jay-Z's method of collaborating with multiple record producers; she used four recording studios simultaneously. She booked Harrison, Jerkins and Garrett, each with a room to work in. During the sessions, Beyoncé would move from studio to studio to check her producers' progress, later claiming this fostered "healthy competition" among producers. When Beyoncé conceived a potential song, she would tell the group who would deliberate, and after three hours the song would be created. While Beyoncé and the team brainstormed the lyrics, other collaborators such as the Neptunes, Jerkins and Swizz Beatz would simultaneously produce the tracks. They would sometimes begin working at eleven o'clock, spending up to fourteen hours a day in the studios during the recording process. Beyoncé arranged, co-wrote and co-produced all of the songs on the album. Makeba Riddick, in an interview with MTV News, recounted her experience in the production:
[Beyoncé] had multiple producers in Sony Studios. She booked out the whole studio and she had the biggest and best producers in there. She would have us in one room, we would start collaborating with one producer, then she would go and start something else with another producer. We would bounce around to the different rooms and work with the different producers. It was definitely a factory type of process.
B'Day was completed within three weeks, ahead of the originally scheduled six weeks. Swizz Beatz co-produced four songs for the album, the most from a single producer in the team. Beyoncé recorded three songs a day, finishing recording within two weeks in April 2006. Other recording locations included Great Divide Studios in Aspen, Colorado (where "Freakum Dress" was recorded), and Los Angeles, California recording studios Lair Studios (where "Irreplaceable" was recorded), Henson Recording Studios (where bonus track "Check on It" was recorded) and Record Plant (where "Kitty Kat" and "Green Light were recorded and "Déjà Vu" was assisted); all of the songs from the standard edition of B'Day were recorded at Sony Music Studios in New York City and mastered at Bernie Grundman Mastering in Los Angeles. Twenty-five songs were produced for the album; ten of the tracks were selected for the standard edition track listing, and mastered in early July by Brian "Big Bass" Gardner in Los Angeles.
Many of the themes and musical styles of the album were inspired by Beyoncé's role in Dreamgirls. The plot of the film revolves around The Dreams, a fictional 1960s group of three female singers who attempt success in the mainstream music industry with the help of their manager Curtis Taylor. Beyoncé portrays Deena Jones, the lead singer of the group and the wife of Taylor, and is emotionally abused by him. Because of her role, Beyoncé was inspired to produce an album with an overriding theme of feminism and female empowerment. In the bonus track "Encore for the Fans", Beyoncé says: "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 influenced by a variety of American genres, and, like Beyoncé's previous album, incorporated urban contemporary elements including contemporary R&B and hip hop. Some songs have 1970s and 1980s styles, inspired through record sampling. "Suga Mama", which employs blues-guitar samples from Jake Wade and the Soul Searchers' "Searching for Soul", contains a 1970s funk and 1980s go-go-influenced melody. "Upgrade U" is sampled from Betty Wright's song "Girls Can't Do What the Guys Do" (1968). "Resentment" used Curtis Mayfield's "Think (Instrumental)" (1972), from the Super Fly soundtrack. "Déjà Vu" has 1970s influence, "Green Light" has a classic groove, and "Get Me Bodied" features twang, a musical style that originated from Texas.
Beyoncé crafted most songs on B'Day through live instrumentation and diverse techniques. This is evident on "Déjà Vu", which utilizes bass guitar, conga, hi-hat, horns and the 808 drum; it also features rap vocals by Jay-Z. In an interview with MTV, Beyoncé said: "When I recorded 'Déjà Vu' [...] I knew that even before I started working on my album, I wanted to add live instruments to all of my songs..." Lyrically, the song details a woman being constantly reminded of a past lover, shown in the lines: "Is it because I'm missing you that I'm having déjà vu?" "Get Me Bodied", the second track on B'Day, is a moderate R&B, and bounce song, which displays influences of dance-pop,dancehall, and funk music, which speaks about a female protagonist going out and dressing up suitably to leave a lasting impression and get what she's looking for. The following track "Suga Mama" is a moderate R&B and soul song which displays influences of the 1960s as well as 1970s funk and rock music, also containing limited elements of the 1980s go-go and sounds more closely resembling live music than Beyoncé's previous recordings. Lyrically, it features the female protagonist offering up the keys to her house and car, and her credit card just to keep her love interest and his good loving at home, presumably so that he can listen to her collection of old soul records. These interpretations are shown in the lines: "It's so good to the point that I'll do anything just to keep you home ... Tell me what you want me to buy, my accountant's waiting on the phone ..." The woman also sees the man as a sex object, asking him to sit on her lap and "take it off while I watch you perform".
"Upgrade U", which features Jay-Z, follows, and speaks about a woman offering luxuries to a man, to upgrade his lifestyle and reputation, similar to the concept of "Suga Mama". Musically, it's a hip hop song, with influences of pop, soul and R&B. The album's fifth track and second single "Ring the Alarm", which is an R&B song incorporating elements of punk rock, is noted for the use of a siren in its melody and "shows a harder edge to Beyoncé's sound". Lyrically, it features Beyoncé as the female protagonist impersonating a threatened woman involved in a love triangle and is unwilling to allow another woman to profit from all the efforts she put on to make her lover a better man. The sixth track "Kitty Kat" is a smooth R&B song with hip hop influences which speaks about the female protagonist who feels that her love interest has underestimated her. "Freakum Dress" is a crescendo that uses a two-note riff and galloping beats. The song "advises women who have partners with straying eyes to put on sexy dresses and grind on other guys in the club to regain their affections." Meanwhile, the use of the "uh-huh huh huh" vocals and brassy stabs in the R&B and funk break-up song "Green Light" is a direct echo to "Crazy in Love", according to Peter Robinson of The Guardian. "Irreplaceable" is a midtempo ballad with pop and R&B influences, and speaks of a breakdown of a woman's relationship with a man after she discovers his infidelity. The standard edition's closing track "Resentment" is a soul and soft rock ballad about a gritty, agitated goodbye which adds a "different kind of overwrought drama".
"Beautiful Liar", the opening track on the deluxe edition and duet with Shakira, is an R&B and pop song. Lyrically, it speaks about two women who chose not to end a friendship because of a man who has cheated both of them; its main theme is female independence. The fifth track on the deluxe edition "Welcome to Hollywood" is Beyoncé's solo version of Jay-Z's song "Hollywood" on which she's featured. It's a disco-influenced R&B song which speaks of tiredness celebrities sometimes feel. "Flaws and All", the seventh track, is an R&B and trip hop song on which Beyoncé shows appreciation for the love given by her love interest, who sees through all of her flaws and loves her unconditionally. "Still in Love (Kissing You)", which was later replaced by "If", is a cover of Des'ree's pop ballad "Kissing You". "If" is a ballad on which a female protagonist is disappointed with the way her love interest treats her and thinks that even his best friend treats her better and pays more attention to her. "World Wide Woman" is an uptempo R&B song on which Beyoncé calls herself "a world wide woman", a play on term world wide web. The deluxe edition also includes "Listen", which appeared in the film Dreamgirls, in which Beyoncé starred, and its soundtrack. It's a soul and R&B ballad, and was called by its co-writer Anne Preven a song on which the film's character Deena Jones, portrayed by Beyoncé, is exclaiming: "You don't know who I am, and I know I do."
B'Day was titled as a reference to Beyoncé's birthday. The album's cover artwork was revealed on July 18, 2006, and features Beyoncé looking into the distance, wearing a golden low-cut dress and small golden hoop earrings, with a dark eye liner and her hair piled high on her head. The cover artwork for the deluxe edition is the same as the cover artwork used for single "Déjà Vu" and B'Day Anthology Video Album, and features Beyoncé with a 1960s-inspired hairstyle and similar makeup as on the standard edition cover artwork, wearing a white and black top and golden hoop earrings. The booklet of the deluxe edition is highly similar to the standard edition one, also featuring some new images.
In collaboration with Sony Urban Music and Music World Entertainment, B'Day was first released in the United States through Columbia Records on September 5, 2006 the day after Beyoncé's twenty-fifth birthday. It was first released in Austria, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Poland and Switzerland four days prior to the release in the United States, on September 1, and was released in various countries to coincide with Beyoncé's birthday on September 4. Seven months after the release of the standard edition, an expanded double-disc deluxe edition of the album was released in the United States on April 3, 2007. In addition to the original track listing, the deluxe edition features five new songs, including "Beautiful Liar", a duet with Colombian singer Shakira. The single made US Billboard Hot 100 history when it moved ninety-one positions--from number ninety-four to number three--on April 7, 2007. "Amor Gitano" ("Gypsy Love"), a Spanish-language flamenco-pop duet with Mexican singer Alejandro Fernández, served as a soundtrack for Telemundo's telenovela El Zorro, and was included in the deluxe edition as well, alongside Spanish re-recordings of "Listen" ("Oye"), "Irreplaceable" ("Irreemplazable") and "Beautiful Liar" ("Bello Embustero"). The idea of recording songs in a foreign language emanated from her experience when Destiny's Child collaborated with Alejandro Sanz for "Quisiera Ser" (2000). Beyoncé worked with producer Rudy Pérez for these recordings in order to retain the same feeling of the English versions of the songs into the Spanish translation. Spanish-language extended play (EP) from the deluxe edition was later released under the title Irreemplazable.
B'Day Anthology Video Album was released simultaneously with the deluxe edition and featured thirteen music videos including the director's cut of the performance version of "Listen" and the extended mix of "Get Me Bodied". Most of the videos were accompaniments for the uptempo songs on B'Day; which featured retro stylization, use of color and black hair styles, as Beyoncé thought it would create a resemblance between herself and the character she played in Dreamgirls, Deena Jones. The shooting of the videos was completed in two weeks; they were directed by Jake Nava, Anthony Mandler, Melina Matsoukas, Cliff Watts, Ray Kay, Sophie Muller, Diane Martel and Beyoncé herself. Initially, the DVD was available exclusively in Walmart, but was later released to other retailers. The Spanish songs were not included on international editions of the deluxe edition but were replaced by the thirteen music videos from B'Day Anthology Video Album.
To promote B'Day, Beyoncé appeared on various television and award shows from mid-2006 until mid-2007. She performed the album's lead single "Déjà Vu" with Jay-Z at the BET Awards 2006 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California on June 27, 2006. At the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards on August 31, 2006, she performed "Ring the Alarm" wearing a flowing trench coat, a corset and hotpants; the performance referenced Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" routine. On September 5, the day B'Day was released, Beyoncé made an appearance on TRL. In an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show which aired on September 5, Beyoncé performed "Déjà Vu" and "Irreplaceable". She performed "Déjà Vu" at the Fashion Rocks on September 8, and, along with "Crazy in Love", "Green Light", "Ring the Alarm" and "Irreplaceable", during an episode of Good Morning America which aired the same day. She also performed "Déjà Vu" on The Tyra Banks Show on September 15. Promoting B'Day in the United Kingdom, Beyoncé performed "Irreplaceable", "Ring the Alarm" and "Crazy in Love" on Popworld on October 27, 2006. Beyoncé opened the 2006 World Music Awards on November 15, with the performance of "Déjà Vu" and "Ring the Alarm", performing "Irreplaceable" later during the show. She performed "Irreplaceable" at the American Music Awards of 2006 on November 21, and, along with "Listen", on Today on December 4. Beyoncé also performed "Listen" ay the 49th Annual Grammy Awards on February 11, 2007, and again at the 79th Academy Awards on February 25. Beyoncé promoted the deluxe edition of B'Day in April 2007 by performing the Spanglish version of "Irreplaceable" and "Green Light" on Today on April 2, 2007, and "Beautiful Liar" on an episode of The Early Show which aired on April 6, 2007. She performed "Get Me Bodied" at the BET Awards 2007 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on June 26, wearing a gold robot gear, which she wittled down to sleek lame gold pants and a matching bra top. As she continued singing, her younger sister Solange Knowles and former Destiny's Child bandmate Michelle Williams appeared onstage as her backup dancers; a few moments later, Beyoncé introduced her former Destiny's Child bandmate Kelly Rowland, who performed her song "Like This" with Eve. After Rowland's performance, Beyoncé, Solange and Williams appeared onstage with Rowland to complete the Destiny's Child reunion.
In mid-2006, Beyoncé looked for an all-female band for her tour The Beyoncé Experience (2007) to promote the album. She held an audition for keyboard players, bassists, guitarists, horn players, percussionists and drummers around the world. Beyoncé named the band Suga Mama, after the song of the same title. Although the band only consisted of women, both male and female backup dancers performed onstage. As well as singing songs from B'Day, Beyoncé also performed songs from Dangerously in Love and gave a medley of Destiny's Child songs. She embarked on the tour in Japan on April 10, 2007 and concluded it in Tapei, Taiwan on November 12, 2007. At the Los Angeles show Jay-Z and Destiny's Child bandmates Rowland and Williams made guest appearances. Footage from this show was filmed and released on November 20, 2007 as a live album titled The Beyoncé Experience Live.
"Déjà Vu", featuring Jay-Z, was released on June 24, 2006, as the album's lead single. It received mixed to positive reviews from music critics. The single peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, topping the US Dance Club Songs, US Dance/Electronic Singles Sales, US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and the UK Singles Chart. It was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The single's accompanying music video, directed by Sophie Muller, was a subject of controversy due to its sexually suggestive content. "Déjà Vu" and its Freemasons club mix received three nominations at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards (2007).
"Ring the Alarm" was released as the second single from the album exclusively in the United States. It was serviced to urban contemporary radio on September 10, 2006, and was released as a CD single on October 3. The single received mixed reviews from the music critics, who noticed it was different from Beyoncé's earlier works; while some commended her willingness to take risks, others were polarized about her aggressive vocals. Commercially, it became her highest-charting single debut, opening at number twelve on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number eleven, thus becoming Beyoncé's first solo single not to peak within the top ten.
"Irreplaceable" was serviced to international markets as the second international and third overall single from B'Day. It was released in the United Kingdom on October 23, 2006, and in the United States on December 5, 2006. The single received generally favorable reviews from music critics, with some calling it the best song on B'Day. It was a commercial success, topping the US Billboard Hot 100, spending ten weeks atop, as well as topping various other Billboard charts and charts in Australia, Hungary, Ireland and New Zealand. "Irreplaceable" was ranked atop the US Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 2007, and was the tenth best-selling digital single worldwide of 2007, having sold over four million copies worldwide by the end of 2007. It was the twenty-fifth most successful song of the 2000s (decade), according to the Billboard Hot 100 Songs of the Decade. The single's accompanying music video features the debut performance of her all-female band Suga Mama. At the 50th Annual Grammy Awards (2008), "Irreplaceable" was nominated for Grammy Award for Record of the Year.
"Beautiful Liar", a duet with Shakira, was released as the lead and only single from the deluxe edition of B'Day and as the fourth single from B'Day overall. After leaking onto the Internet in early February 2007, it was serviced to contemporary hit,rhythmic and urban contemporary radio stations in the United States on February 12. It received generally favorable reviews from the music critics, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards (2008). The single registered the largest upward movement on the US Billboard Hot 100 in the history of the chart, when it jumped ninety-one places from number ninety-four to number three in its second week, which became its peak position. Internationally, it peaked atop the European Hot 100 Singles and on charts in France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Venezuela.
"Get Me Bodied" was released as the fifth single from B'Day on July 10, 2007. The single's 1960s-influenced accompanying music video features sister Solange Knowles and former Destiny's Child bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. It peaked at number sixty-eight on the US Billboard Hot 100 on August 4, 2007, becoming Beyoncé's lowest-peaking single on the chart at the time. However, as a video of a woman named Deborah Cohen and her doctors dancing to "Get Me Bodied" before she underwent a double mastectomy was posted onto YouTube and went viral, the single found a new peak position at number forty-six on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 23, 2013.
"Green Light" was released as the sixth and final single from the album in the United Kingdom on July 30, 2007. It was originally planned to be released as the second single for the international market, but the management opted for "Ring the Alarm" instead. Along with the release of the single, the remix extended play (EP) Green Light: Freemasons EP was released on July 27, 2007 for digital download; the single was also planned to be released for CD in the United Kingdom, but the plans were cancelled last-minute. Its Freemasons club mix peaked at number twelve on the UK Singles Chart; the cancellation of the physical release prevented the single to obtain a higher peak position on the chart.
Although they weren't released as singles, "Upgrade U", "Kitty Kat" and "Freakum Dress" appeared on several Billboard charts. "Upgrade U", featuring Jay-Z, was released as a promotional single in the United States on November 27, 2006, and reached numbers fifty-nine and eleven on the US Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, respectively. "Kitty Kat" peaked at number sixty-six on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. "Freakum Dress", which was cited as a possible second single from B'Day in June 2006, peaked at number twenty-five on the US Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles and at number sixteen on the US Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles.
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B'Day received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 70, based on 23 reviews.Jody Rosen, writing for Entertainment Weekly, commented that the album's songs "arrive in huge gusts of rhythm and emotion, with Beyoncé's voice rippling over clattery beats". Jonah Weiner of Blender commented that "sweaty up-tempo numbers prove the best platform for Beyoncé's rapperly phrasing and pipe-flaunting fireballs". Andy Kellman of AllMusic felt that, despite "no songs with the smooth elegance" of "Me, Myself and I" or "Be with You", the album is "lean in a beneficial way".The Boston Globes Sarah Rodman commented that the production team helped Beyoncé "focus on edgier, up-tempo tracks that take her sweet soprano to new places". Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian felt that, "apart from a few pop-R&B space-fillers, there's not much to dislike about B'Day".Robert Christgau from MSN Music said "on most of [the songs] she's wronged yet still in control because she's got so much money" and felt that Beyoncé "earns her props" if "opulence can signify liberation in this grotesquely materialistic time, as in hip-hop it can".
In a mixed review, Jon Pareles of The New York Times found the album "tense, high-strung and obsessive", and said that it was neither "ingratiating or seductive". Richard Cromelin of the Los Angeles Times observed that Beyoncé "heads into a new, more challenging terrain", but "some of the experiments don't click". Although he found the album "solid", Mike Joseph of PopMatters said that "aside from its relatively short running time, it sounds suspiciously under produced". Brian Hiatt of Rolling Stone averred that "while the mostly up-tempo disc never lacks for energy, some of the more beat-driven tracks feel harmonically and melodically undercooked, with hooks that don't live up to 'Crazy in Love' or the best Destiny's Child hits". Priya Elan of NME cited only "Freakum Dress" and "Ring the Alarm" as highlights and criticized that "too many tracks sound like updated versions of former glories", with no song on-par with "Crazy in Love".
At the 49th Annual Grammy Awards (2007), B'Day was nominated for five Grammy Awards, 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"; the Freemasons club mix of "Déjà Vu" without the rap was put forward in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category. B'Day won the award for Best Contemporary R&B Album. The following year, B'Day received two nominations - for Record of the Year for "Irreplaceable" and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Beautiful Liar" (with Shakira), also receiving a nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Pictures, Television or Other Visual Media for her appearance on Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture (2006). In April 2013, Vibe named B'Day the forty-first best album since 1993, as well as the greatest party album of the last twenty years. In 2006, AllMusic ranked B'Day at number three on their list "Albums of the Year", while Q ranked it at number seventy-two on their list of the same title.Village Voice ranked the album at number seventy-nine on their list "Pazz & Jop 2006". British daily broadsheet newspaper The Daily Telegraph listed B'Day on their accolade "120 Essential Pop Albums" in 2008. In 2013, Entertainment Weekly ranked it at number ninety-four on their list "Entertainment Weeklys 100 Greatest Albums Ever".Spin ranked it at number one-hundred-and-nine on their list "The 300 Best Albums of the Past 30 Years" in 2015.
Despite an average commercial performance of the album's first two singles, "Déjà Vu" and "Ring the Alarm", B'Day debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 on September 23, 2006, selling over 541,000 units in its first week.B'Day scored Beyoncé's highest debut-week album sales, until it was surpassed by her self-titled fifth studio album (2013), which sold 617,213 digital copies in its first week. The album gave Beyoncé her second number-one debut on the chart following Dangerously in Love (2003), which was noted by Keith Caulfield of Billboard, surmising that perhaps "its handsome debut was generated by goodwill earned from the performance of her smash first album Dangerously in Love".B'Day fell to number three in its second week, and to number six the following week, falling off the top ten in its fourth week at number eleven. After seven weeks of being outside the top ten, B'Day reached number nine on the chart dated December 2, 2006, due to the success of its single "Irreplaceable", which helped the album in regaining its strength. It climbed to number six the following week, becoming the week's "greatest gainer". The following week, it fell off the top ten again, charting at number eleven. By the end of 2006, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and became the thirty-eighth best-selling album of that year in the United States. The album re-entered the top ten again, at number six, on the chart dated January 27, 2007, while Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture, on which Beyoncé performed, was at the top. It remained within the top ten the following week at number ten, before falling to number thirteen on the chart dated February 10, 2007. The RIAA re-certified B'Day triple platinum on April 16, 2007, combining the sales from the standard and deluxe editions. On the Billboard 200 chart dated April 21, 2007, B'Day jumped from number sixty-nine to number six due to the release of its deluxe edition, gaining nine-hundred-and-three percent in sales and becoming the week's "greatest gainer". It remained within the top ten the following week at number seven, before falling to number thirteen on the chart dated May 5, 2007. The album spent a total of seventy-four weeks on the Billboard 200. It became the eleventh best-selling album in the United States of 2007. As of July 2014, the album has sold 3.4 million copies in the United States.
Internationally, B'Day was met with similar success. In Canada, B'Day reached number two on the Canadian Albums Chart, staying at that position for two weeks. It was certified platinum by the Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA). On Oricon Albums Chart in Japan, the standard edition of the album debuted and peaked at number four, selling 72,921 copies in its first week, while the deluxe edition debuted at number nine with first-week sales of 17,519 copies, and peaked at number five in its second week on the chart, selling 23,153 copies that week. The standard edition was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipments of 250,000 copies in Japan, while the deluxe edition was certified gold for shipments of 100,000 copies. The album's standard edition peaked at number six on Top 100 Mexico, while its deluxe edition peaked at number nine. It was certified gold by the Mexican Association of Producers of Phonograms and Videograms (AMPROFON) for shipments of 50,000 copies in Mexico. Across Oceania, it had the same reception, debuting at number eight in both Australia and New Zealand during the same week, on September 11, 2006.B'Day remained on the charts for twenty and twenty-five weeks, respectively, and was certified platinum by both the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ).
In the United Kingdom, B'Day debuted at numbers three and one on the UK Albums Charts and UK R&B Albums Chart, respectively on September 11, 2006, selling 35,012 copies in its first week. Its deluxe edition peaked at numbers eight and three on the UK Albums Chart and UK R&B Albums Chart, respectively, on April 29, 2007. The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) certified standard edition of B'Day platinum for shipping 300,000 units, and the deluxe edition gold for shipping 100,000 units. As of July 3, 2011, B'Day has sold 385,078 copies in the United Kingdom. Throughout Europe, the album peaked at number three on the European Top 100 Albums, while reaching the top ten in Denmark, Flanders, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. It was certified platinum in Europe by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) for sales of one million copies in the continent. As of September 2013, B'Day has sold eight million copies worldwide.
B'Day was a subject of various controversies. The music video for its lead single "Déjà Vu" caused controversy due to its sexually suggestive content. A news article published by Hindustan Times reported that a particular scene in the video is suggestive of oral sex. Natalie Y. Moore of In These Times echoed the latter's commentary, writing that the video showcases Beyoncé "strutting her sexuality", and that in Jay-Z's scenes it "looks as if any minute now she'll give him fellatio". The video later appeared on Yahoo! Music News' list "Real Turkeys: The Worst Videos of All Time", which pointed to the negative fan reaction and stated: "It's probably the least horrific video listed ... but as far as Beyoncé videos go, it is a stinker." According to an MTV News staff report, as of July 2006, over two thousand people had signed an online petition addressed to Beyoncé's record label Columbia Records, demanding a reshoot for the video. By the end of August 2006, over five thousand additional fans had signed it. The petition requested the video to be taped again because it was considered to be "an underwhelming representation of the talent and quality of previous music-video projects of Ms. Beyoncé". Included in the list of offenses towards the video were "a lack of theme, dizzying editing, over-the-top wardrobe choices, and unacceptable interactions" between Beyoncé and Jay-Z. Beyoncé's dance moves were also called into question by the petition, qualifying them as "erratic, confusing and alarming at times". Additionally, fans complained about sexual theme depicted in the video, describing that some scenes as "unacceptable interactions [between Beyoncé and Jay-Z]" while also complaining of a "non-existent sexual chemistry" between the two.
The lyrics of "Ring the Alarm" were rumored to be about Barbadian singer Rihanna's relationship with rapper and Beyoncé's now-husband Jay-Z. According to a media speculation, Beyoncé, Rihanna and Jay-Z were part of a love triangle in 2006. It was rumored that Jay-Z had always been faithful to Beyoncé until he met Rihanna, whose popularity grew considerably during that year and that she tempted Jay-Z to be in a romantic relationship with her while he was still with Beyoncé. As commented by Tom Breihan of The Village Voice, Beyoncé took advantage of "[people's] sympathy and unleash[ed] a burst of public rage in the form of ['Ring the Alarm']". In an interview for Seventeen, she, however, clarified that the lyrics had no connection with Rihanna, before adding that she was unaware of the rumors that had been circulating. Concerned that someone was trying to sabotage the release of B'Day, her father and manager Mathew Knowles released an official statement:
It is apparent that there is a consistent plan by some to create chaos around Beyoncé's B'Day album release on September 4 in the US. First, it was a petition against the single, 'Déjà Vu', then a rumor regarding conflict between Beyoncé and Rihanna, seizures caused by the 'Ring the Alarm' video, putting out a single to compete with LeToya's album and now to add to all the ridiculous rumors, is my plan to postpone the release of her 'B'Day' album. What will be next? Beyoncé's cut off all her hair? Dyed it green? Maybe she's singing the songs in reverse with some hidden subliminal message!
The cover artwork for the single "Ring the Alarm" fueled controversy after Beyoncé used alligators during the photo shoot. Beyoncé revealed that using the alligators and taping their mouths shut was her idea. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), an animal rights organization which had previously confronted her after she had used furs for her fashion line's clothing design, contacted a biologist who later wrote a letter to her, stating: "As a specialist in reptile biology and welfare, I'm concerned about your posing with a terrified baby alligator for your new album cover. Humans and alligators are not natural bedfellows, and the two should not mix at events such as photo shoots. In my view, doing so is arguably abusive to an animal."
Controversy also arose over the writing credits on "Irreplaceable". Ne-Yo, who co-wrote the song, told MTV: "Apparently Beyoncé was at a show somewhere and right before the song came on she said, 'I wrote this for all my ladies' and then the song came on ... The song is a co-write. I wrote the lyrics, I wrote all the lyrics. Beyoncé helped me with the melodies and the harmonies and the vocal arrangement and that makes it a co-write. Meaning my contribution and her contribution made that song what it is." In 2011, Ne-Yo said that he wrote the song for himself, but thought that it would suit Beyoncé better, and later regretted giving the song to her. Some of Beyoncé's fans read Ne-Yo's remark as disrespectful towards her. However, he clarified his comment later through Twitter, writing: "I said I originally wrote the song for me. ... Once I realized how the song comes across if sung by a guy, that's when I decided to give it away."
In 2007, Beyoncé appeared on billboards and newspapers across Australia holding an antiquated cigarette holder. Taken from the back cover artwork of B'Day, the image provoked response from an anti-smoking group, stating that she did not need to add the cigarette holder "to make herself appear more sophisticated". The same year, three weeks after their release, the deluxe edition of B'Day and the B'Day Anthology Video Album were temporarily ceased for retail in stores. A copyright infringement lawsuit was filed due to breach of contract of using "Still in Love (Kissing You)", a cover version of British singer Des'ree's original song "Kissing You". Not intended for the album's inclusion, Des'ree's deal also stipulated that the title of the song was not to be altered, and a music video was not to be made. After the infringement case, the song was removed from the reissue of the deluxe edition, and was replaced by "If". The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in October 2007.
B'Day was a "monumental moment for music fans worldwide and would elevate Beyoncé from princess-in-waiting to a full-fledged queen in the musical landscape", according to an editor of web publication The Boombox in an article published on September 4, 2016 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the release of B'Day; the editor called the album Beyoncé's "most liberating body of work and its impact still echoes ten years later." In an article published by Revolt on the same day, B'Day was called Beyoncé's "first REAL visual album", as she would later release two "visual albums" Beyoncé (2013) and Lemonade (2016), and as almost every song from B'Day had an accompanying music video, which was "something we hadn't seen before". The same day, website EST. 1997 published an article about B'Day as well, and wrote that the album's singles became "essential parts" of pop culture, also writing that "Get Me Bodied" is "now cemented as one of those songs that gets played by a DJ to get the crowd dancing at a wedding". The website also wrote an article about B'Day Anthology Video Album on April 3, 2017, the tenth anniversary of its release, also calling it Beyoncé's first "visual album" and stating that it "laid the groundwork for Beyoncé to become the pioneering visual artist she is revered to as today."Billboard published "Beyoncé's Best Fashion Moments from Her Decade-Old 'B'Day Anthology Video Album'" on the same day, the list in which editor Da'Shan Smith commented on ten best outfits Beyoncé wore in the music videos, stating: "The project has delivered audiences some of the singer's most iconic looks. In every frame she appears in, Beyoncé oozes a radiant confidence, wearing stunning outfits and costumes to match."Vibe published a list in which Smith ranked all thirteen music videos from the worst to the best, stating: "B'Day Video Anthology Album must be heralded as an important pop culture artifact. As expressed before, it's the birther of Beyoncé's passion for providing fans visual sequences they need to tell an album's story. Imagine a B'Day without its Anthology--although the go-go and funk infused tracks already made an impression upon audio listens only, the visuals made the record pop to life."
|B'Day - Standard edition|
|1.||"Déjà Vu" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:00|
|2.||"Get Me Bodied"||3:25|
|4.||"Upgrade U" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:33|
|5.||"Ring the Alarm"||3:23|
|B'Day - North American edition (hidden tracks)|
|11.||"Encore for the Fans"||0:39|
|12.||"Listen" (from the Motion Picture Dreamgirls)||3:38|
|13.||"Get Me Bodied" (Extended Mix)||5:59|
|B'Day - International iTunes Store and European Amazon Digital Music edition (bonus videos)|
|14.||"Déjà Vu" (featuring Jay-Z)||Sophie Muller||4:01|
|15.||"Behind the Scenes"||Ed Burke||17:39|
|B'Day - International edition (bonus track)|
|11.||"Check on It" (featuring Bun B and Slim Thug)||3:30|
|B'Day - International edition (hidden tracks)|
|12.||"Encore for the Fans"||0:39|
|13.||"Listen" (from the Motion Picture Dreamgirls)||3:38|
|14.||"Get Me Bodied" (Extended Mix)||5:59|
|B'Day - International iTunes Store pre-order and New Zealand iTunes Store edition (bonus track)|
|11.||"Lost Yo Mind"||3:47|
|B'Day - Japanese edition (bonus track)|
|B'Day - Circuit City exclusive edition (bonus track)|
|B'Day - North American deluxe edition (disc one)|
|1.||"Beautiful Liar" (with Shakira)||3:19|
|5.||"Welcome to Hollywood"||3:18|
|6.||"Upgrade U" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:32|
|7.||"Flaws and All"||4:08|
|8.||"World Wide Woman"||3:41|
|9.||"Get Me Bodied" (Extended Mix)||6:18|
|10.||"Still in Love (Kissing You)" (later replaced by "If")||3:18|
|13.||"Déjà Vu" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:00|
|14.||"Ring the Alarm"||3:23|
|16.||"Listen" (from the Motion Picture Dreamgirls)||3:38|
|B'Day - Best Buy deluxe edition (disc one)|
|8.||"Still in Love (Kissing You)" (later replaced by "If")||3:18|
|9.||"Get Me Bodied" (Extended Mix)||6:18|
|12.||"Déjà Vu" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:00|
|13.||"Ring the Alarm"||3:23|
|15.||"Listen" (from the Motion Picture Dreamgirls)||3:38|
|16.||"World Wide Woman" (hidden track)|
|17.||"My First Time" (hidden track)||4:25|
|B'Day - North American deluxe edition (disc two)|
|1.||"Amor Gitano" (with Alejandro Fernández)||3:48|
|5.||"Beautiful Liar" (Remix) (with Shakira)||3:01|
|6.||"Beautiful Liar" (Spanglish version) (featuring Sasha Fierce)||3:21|
|7.||"Irreemplazable" (Norteña Remix)|
|B'Day - International deluxe edition (disc one)|
|1.||"Beautiful Liar" (with Shakira)||3:19|
|5.||"Welcome to Hollywood"||3:18|
|6.||"Upgrade U" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:32|
|7.||"Flaws and All"||4:08|
|9.||"Get Me Bodied" (Extended Mix)||6:18|
|12.||"Déjà Vu" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:00|
|13.||"Ring the Alarm"||Swizz Beatz||3:23|
|15.||"Listen" (from the Motion Picture Dreamgirls)||The Underdogs||3:38|
|16.||"World Wide Woman"||3:41|
|17.||"Check on It" (featuring Bun B and Slim Thug)||3:30|
|18.||"Amor Gitano" (with Alejandro Fernández)||3:48|
|19.||"Beautiful Liar" (Remix) (with Shakira)||3:00|
|B'Day - iTunes Store and UK Amazon Digital Music deluxe edition (bonus track)|
|B'Day - Japanese deluxe edition|
|16.||"Check on It" (featuring Bun B and Slim Thug)||3:30|
|18.||"World Wide Woman"||3:41|
|B'Day - Latin American deluxe edition|
|17.||"Amor Gitano" (with Alejandro Fernández)||3:48|
|B'Day - International deluxe edition (bonus DVD)|
|1.||"Beautiful Liar" (with Shakira)||3:34|
|5.||"Upgrade U" (featuring Jay-Z)||4:38|
|6.||"Flaws and All"||4:14|
|7.||"Get Me Bodied" (Extended Mix)||6:42|
|10.||"Déjà Vu" (featuring Jay-Z)||Muller||4:06|
|11.||"Ring the Alarm"||Muller||3:33|
|12.||"Listen" (Performance version)||Diane Martel||3:49|
|13.||"Still in Love (Kissing You)" (later removed)||4:41|
|15.||"Behind the Scenes"||Burke||17:39|
Credits adapted from the liner notes of B'Day.
|Canada (Music Canada)||Platinum||100,000^|
|Denmark (IFPI Denmark)||Gold||20,000^|
|Greece (IFPI Greece)||Gold||7,500^|
|Ireland (IRMA)||3× Platinum||45,000^|
|New Zealand (RMNZ)||Platinum||15,000^|
|Russia (NFPF)||3× Platinum||60,000*|
|Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)||Gold||15,000^|
|United Kingdom (BPI)
|United Kingdom (BPI)
|United States (RIAA)||3× Platinum||3,400,000|
|Austria||September 1, 2006||Standard||Sony BMG|||
|Australia||September 2, 2006|||
|Belgium||September 4, 2006||Digital download|||
|New Zealand||Digital download|||
|Canada||September 5, 2006||Sony BMG|||
|Japan||September 6, 2006||Sony BMG|||
|Canada||September 12, 2006||LP|||
|United Kingdom||September 25, 2006||RCA|||
|Argentina||April 3, 2007||Deluxe||
|Japan||April 4, 2007||
|Australia||April 20, 2007|||
|France||April 23, 2007|||
|Spain||May 7, 2007|||
|Italy||May 28, 2007|||
|Brazil||May 29, 2007||Sony BMG|||