Beyoncé's big birthday: Diana Ross, mom Tina Knowles, and more A-listers toast Houston's queen
This has been a year of landmark numbers for Houston's queen Beyoncé: a record-breaking 32 Grammy Awards, 20 years since the debut of her red-hot solo album Dangerously in Love, and 42 — the age she turned on Monday, September 4.
Queen Bey, who's in the midst of her Renaissance World Tour (which hits Houston this month), celebrated as a true performer should — onstage. Some 70,000 adoring fans — and a swarm of A-list celebs — packed SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California to watch the pop icon ring in her 42nd.
Diana Ross and 60,000 of the Hive sing Happy Birthday to Beyoncé! #BEYDAYLA#RENAISSANCEWorldTour pic.twitter.com/QIOOzgsyY7
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) September 5, 2023
Her SoFi night included a surprise serenade from OG queen Diana Ross, who popped up on stage to sing "Happy Birthday" to her fellow music goddess. The 79-year-old Ross was backed by a who's-who list of stars in the audience, include fellow Houstonian Lizzo, Adele, Katy Perry, Brandy, Chris Rock, Kim Kardashian and family, Heidi Klum, Taraji P. Henson, Tyler Perry, Justin and Hailey Bieber, Zendaya and Tom Holland; and more. Timothée Chalamet and Kylie Jenner's kiss also briefly broke the internet.
Queens and a Duchess sighting
Speaking of queens, a power trio of founding Destiny's Child member Kelly Rowland, Kerry Washington, and Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle some royal shine to the shimmering crowd. (Markle was seen dancing with Prince Harry at an earlier show.)
What could top a cameo by Diana Ross and Kendrick Lamar, who also jumped onstage? Queen Bey's emotional speech and thank you to her family and friends.
Beyoncé was radiant on her big birthday gig. Beyoncé/Instagram
“I’m thankful to be alive,” she told the crowd. “I’m thankful to be on stage. I’m thankful to look out and see your faces. I’m thankful to be able to provide a safe space for all of y’all. I’m thankful for music, for the ability to heal myself through music which then heals all of you. I’m thankful for every tear, for every year.”
“I’m thankful for my children. I’m thankful for my husband. I’m thankful for all the sh*t we’ve been through,” she declared. “I’m thankful for my beautiful father, who is here tonight… I’m thankful for my mother, my beautiful queen…” And then, in a nod to her Destiny's Child bandmates: “I’m thankful for Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, LaToya, LaTavia Roberson.”
A moving message from Mom
Queen Mother Tina Knowles, Beyoncé's mentor, role model, fashion designer, and more, offered a moving tribute to Beyoncé on Instagram, including an intimate photo of the megastar blowing out birthday candles with her three children — and a rare glimpse into a pet name for Beyoncé we're guessing only Queen Tina is allowed to use.
“I thank God, for choosing me to be the vessel in which you traveled to get to this world,” Tina Knowles wrote to her daughter.
“You are such rare and precious gift to the world not only as a genius entertainer. You are a gift because of your beautiful generous heart , the love you give. The grace you give , the wisdom that you show. I could go on, and on but every word is true you deserve to have the happiest day ever because you give your heart and soul to the world happy birthday my firstborn snoogams.”
From Dad, with love
Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé's father and the founder of Music World Entertainment, crafted a letter to his daughter that he shared on Linkedin.
“On top of watching your incredible talent displayed in full force on stage, I also see each show bringing people together from all creeds, backgrounds, races, ages and identities,” he wrote. “It’s an incredible sight witnessing complete strangers talk, dance, laugh, and celebrate together at each show with no judgement—just love. Beyoncé you've given the world more than a concert. You have started a movement. Today is your day to dance, laugh and celebrate. Dance to the music that is bringing the whole world together. Laugh with the amazing people around you. Celebrate the lives you have touched, the impact you’ve made, and the amazing person that you are. Happy birthday my daughter.”