Music

Why Are People Calling Beyoncé "King B"?

She’s been calling herself King B for awhile now, but where did it start, and what does it mean?

1. Beyoncé first called herself “King B” back in 2011.

The cover art for “Best Thing I Never Had” features Beyoncé writing “King B” on a mirror in lipstick. The song was the second single off 4.

2. Since then, loyal Bey fans have taken to calling her by the nickname.


Especially since she dropped her ferocious track “Bow Down / I Been On.”

7. Even Justin Timberlake’s hailing King B.

8. MTV’s called her King Bey…

9. And Gawker recently crowned her “King of Pop,” arguing that no one in pop music was more deserving of the title:


Talent abounds, but none of these guys quite has MJ’s levels of musical virtuosity, fascinating eccentricity and the ability to package them in appropriately surreal performance. Granted, the search seemed doomed, as the entire angle of Michael Jackson’s celebrity was that there was only one of him. But now it is clear that by turning to men (and men-children), we were looking in the wrong place: the heir to Michael Jackson’s throne is none other than King B.

10. Bey’s been bringing back the title with her new “King Bey” sneakers.

Designed by PMK, the Isabel Marant-inspired shoes were made custom for Beyonce. Retailing for a cool $5,500, the sneaks are made with crocodile and anaconda skins, stingray, ostrich and calf hair.

11. Some fear that Beyonce will soon be elevated to deity-status.

12. The title of King is an outgrowth of her Queen B nickname, which became popular after album “B’Day.”

13. Because “Queen” is not grand enough.

She’s toyed with gender roles before (see: “If I Were A Boy,” “Diva”), but elevating herself to the level of “King” seems like Bey making a clear statement about notions of gender and power. Which is curious, though, considering her upcoming tour is called “The Mrs. Carter Show.”

14. Bey’s been criticized in the past months for being too perfect, for being almost robotic in her unwavering grace.


She’s been hanging out with the Obamas, performing at the inauguration, shutting down the Super Bowl. One of the goals of her HBO documentary “Life Is But A Dream” was to humanize her, to show people she’s not perfect. But it basically just revealed her to be even more put-together and flawless than before.

15. So, if Bey’s going to be seen as untouchable no matter what….

16. Maybe she’s just going with it all the way?

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