Between them, music sensations Beyoncé and Jay Z share over 17 million Twitter followers, 69 million Instagram followers, and 85 million Facebook page likes. Their unstoppable reign over social media cannot be denied, and the frenzied online reaction to both stars following Beyoncé’s recent album release has only certified their status.
The Next Big Thing – Lemonade?
If you haven’t heard – or seen – Beyoncé’s latest visual album, Lemonade, where have you been? The constant discussion about the album on online platforms is unavoidable, whether it’s an interrogation on the artist’s feminist credentials or professions of undying love for ‘Queen Bey’.
The Guardian’s Megan Carpentier has described the album as a ‘pop culture phenomenon’, highlighting the intellectual conversation Lemonade has prompted internationally. Yet arguably, it’s the rumours around Jay Z and Beyoncé’s relationship – sparked by emotionally-charged lyrics – that are causing the real hysteria online. These days, as we scroll through our Twitter feeds, it feels like everyone has an opinion on Jay and Bey’s marriage – and of course, the true identity of Beyoncé’s apparent love rival, the notorious new villain of the Instagram Generation: ‘Becky with the Good Hair’.
Bey’s Internet Dynasty
Social media’s obsession with Beyoncé has become more and more evident in recent years. In December 2013, the star released a surprise, self-titled album that rocked the Internet. Completely unexpected by her legion of fans (it even had a secret code name – Lily), reactions were intense. Hazel Cills of Rolling Stone claimed Beyoncé ‘made the Internet explode’.
These days, it seems that anything Beyoncé puts her name to gets people talking. In March 2016, Beyoncé collaborated on an activewear line with Topshop, and social media was, as ever, rife with compliments for the artist, with scores of Instagram users discussing the label and vowing to purchase pieces.
A Spotlight on Jay Z
In contrast to his wife’s social media presence, Jay Z keeps a relatively low profile online, but that doesn’t stop fans posting about him constantly. This month, Jay has not only been subject to abuse following Lemonade’s release, (fans are demanding to know ‘did Jay Z cheat on Beyoncé with Becky?’) but his music is all over our feeds, too, with Twitter users voicing their opinions on the star’s recent collaboration with Drake on ‘Pop Style’.
The Internet’s constant stream of chatter about Bey and Jay – be it complimentary, accusatory, or downright obsessive – only cements their status as King and Queen of the music industry, showing how having a big impact on social media translates to real-world success.