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Beyonce offers themes of female empowerment at Made In America festival in Philadelphia

By Mesfin Fekadu


(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)
(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

PHILADELPHIA _ Beyonce sang her usual hits, changed multiple times and hit high notes at the Budweiser Made In America music festival in Philadelphia.

She also pulled more than ever from her Destiny’s Child catalogue, interpolated inspirational words from Maya Angelou and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and told the feverish audience near the end of her 90-minute set : “I am so, so happy to celebrate my birthday with y’all.”

Beyonce, who turned 34 on Friday, headlined the first night of her husband’s two-day music festival held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Though Jay Z didn’t join the pop diva onstage Saturday night, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams’ presence was felt.

Sporting a light pink leotard and red knee-high boots, Beyonce kicked off her set with a slow rendition of “Crazy In Love.” It eventually hit its normal tempo, but later she wove in “Bootylicious.” And throughout her set, the audience watched her energetically perform “Say My Name,” ”Jumpin’ Jumpin’“ and dance slickly to lyrics from ”Independent Women Part I.“

“Where my survivors at?” she yelled before performing “Survivor.”

“Shout-out to my girl Kelly, I love you. My girl Michelle, I love you,” she said. “If you survived bad relationships, if you survived illnesses. When it gets tough, that’s when you work harder.”

Beyonce offered words of encouragement and empowerment, per usual, to the crowd of screaming fans. She took it to a new level when a background dancer moved beautifully to the words of Angelou’s classic “Phenomenal Woman” in between songs, and the audience screamed loudly as recent words from Rousey blasted from the speakers about girls who fall under the category of “do-nothing chicks.”

“The kind of chick that just tries to be pretty and be taken care of by someone else. That’s why I think it’s hilarious if my body looks masculine or something like that. Listen, just because my body was developed for a purpose other than (sleeping with) millionaires doesn’t mean it’s masculine,” Rousey’s audio was heard and also appeared on the large screen. “There’s not a single muscle on my body that isn’t for a purpose, because I’m not a do-nothing (chick).”

Beyonce also performed hits like “7/11,” ”Ring the Alarm,“ ”Run the World (Girls),“ ”Flawless,“ ”Halo,“ ”Love on Top“ and ”Drunk In Love.“ She changed into a bedazzled Philadelphia Sixers shirt before singing ”Feeling Myself,“ and she closed her set with the upbeat ”Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It).“

Other performers at the Made In America on Saturday included Modest Mouse, Nick Jonas and Meek Mill. The Weeknd will headline the festival Sunday.



Follow Fekadu on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MusicMesfin

Made In America music festival: http://a.madeinamericafest.com

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