Beyonce grew to music superstardom as a “Destiny’s Child” darling famous for singing about paying bills and, then, as a solo artist, singing about putting a ring on it.
Now, the 31-year-old singer has shocked fans and fellow singers alike with the debut of her first track in nearly two years, a gritty single titled “Bow Down/I Been On.”
In the song, released Sunday on her official Tumblr account, the Grammy winner, who has said she transforms into a character she calls “Sasha Fierce” on stage, uses two words unheard of in her music before, including the B-word.
“I know when you were little girls/You dreamt of being in my world/ Don’t forget it/ Respect that/ Bow down b—-es/ Don’t get it twisted this is my sh-t,” she sings.
“This is not a ‘Good Housekeeping’ moment for Beyonce,” author Danyel Smith told ABC News. “This is a pop star moment for Beyonce.”
Beyonce’s moment (this will be her fifth album) has drawn criticism from at least one of her fellow R&B singers, Keyshia Cole, who took to Twitter to call out Beyonce.
“First “Women need to Stick together” now b—-es better Bow. Smh. But it’s all G! Chicks stay shooting the sh-t. But when I speak my mind its a prob. #Well #StayMad,” Cole tweeted Monday.
It’s also surprising to fans and others who’re not used to such lyrics from their pop star.
“The new song by #Beyonce is very disappointing especially since she now has a daughter. I’ve never been a fan & definitely wont after this,” tweeted @SweetAngel CC.
“I think hearing her use that word in a song is less expected than say if Rihanna or Katy Perry or Lady Gaga used it,” Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly magazine said.
“Bow Down” is Beyonce’s first new material since her album ”Four,” which was released in 2011, before the birth of Blue Ivy, her daughter with music mogul Jay-Z.
The 16-time Grammy Award-winning singer opened up last month about her private life and showed raw video of her flashy performances in a personal documentary, “Life Is But a Dream,” on HBO.
Beyonce, born Beyonce Knowles, launches her “Mrs. Carter World Tour” on June 28 in Los Angeles. Husband Jay-Z’s real name is Shawn Carter.