Lemonade is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Beyoncé. It was released on April 23, 2016, by Parkwood Entertainment and distributed through Columbia Records. The record is Beyoncé’s second “visual album”, following her eponymous 2013 record, and a concept album. Lemonade was accompanied upon its release by a one-hour film aired on HBO. Mainly an R&B album, Lemonade encompasses a variety of genres including pop, blues, rock, hip hop, soul, funk, country, gospel, and trap.
Let’s learn some more facts about it!
1. The Lemonade film was divided into 11 chapters named Intuition, Denial, Anger, Apathy, Emptiness, Accountability, Reformation, Forgiveness, Resurrection, Hope, and Redemption.
2. Lemonade traces a story of infidelity and reconciliation. It starts with Beyoncé questioning her relationship.
3. “Are you cheating on me?” she asks the viewer. When the evidence of unfaithfulness becomes conclusive, her first move is protest – “They don’t love you like I love you,” she intones – followed by anger: “I’m gonna fuck me up a bitch,” she says gleefully in one song, baseball bat in hand.
4. Later she adds, “You ain’t married to an average bitch, boy!” but after she appears to cut loose from an untrustworthy partner – “Me and my baby gonna be alright, we gonna live a good life” – the tale shifts towards cease-fire and reunion.
5. The hour ends with shots of happy couples and an assertion that our heroine will move forward. “My torturer became my remedy,” Beyoncé explains. “So we’re gonna heal. We’re gonna start again.”
6. The film uses poetry and prose written by expatriate Somali poet Warsan Shire; her poems which she adapted were “The Unbearable Weight of Staying”, “Dear Moon”, “How to Wear Your Mother’s Lipstick”, “Nail Technician as Palm Reader”, and “For Women Who Are Difficult to Love”.
7. It also features Ibeyi, Laolu Senbanjo, Amandla Stenberg, Quvenzhané Wallis, Chloe x Halle, Zendaya, and Serena Williams.
8. The mothers of Trayvon Martin (Sybrina Fulton), Michael Brown (Lesley McFadden), and Eric Garner (Gwen Carr) are featured holding pictures of their deceased sons. The HBO broadcast logged 787,000 viewers.
9. The album title was inspired by Beyoncé’s grandmother Agnéz Deréon, as well as her husband Jay Z’s grandmother, Hattie White.
10. At the end of track “Freedom”, an audio recording of Hattie White heard speaking to a crowd at her 90th birthday party in December 2015 is played.
11. During the speech, Hattie says “I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade.”
12. Streaming service Tidal described the concept behind Lemonade as “every woman’s journey of self-knowledge and healing.”
13. Lemonade debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, selling 485,000 copies in its first week (653,000 with additional album-equivalent units) earning Beyoncé her sixth consecutive number-one album in the country. The album was supported by four singles: “Formation”, “Sorry”, “Hold Up” and “Freedom” featuring Kendrick Lamar. In April 2016, Beyoncé embarked on the Formation World Tour to promote the album.
14. The record was made available for online streaming on April 23 through the streaming service Tidal, which Beyoncé co-owns, and released for paid purchase through the service the following day. It was later launched for purchase by track or album to Amazon Music and the iTunes Store on April 25 and at physical retailers May 6.
15. It features guest vocals from James Blake, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Jack White. The album contains samples and interpolations of a number of hip hop and rock songs.
16. In order to promote the album, Beyoncé embarked on The Formation World Tour which visits countries in North America and Europe from April to October 2016.
17. Beyoncé performed “Freedom” with Kendrick Lamar as the opening number at the 2016 BET Awards on June 27.
18. At the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards on August 28, Beyoncé performed a 16-minute medley of “Pray You Catch Me”, “Hold Up”, “Sorry”, “Don’t Hurt Yourself”, and “Formation”.
19. Beyoncé is credited as the project’s sole executive producer.
20. She is also credited as a writer and producer on every single song.
21. “All Night” marks the second time Beyoncé has sampled the horns from OutKast’s “SpottieOttieDopaliscious.”
22. Beyoncé’s bat in the “Hold Up” video is branded with the words “Hot Sauce.”
23. Dangerously In Love era Beyoncé made a teeny tiny cameo. When “Hold Up” aired during the HBO special, one of the kids dancing in the background was wearing a T-shirt with a design similar to her DIL album cover, sans diamonds.
24. Bey wore Yeezy. She paired her Yeezy athleisure with a Hood by Air fur in “Don’t Hurt Yourself.”
25. “Love Drought” was co-written by Beyoncé’s longtime friend and recent Parkwood signee Ingrid Burley.
26. The intricate white body paint Beyoncé and her backup dancers sport at various points throughout the visual album was designed by Nigerian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Laolu Senbanjo.
27. Quvenzhané Wallis, one of the many stars of Lemonade, is from Louisiana. Lemonade, which was filmed largely in Louisiana, is the 12-year-old’s third major project based in her home state, following her work in 12 Years a Slave and Beasts of the Southern Wild.
28. The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Michael Brown all made powerful appearances. Beyoncé’s spotlight on mothers who have lost their sons to police brutality is just the latest in her ongoing support for Black Lives Matter. Its co-founder Alicia Garza welcomed Bey to the movement in a Rolling Stone letter following the release of “Formation” in February.
29. Malcolm X made an appearance in Lemonade.Or rather, an excerpt from his speech “Who Taught You to Hate Yourself?” can be heard on “Don’t Hurt Yourself.”
30. Lemonade featured clips from both Beyoncé and mama Tina’s respective weddings.
31. According to producer Boots, the psych-pop band Animal Collective are credited on “6 Inch” because Team Bey realized after writing the song that the lyric “She too smart to crave material things” was similar to the “I don’t mean to seem like I care about material things” line in the Animal Collective song “My Girls.”
32. Τhe gleeful car-smashing visual for “Hold Up” draws heavily on artist Pipilotti Rist’s 1997 installation “Ever Is Over All.”
33. “Don’t Hurt Yourself” samples Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks.”
34. The lemonade recipe Beyoncé gives near the end of the film is real.
35. And this bowl in “Sandcastles” is there for a reason, maybe. It’s a kintsugi piece from a specific school of Japanese ceramics. In short, it’s believed that repairing a broken piece of pottery with glue and precious metal is a way to show that something even more beautiful can come out a mess like a broken bowl.