Beyoncé Knowles Carter started her career in the ’90s with R&B group Destiny’s Child. Her well-documented work-ethic and dedication to performance lead her to quickly outgrow the group and pursue a solo career. With over 80 singles and a score of hit albums, her status as an icon of American music is undeniable. But with so many hits in her catalogue, which singles could be considered the best Beyoncé Songs? In the 20+ years of her ever-growing discography, Beyoncé’s music can make some listeners want to sing along.
Keeping this in mind, it makes sense that Beyoncé tracks can often come up when it’s time to belt out a favorite. According to a recent study, singing is good for you. Researchers monitored the participants’ mental health through interviews and focus groups over a period of six months and found that individuals saw symptoms of anxiety and depression decrease. Both the singing and the socializing that went along with the regular meetups gave the participants a sense of belonging and naturally stimulated their overall well-being.
Although it might seem like Beyoncé would be strictly sing-along fare for ladies only, many men also find themselves rapping along with her frequent collaborator and husband Jay-Z when he appears on tracks. Elements of their relationship are usually explored in their songs. This is quite common with many artists, but another study reveals that 71 percent of songs reference some sort of romantic relationship. The most commonly used term was “love,” used in 57 percent of songs. Interestingly, 22 percent of songs had a sexual reference, although a good number used a metaphor to describe action in bed. Perhaps the crux of the study, however, was the finding that while women were proportionally more likely to sing about romance, men are more likely to sing about sex.
Romance aside, the queen’s hits cover a range of topics and always leave fans wanting more. StudyFinds has considered 10 sources across the internet to evaluate what are the best Beyoncé songs out of the vast list of her singles. Let us know what your favorites are in the comments below!
The List: Best Beyoncé Songs Most Recommended by Music Experts
1.”Déjà Vu” (2006)
In the early 2000’s, Beyoncé was already transforming from a group member to a leading lady of song. “If ‘Crazy in Love’ made Beyoncé a star, then the first single from her sophomore album, B’Day, introduced her as a fully-formed artist. Coming off the backs of her solo debut and her final album with Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé partnered with Rodney ‘Darkchild’ Jerkins, Makeba, Keli Nicole Price, and Delisha Thomas to create a sonically challenging jam that served as a foremother to every Bey era that followed. From the song’s iconic BET Awards performance (an early glimpse of her alter ego Sasha Fierce) to its masterful perfection of her chemistry with Jay-Z to the way the funky track forecasts 4, and its Southern Gothic homage to her creole roots predicts Lemonade, ‘Deja Vu’ isn’t just the best song in her discography — it defines it,” says Rolling Stone.
16 years ago today, Beyoncé released ‘B'Day.’
Her Grammy-winning sophomore album debuted at #1 and was met with critical acclaim. It scored 6 Grammy nominations and spawned hits like ‘Deja Vu,’ ‘Irreplaceable’ and ‘Beautiful Liar.’ pic.twitter.com/jHUroeQfBo
— Pop Base (@PopBase) September 4, 2022
“Déjà Vu” is an early example of how Jay-Z could add to her songs without making them his own. With appealing hooks for both men and women, this song is certainly one of her greatest. “‘Let’s go get ’em,’ Beyoncé says to Jay-Z with an audible grin as the pair romp through a funky R&B head-nodder that simmers with the pair’s sexual tension. Utilizing soulful horns and a skittering hi-hat, the lead single from ‘B-Day’ further cemented Beyoncé’s status as a burgeoning icon,” mentions USA Today.
This track was neither the first nor last duet for Bey and Hova, but it endures as perhaps their greatest collaboration. “A Jay-Z guest slot, blasting brass and a distinct old-school funk feel, but Déjà Vu is more than just Crazy in Love 2.0. There’s an argument that, while less hooky, it’s a melodically stronger song than its more famous sibling, and the intro, where Beyoncé gradually introduces each instrument over an urgent bassline, is spectacularly exciting,” adds The Guardian.
2. “Formation” (2016)
“Formation” was a song that captured the zeitgeist of 2016. When she released her ‘surprise’ album Lemonade, listeners were delighted with a fresh sound that highlighted a variety of sounds and lyrical storytelling. “Beyoncé’s solo catalogue is rich and diverse, and she has kept her standard set to high. Even without recourse to the oeuvre of Destiny’s Child, you could easily replace half the tracks in this list with others without denting the quality of what’s there. It makes picking the No 1 a thankless task, but Formation does everything you might conceivably want a Beyoncé song to do in three and a half minutes. The music is adventurous, but also functions as pop; the lyrics balance the personal and political – it’s a powerful statement of black resilience and a tribute to the fabulousness of Beyoncé – and her vocal is perfect, slipping between playfulness and determination. A masterpiece,” states The Guardian.
Beyoncé Kick Off Her Formation Tour Today (27 April) in 2016. Her first solo stadium tour and features tracks from her album “Lemonade” released 23 April 2016.#Beyonce #Lemonade @Mystreetzmag https://t.co/rJJHpZJ8z2 pic.twitter.com/rVdkULvDNg
— sesan adeniji (@sesanadeniji) April 27, 2023
In 2016, trap and bounce music were beginning to emerge as mainstream sound for the general market. With Formation; Beyoncé asserts that she is proud, black, and beautiful. “‘Okay, ladies, now let’s get in formation,’ Beyoncé declared on ‘Formation,’ the trap and bounce lead single off Lemonade. Nearly 20 years into her illustrious career, ‘Formation’ was largely seen as radical, boasting themes of Black empowerment and pride with lyrics such as ‘I like my baby heir with baby hair and afros / I like my negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.’ Rolling Stone named the nearly five-minute visual as the ‘Greatest Music Video of All Time,’ and its accompanying Black Panther-themed Super Bowl performance remains one of the most epic in recent years,” adds Oprah Daily.
This song also marked one of Beyoncé’s first major hits to bring focus on her lifetime of activism as well as her pride in her creole roots. “‘Formation’ was the world’s introduction to Lemonade, as well as one of the first times the pop crowd really paid attention to Beyoncé’s Creole roots and activism for racial justice in a serious way—but Bey still used playful elements, like Red Lobster shoutouts and announcing she keeps hot sauce in her bag, swag,” says Parade.
3. “Crazy in Love” (2003)
In 2003, one of Beyoncé’s greatest hits of all time dropped in May and went on to become a massive summertime hit. “A masterpiece of a pop song, the lead single from Beyoncé‘s debut solo album Dangerously in Love was heralded an instant classic by critics upon its release back in 2003. With Young B and the R-O-C, some insanely catchy trumpets, and equal parts romance and sex appeal, Beyoncé proved she was more than ready for a solo career, with pop music canon-worthy ‘Crazy in Love.’ Not even 14 subsequent years of hit-making can dull the power of this one. And no shade to Destiny’s Child, but this is where Bey well truly began, an origin story for the ages,” says High Snobriety.
— AlphaPopRadio (@AlphaPopRadio1) May 2, 2023
This is a song that couples or groups love to sing together. Jay-Z’s smooth flow and Broooklyn accent enhance Beyoncé’s sultry vocals. “Crazy In Love served as Beyoncé’s debut as a solo artist in the music world, and wow did she make a huge splash. The lead single from her debut solo album Dangerously In Love, this track meshed the elements of pop, soul, and some funk together with a spectacular rap verse from her husband, Jay-Z. It instantly shot up to become a number-one hit in the US and UK, finding universal acclaim among critics. VH1 declared it the song of the decade for the 2000s, while Rolling Stone listed it at number 16 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2021. The track won not one but two Grammy Awards, taking home Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 46th Annual Grammy Award Show. The accompanying music video would then go on to win three awards at the MTV Video Music Awards as well, eventually leading to her making it her most performed song in her live shows,” writes Music Grotto.
Crazy in Love is an absolute template for the ultimate night at the club. As soon as the trumpets start to blare, many listeners can’t help but get up and dance. When people mention that a song can get them hyped, this is what they mean. “The horns that started it all. Beyoncé’s first solo single is still her greatest. With those opening trumpets — sampled from the Chi-Lites’ 1970 song ‘Are You My Woman (Tell Me So)’ — heralding the arrival of a new queen, Bey strut her way into the history books. Crazy is the apt word for this track, as it’s so bonkers with energy it threatens to go off the rails, but never does. Not with Beyoncé’s deft hand firmly at the wheel. Perhaps the ultimate Song of the Summer™, ‘Crazy in Love’ wuh-uh-oh’d to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 12, 2003. And what a summer that was. And what a summer we’ll have with Renaissance. Thank you for your continued booty-shaking service, Mrs. Carter,” says EW.
4. “Halo” (2007)
It is certainly true that Beyoncé makes people want to dance; but 2007’s “Halo” is a love song pure and simple. “As the crown jewel of I am…Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’ is the strong, feminine, power-pop love ballad that we never knew we needed. Showcasing Beyoncé’s strong voice and expansive range, the song’s powerful hook drives home the theme of all-encompassing love. Rightly, it earned Beyoncé a Grammy for best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2007,” points out Timeout.
— 99.9 UrbanScene Radio Station & Podcast (@9Urbanscene) April 27, 2023
“Halo” was ranked highly with nearly all our sources. “There may be two songs ahead of it in this countdown, but let’s make one thing clear: this is the number one best vocal performance Bey has put to tape. And yes, we know ‘Love on Top’ is good too. But ‘Halo’ is a track that, like its title suggests, reaches for and transcends into divinity. Her voice is a fluid chariot, riding every skyward into the most soprano notes her vocal chords can muster. There is a reason that grown men have cried real tears to this song, it is in its essence, holiness,” writes High Snobriety.
In short, it is a song about how many people want to feel. The love that this track describes is good and can have appeal for anyone. It is the kind of love that can make some folks tear up, and even when it doesn’t; “Halo” resonates with fans of Beyoncé. “Halo serves as an inspired pop and R&B power ballad that was meant to be a peek behind the curtain of Beyoncé’s life. It was all about a sublime type of love, featuring a complex musical arrangement that sounds beautiful. It was nominated for Record of the Year and won Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards in 2010, additionally taking home Best Song at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards,” says Music Grotto.
5. “Single Ladies” (2010)
Beyoncé has the ability to emote through her vocals. “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” exudes absolute joy and fun. With an absolute earworm for a chorus and an unforgettable music video, this song is another highly ranked track with our sources. “When the video for your worldwide smash becomes as ingrained in pop culture as the song itself, it’s definitely time to take a bow. With its shrug of a declaration (‘If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it’) and an unrelenting beat, the song, which collected a trio of Grammy Awards at the 2010 ceremony, served as both female empowerment anthem and a jab to commitment-phobic men. The video, meanwhile, spawned a gazillion pre-TikTok videos of fans parroting Beyoncé’s dance moves and inspired a brilliant ‘Saturday Night Live’ spoof,” says USA Today.
14 years ago today, Beyoncé released ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).’
The song won three Grammys, including Song Of The Year, and Video Of The Year at the VMAs. It became a defining moment in music and has been named one of the best songs of all time by TIME. pic.twitter.com/zVOCG1EysX
— Pop Base (@PopBase) October 12, 2022
Adding to this: “‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ is a popular dance-pop song by American singer Beyonce. The track was released as the lead single from her third studio album, ‘I Am…Sasha Fierce,’ in 2008. The song is known for its infectious beat, catchy chorus, and iconic dance routine featured in the music video. The lyrics of the song address women who are fed up with their significant others not committing to them, urging them to ‘put a ring on it’ if they want to keep their partners. The song’s production is characterized by a sparse beat and a thumping bassline, which builds up to a catchy chorus that invites listeners to dance along. The music video for ‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’ features Beyonce and two backup dancers performing a high-energy dance routine while wearing black leotards and stiletto heels. The video’s choreography quickly became a viral sensation, with fans around the world recreating the dance and posting their versions on social media,” adds Singers Room.
It cannot be overstated that the music video for Single Ladies with its black and white cinematography plus a high-adrenaline dance routine is a major part of its popularity. “Beyoncé really did have one of the best videos of all time with this all-timer from Sasha Fierce. (That’s probably why she won the VMA Video of the Year Award in 2009, which was presented after ‘Ye dickishly interrupted Taylor Swift’s Best Female Video win). You know the beat. You know the infectious ‘oh oh oh.’ You know the dance. ‘Single Ladies’ has become a part of the pop culture lexicon in a way few songs have: It’s a constant on playlists and part of casual conversation 12 years later. Most artists are lucky to become part of pop culture history. Only the best define it,” writes Timeout.
You might also be interested in:
- Rolling Stone
- USA Today
- The Guardian
- High Snobiety
- Music Grotto
- Oprah Daily
- Singers Room
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.