Hip Hop News 2013: Beyonce's Year In Review

posted Monday December 23, 2013 at 11:00AM PST | 21 comments

Hip Hop News 2013: Beyonce's Year In Review

HipHopDX counts down Beyonce's most viewed stories of 2013, including headlines about Harry Belafonte, "Life Is But A Dream" and her surprise self-titled release.

Beyonce, one of the most searched artists of the year, has had an eventful 2013. Most recently, the singer released a self-titled visual album that surprised fans, a successful strategy that earned the singer her most successful first-week figures to date. But throughout 2013, Beyonce has been making headlines worth reviewing. As a result, HipHopDX brings you the most viewed Beyonce news stories of 2013.

Harry Belafonte Asks For Sit-Down With Jay Z & Beyonce

After singer, songwriter and social activist Harry Belafonte criticized Jay Z, Beyonce and others as artists who have "turned their back on social responsibility." Jay addressed Belafonte on Magna Carta Holy Grail's "Nickles and Dimes." In 2013, Belafonte clarified his stance regarding the Carter couple. 

“I would be hard pressed to tell Mr. Jay Z what to do with this time and his fortune," Belafonte said. "All I can be critical is of what he is not doing. This conflict that is emerging was not from me as a direct attack on Jay Z or Beyonce. I was at a press conference in Switzerland. Questions were raised by the international press. They asked about the artists and the social engagement of the past based on a film we were watching…and how artists responded earlier in my life and how they responded today."

"I would hope that Jay Z would not take personally what was said because it was not said about him personally,” Belafonte added. "Having said that, I would like to say to Jay Z, to Beyonce: My heart is wide open and filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one. And lets understand each other rather than try to answer these questions and these nuances in a public place." 

Beyonce "Life Is But A Dream" Documentary Stream

Before Beyonce released her self-titled visual album, the singer had another film release that made headlines. In FebruaryLife Is But A Dream aired on HBO. According to a post on her Facebook page, the film included a "fusion of video that provides raw, unprecedented access to the private entertainment icon and high-voltage performances." In the film, Beyonce also "reflects on the realities of celebrity, the refuge she finds onstage and the transcendent joy of becoming a mother." 

Her self-directed documentary gave HBO 1.8 million viewers in its premiere evening, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The ratings helped grant HBO the largest audience it has had since 2004, when Nielsen restructured its viewership ratings measurements, as per The Hollywood Reporter

In order to promote the documentary, Beyonce also bolstered the ratings for another network, OWN. Beyonce's interview with Oprah's Next Chapter gave the network an average of 1.3 million viewers, accord to The Hollywood Reporter

Beyonce Releases Unexpected Self-Titled Visual Album

Beyonce released an unexpected self-titled album that surprised fans December 13. The singer's surprise project includes collaborations with Jay ZBlue Ivy, Drake, Frank Ocean and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Shortly after the album's unexpected release, the singer explained the strategy behind her visual album

"I see music," Beyonce said in an art feature she released on YouTube. "It's more than just what I hear. When I'm connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dream or my fantasies. They're all connected to the music. That's one of the reasons why I wanted to do a visual album. I wanted people to hear the songs with the story that's in my head. That's what makes it mine."

The strategy for her self-titled release proved beneficial. Beyonce's first-week sales figures of more than 600,000 units sold gave the singer a #1 spot on the Top 200 albums chart. In one week, Beyonce also broke a record for the fastest project to ever debut on iTunes. The album is slated to be #1 in this week's album chart as well. 

Other Notable Beyonce Stories In 2013

Jay Z Releases Lyrics To "BBC," Featuring Nas, Justin Timberlake, Beyonce, Swizz Beatz, Pharrell & Timbaland

Justin Timberlake Credits "Suit & Tie" On A Mistake Made By Beyonce, Talks Tour With Jay Z

Jay Z & Beyonce Among Celebrity Financial Hacker Victims

Norman Oosterbroek, Former Bodyguard Of Jay Z And Beyonce, Reportedly Killed

Two Members Of Congress Investigating Jay Z & Beyonce's Cuba Trip

Beyonce Reportedly Removed From Egyptian Sightseeing Tour

Rush Limbaugh Criticizes Beyonce Over "Bow Down"

RELATED: The 2013 HipHopDX Year End Awards

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