Beyonce performs at the 2006 MTV
Video Music Awards Thursday at 8 p.m. on MTV.
Beyonce wants, and
gets, her MTV at Video Music Awards
Jay Bobbin Zap2it found at eadingeagle.com
Beyonce and the MTV Video Music Awards go together,
particularly when she's unveiling a new album.
A veteran of many past editions, the superstar knows
how big a showcase the annual ceremony is for new music, so she was among
the first to sign up to perform on the 2006 VMAs.
MTV televises the event Thursday, Aug. 31, from Radio
City Music Hall in New York, with Jack Black as host. Other scheduled
performers include Justin Timberlake, Ludacris, hip-hop star T.I., Panic! at
the Disco (whose "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" is up for five VMAs)
and the Killers.
"The last time I performed at the VMAs, it helped
tremendously with my record," Beyonce says. "(The single) 'Baby
Boy' was just coming out, and it took the album to another level. It was
just as important, and just as memorable, as the video. It was a really
significant moment in my career."
Beyonce is hoping for a similar impact on "B'Day,"
to be released Sept. 5, and its debut single, "Deja Vu," which
also features her beau, Jay-Z.
The 2003 VMAs actually doubled as Beyonce's coming-out
party as a solo act. "It was great," the Destiny's Child alumna
recalls. "For one thing, there was the location; it was in New York,
and the energy was much different from previous award shows I had been to. I
have a great relationship with MTV. It feels like a partnership, like we're
working together. They give artists a lot of love. They don't just put us on
their shows; they care about our individual needs."
Such concern means a lot to Beyonce as she reveals her
newest music. "It's scary, but at the same time, you anticipate people
hearing what you've been working on. When the time comes, you're like,
'Could you give me one more week?' It's great when people enjoy what you've
been doing, but it's healthy for any artist to be a little afraid.
"The hardest thing for me," adds the Houston
native, "is to figure out what I'm going to do next, what my next video
is going to look like." In getting ready for the VMAs, the singer feels
compelled to top her last stint there. "I came in upside down, hung
from my feet! I've had several ideas, but trying to figure out the perfect
one is challenging. We're going to do it, though."
Chances are good Beyonce will be a VMA nominee again
next year, but she doesn't mind being only a performer this time.
"Whenever I perform, that becomes the focus for me. It always feels
great to be nominated and to be part of the show that way, but the biggest
reward for me is being able to perform. Once that's over, I can relax, and
whatever happens happens."
Any and all relaxation is welcomed these days by
Beyonce. After appearing in Steve Martin's remake of "The Pink
Panther," she has spent much of the year making the movie version of
the stage musical "Dreamgirls," due in U.S. theaters Christmas
Day. She says while doing that, "I didn't allow myself to go into the
recording studio. I wanted to live in the body and mind of my character,
Deena, for that significant amount of time.
"During my vacation, I snuck away and recorded
this album in two weeks. I had so much to say, it felt good to have that pen
in my hand and write these songs and be behind that mike. It's like starting
over. I'm away from it long enough to appreciate it and still be excited
It's no coincidence Beyonce's second solo album is
titled "B'Day." Just as MTV and "Dreamgirls" both turn
25 this year, so does she - the day before the CD hits stores, in fact.
"It's an important year for me," she says,
"and I think this is the best record I've done. It's mostly up-tempo
songs that feel like a big party. They're great concepts that are
complicated but still simple enough to dance to and have fun to."
While enjoying her creative freedom, Beyonce stays
aware of the business side of music.
"I'm fortunate that my father is my
manager," she says. "I grew up hearing about reading the weekly
stats and paying attention to all those details, but I don't let that take
over my creativity. I'm in all the meetings, but I've been pretty consistent
in picking the right singles, and I still make sure the songwriting comes
The artist sometimes billed as Beyonce Knowles also
keeps in touch with her Destiny's Child ex-partners.
"Kelly (Rowland) helped me pick out my band,
which is all-female," she says, "and we're with each other in our
studio sessions. Michelle (Williams) just moved to L.A., and she's taking
acting classes; she wants to do more movies and television. We're sisters,
so who knows? Maybe we'll decide to do some other things together in the
With international publicity for "Dreamgirls"
- which also stars Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy and third-season "American
Idol" finalist Jennifer Hudson - set to fill most of her fall schedule,
Beyonce won't begin her next concert tour until April. And that suits her
"I wanted the record to have a chance to breathe
a little bit," she says. "I don't like touring too close to the
release, just because people haven't lived with the album long enough. I
have October off, and that'll be nice. I haven't ever had a full month