It’s a milestone Bey-Day — and in honor of Beyoncé turning 40 Saturday, it’s only fitting that we don our best “Freakum Dress” and get in “Formation” to celebrate the icon’s groundbreaking contributions to pop culture.
From teaching Oprah Winfrey how to twerk and pioneering the “SURPRISE!” album drop (sorry, Kanye, she did it first) to serenading former US President Barack Obama with “At Last” at his inauguration ball, this Houston native has made an indelible impact on global audiences.
Some might even argue that the artist — born Beyoncé Giselle Knowles on Sept. 4, 1981 — has “Run the World” since she first generated buzz as lead vocalist of the ultimate “Survivor” girl group of the ’90s, Destiny’s Child. (The sting her dedicated “Beyhive” of fandom wields might confirm that.)
And no matter whether things in her life and career were going right — or to the left, to the left — the “Irreplaceable” Queen Bey hasn’t lost her crown after decades of chart-topping, trend-setting, thought-provoking work.
Top 40 countdown of moments that made us fall ‘Crazy in Love’ with Beyoncé:
When Coachella was BeyChella: Do you remember who else played the 2018 Cali desert music fest? Her career-defining spectacle (HBCU marching band, guest cameos, culturally uplifting themes) spawned a 2019 “Homecoming” on Netflix.
Trophy life: Crowned the most-winning singer ever at the 2021 Grammys with “Black Parade” in March, she now has a record-setting 28 gilded gramophones.
Surprise! It’s an album: Social media was forever changed when she discreetly dropped her visual album, “Beyoncé,” on iTunes at midnight on Dec. 13, 2013. Her platinum-seller paved the way for surprise rollouts from artists like Kanye, Drake, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, U2, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and hubby Jay-Z.
When she hit the fan: This total pro didn’t drop a note when her hair got snatched in a fan — snapping her head back violently — in front of a packed Montreal stadium in 2013.
O, she’s twerking: From one queen to another, Beyoncé taught media majesty Oprah, 67, how to twerk during a 2003 appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
Hey, Mrs. Carter: Expert at keeping things hush-hush, she secretly tied the knot with Jay-Z, aka Shawn Carter, 51, at his 13,500-square-foot Manhattan penthouse on April 4, 2008. The Carters later teased snaps from their wedding day in the joint “On The Run” tour.
Purple reign: She more than held her own opposite the late, legendary Prince during a jaw-dropping duet at the 2004 Grammys.
I’mma let you finish: Although she had nothing to do with Kanye interrupting Taylor Swift’s 2009 MTV VMA acceptance speech, Beyoncé later graciously invited the “1989” singer-songwriter back to the stage for her moment.
Baby Blue: Bey broke basic cable by unbuttoning a blazer to reveal her baby bump after belting out “Love on Top” at the 2011 MTV VMAs. On Jan. 7, 2012, she and Jay-Z welcomed Blue Ivy Carter, now 9.
Ready for this jelly?: A tastemaker in every right, in the early 2000s Beyoncé coined the term “Bootylicious” — a combo of “booty” and “delicious” — to describe a sexually attractive person. The word entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2004.
It’s going down: When Jay-Z pushed sister-in-law Solange’s buttons during a violent viral elevator ride video after the 2014 Met Gala, her “Flawless” sis kept cool and sauntered away from the fray. Solange, 35, and Jay have since squashed their beef.
Girl’s best friend: Bey became the first black woman to don the iconic 128.54-carat Tiffany & Co. yellow diamond for the luxury brand’s “About Love” campaign in August.
Twinning and winning: Sending an instant shockwave via Instagram, Bey, surrounded by flowers and lace, announced she and Jay-Z were expecting twins. The couple welcomed Rumi and Sir Carter, now 4, in June 2017.
Hometown hero: Before dominating the world stage, 7-year-old Bey commanded audiences in her native Houston, by belting out “Home” from “The Wiz” in 1988.
A helping hand: She blessed those in need with food and supplies after Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in 2017.
Beckys, beware: The gal with the good hair’s days were numbered once Bey blasted the perfectly coiffed temptress for allegedly seducing Jay-Z on 2016 “Lemonade” single “Sorry.”
A sprinkle of shade: Typically sweet as honey, Bey didn’t have a problem tossing hilarious shade at ex-Destiny’s Child member, Farrah Franklin, during the band’s “Total Access 24/7” tour television special in 2001. Queen Bey quips, “Well, someone can send your luggage,” when Franklin, now 40, decides to leave the group and head back home.
Silencing lip-sync rumors: She shut up haters who questioned her talents by kicking off a 2013 Super Bowl press conference with an a cappella national anthem. Her finale: asking members of the media, “Any questions?” in a saucy tone.
The show must go on: Bey didn’t miss a beat after Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams took a nasty fall as the trio performed “Soldier” live on BET’s “106 & Park” in 2005.
Fashionable rider: Beyoncé rode horseback in the 2004 Houston Rodeo. The “Savage” chanteuse’s cowgirl adventure likely inspired the fashions featured in her new 2021 Ivy Park Rodeo fashion collection with Adidas.
Put a ring on it: The viral “Single Ladies” music video choreography had everyone from former President Barack Obama to babies in diapers shaking it to the beat.
Swing music: Beyoncé, in a yellow dress and wielding a baseball bat, inspired spurned lovers to strut past exes with a smashing dose of sass in her viral “Hold Up” video.
Saluting Selena: Years before radiating in the limelight, Beyoncé met late Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez at the Galleria Mall in Houston in the early ‘90s. Their chance encounter was re-created for Netflix’s “Selena: The Series” in 2020.
Met Gala glam: When it comes to serving looks at the annual Met Gala, Bey is consistently hot in haute couture from Givenchy, Armani and more.
She’s not trippin’: During her 2007 “Beyoncé Experience” tour, an unbothered Bey kept going, after falling head-over-heels down a flight of stairs while alerting audiences with 2006 defiant “Ring The Alarm.”
‘Who bit Bey?’: Comic Tiffany Haddish, 41, sparked this viral gossip guessing game in 2018 after claiming an anonymous star bit the singer’s face at a swank LA soirée. Haddish ultimately named actress Sanaa Lathan, 49, as the alleged nibbler. (The “Succession” star denied it.)
A pregnant pause: While pregnant with her twins, she had fans frozen on the edge of their seats when she intentionally leaned way back in a chair that tilted off of a platform during her 2017 Grammys showcase.
Fine art flex: Beyoncé stole Mona Lisa’s thunder by shutting down the Louvre Museum in Paris and posing in front of Leonardo da Vinci’s famed portrait alongside Jay-Z to promo their 2018 collab track, “APES–T.”
She’s a survivor: Before helming Destiny’s Child’s stratospheric success, 12-year-old Bey and her first singing group, Girls Tyme, lost on TV’s “Star Search” in 1993.
Icon costume queen: She honors foremothers like Lil Kim, Toni Braxton and Janet Jackson by re-creating their classic looks every year for Halloween.
Accumulating accolades: Adding even more jewels to her crown, Queen Bey’s audio-visual masterpiece “Black Is King” stands to take home several 2021 Emmy Awards during this year’s ceremonies on Sept. 19. Her work of art scored a Creative Arts Emmy in August.
Surprising Celine: Bey’s dominant vocals left Celine Dion, 53, visibly wowed when the singer joined her and Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland, 40, and Michelle Williams, 42, for a live performance of “Emotion” in 2002.
Acting chops: Bey brought her graceful golden touch to the silver screen, shining in films like “Austin Powers in Goldmember,” “Dreamgirls,” “Cadillac Records” and “Obsessed.”
Full-court unpressed: She maintained composure during the viral moment a woman repeatedly leaned over her to chat with Jay-Z while they all sat courtside for the 2019 NBA Finals.
Interview with an angel: Bey bonded with late “Princess of R&B” Aaliyah in a haunting moment on the red carpet at the 2000 MTV Movie Awards.
Lapping it up: She sizzled for actor Terrence Howard, 52, when she gave him a steamy chair dance to “Cater 2 U” at the 2005 BET Awards.
Showstopper: She stole the show by crashing Channing Tatum’s mimed performance of her chart-topper “Run the World” on TV’s “Lip Sync Battle.”
Power play: Outfitted in a black leather leotard bejeweled with gold accessories, in 2016 the “Formation” sensation slayed one of the most controversial Super Bowl halftime shows of all time. Bey rocked so hard that she blew a fuse, causing the electricity in the sporting venue to go out — delaying the second half of the big game for a whopping 30 minutes. Now that’s powerful!