a beginner's guide to all the birthday beyoncés
The big names you already know include Michelle Obama, Serena Williams and the other members of Destiny’s Child. We’ve done the research on the rest of those attending the birthday party to end all birthday parties.
As we all know, Beyoncé buys her own diamonds and she buys her own rings, so people might get pretty stumped when it comes to choosing her a birthday present. Not to worry, the leader of the only #squad we care about came up with a different way for her pals to pay tribute, by getting them to dress up as Formation Bey for her B-day, while encouraging donations to the Houston relief efforts.
The line-up includes women who have long been our spiritual leaders, such as Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, Tina Knowles Lawson, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (and future world leader leader Blue Ivy). However, there are a few names you might not know, but definitely should.
Beyoncé and Solange's cousin Angie was a long-time assistant of Bey's before becoming the Vice President of Operations at Parkwood Entertainment, Beyoncé's management and entertainment company. She has songwriting credits on Crazy In Love, Baby Boy, Check On It and more, as well as a load of Destiny's Child songs too. Does she also get a credit for her surname being the inspiration for Beyoncé's actual name? Probably. Angie once told the Guardian of her relationship with her cousins in their younger years: "We'd talk all night and watch Showtime at the Apollo, and my snake, Fendi, would just be crawling around. He'd sit on our heads while we watched TV."
Beyoncé and Solange's step-sister Bianca is the daughter of Richard Lawson, their mum Tina Knowles's second husband. She's an actor, currently starring in Queen Sugar, and previously in the film Save The Last Dance and all your favourite US TV shows, including Saved By The Bell, Sister Sister, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Dawson's Creek and more recently The Vampire Diaries and Pretty Little Liars. Bianca is also the great-niece of Motown record label founder Berry Gordy.
Chloe and Halle Bailey
Teenage sisters Chloe and Halle are Beyoncé's musical protégés, managed by Parkwood Entertainment. Bey discovered the girls after their cover of her song Pretty Hurts went viral on YouTube. She signed them on a $1 million contract and had them appear in the Lemonade visual album. YouTube dreams do come true.
Chloe told i-D just two weeks ago that, "female empowerment oozes out of [Beyoncé's] body with grace and confidence. She's not only a kind person, but also an incredible business woman," with Halle adding that Bey told them, "Girls, keeping doing [what you're doing]. You're breaking barriers. One day people are going to look at you as legends because of this."
Ms. Hattie White
Jay-Z's grandmother Hattie was one of the inspirations behind Beyoncé's magnum opus, Lemonade. At the end of the track Freedom, Hattie's voice can be heard: "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." The lines are from a recording of a speech Hattie gave at her 90th birthday party last year.
A family friend of the Knowles's from Houston, Texas, Ingrid is herself a singer, rapper and songwriter -- she co-wrote the track Love Drought on Lemonade. Signed to Parkwood Entertainment in 2015, her debut album Trill Feels came out last year. Speaking to Billboard about her relationship with the Knowles family, Ingrid said, "My mother and Tina were best friends. We lived one street over from one another. I've always known Bey but Solange and I were close. We still are close. I was probably moreso like the annoying little sister growing up 'cause I was always with her sister. [Bey] sometimes babysat us, Kelly [Rowland] would sometimes babysit us."
Drea Jones and Justice Jones
There's very little to be found on these guys in a Google search, but Drea is married to a Jay-Z associate named Vernell Jones, and Justice Jones is their son, and the only boy in the Birthday Beyoncé series. Cute.
Business badass Kawanna is the Chief Operating Officer for Magic Johnson Enterprises, the umbrella company for the businesses of basketball legend and HIV activist Magic Johnson. The MJE website notes that, while president of the Magic Johnson Foundation, Kawanna, "developed the Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than 250 college scholarships to deserving minority students". Kawanna is part of a power couple with Jay Brown, the CEO of Jay-Z's entertainment company Roc Nation.
Mai is also a business bigwig, consulting for Overbrook Entertainment, a company founded by her partner James Lassiter and Will Smith. She has a focus on corporate philanthropy, according to her board member bio for the Los Angeles Public Library. Mai and her husband James once hosted President Obama at their LA home for "an intimate fundraising dinner" while he was on the re-election trail, with tickets costing $35,800 per person. No biggie.
Ms. Vernell Jackson Keys
The big mystery of the group, Ms.VJK is a family friend. That's all we know. Judging by the rest of Beyoncé's friends, she's probably a total badass mega babe too.
To see all of Beyoncé's birthday portraits, and to donate to the Houston relief efforts, head to www.beyonce.com .