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The 70 Greatest Beyoncé Songs

From hits that owned the radio to empowerment anthems that stopped the world, and much more

Photo illustration by Tracy Allison for Rolling Stone; Images used in illustration by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage; Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIDAL; Kevin Winter/Getty Images; Sunyixun/Getty Images

For at least the past decade, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter has been the world’s greatest living entertainer. Who else can annihilate complex dance routines and maintain pristinely powerhouse vocals for packed stadiums the way she does? Who else can so thoroughly dominate news cycles with impeccable and innovative surprise albums? Who else has produced music films and video anthologies as compelling and imaginative? Her combination of showmanship, skill, creative vision, and influence is unmatched by her contemporary peers. 

And, of course, the foundation of Beyoncé’s incredible oeuvre is the music, and her uncanny ability to write, produce, curate, and perform it. Her songs are pop masterpieces, gorgeous and diverse, with several becoming cultural touchstones, from the unmistakable shimmy of “Crazy in Love” to the wiggling hand of “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” In honor of the impending arrival of her seventh studio album (out this Friday), we’ve compiled and ranked 70 of Beyoncé’s greatest tracks as a solo artist – including a few prominent features. Bow down. 

From Rolling Stone US


‘Formation’ (2016)

“Formation” was a rallying cry for Beyoncé’s most ambitious artistic era, and a call to arms that deepened the political edge that’s always existed in her music. In 2016, when Bey surprise-released this single ahead of her iconic Super Bowl performance, she shocked the world, and looked like she effortlessly knew exactly what she was doing. What ensued was a glorious display of femininity and Blackness that echoed globally. The biting lyrics on “Formation” align with the self-expression and self-exploration that were pivotal components of her 2016 masterpiece, Lemonade. Beyoncé leaned aggressively into her Southern roots, proudly claiming, “My daddy Alabama, Momma Louisiana/You mix that negro with that Creole make a Texas bama.” And producer Mike WiLL Made-It injected harsh 808s into a swaying, swaggering track, adding extra bite into one of the 21st century’s most thrilling and bracing pop music statements. —R.M.


‘Deja Vu,’ feat. Jay-Z (2006)

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. —K.T.