Beyonce first came to the attention of pop fans as a member of Destiny's Child. She had nine top 10 hit songs with the group. In 2003 Beyonce released her first solo album Dangerously In Love, and she has been even more successful as a solo artist. This is a guide to her top 10 songs as a solo artist.
Ne-Yo began writing "Irreplaceable" thinking of it as a country song. However, when turned over to Beyonce to perform it became an R&B laced female empowerment anthem. Stargate contributed to the songwriting and production. "Irreplaceable" met with strong critical acclaim and headed straight to #1 on the pop singles chart. It received a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year while making the line "to the left, to the left" stick in everyone's mind.
Kicked off with a blasting horn figure, rapping by Jay-Z and sung "uh oh uh oh," this song was a triumphant opening salvo for Beyonce as a solo artist. Basking in critical acclaim, "Crazy In Love" went to the top of the pop singles chart for eight weeks. It was the winner of two Grammy awards and let everyone know Beyonce was serious about moving beyond her work with Destiny's Child.
The acclaim heaped on the music video accompanying "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" should not detract from the pleasures of the song itself. It was one of two singles, along with "If I Were a Boy," released to introduce the album I Am...Sasha Fierce. The upbeat, catchy hook is attached to lyrics that empower women in romantic relationships. It has also become a favorite for wedding receptions. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" reached #1 on the pop singles chart and has sold over four million digital copies.
"Sweet Dreams" took Beyonce in a new electro-pop fueled direction. There is an underlying engaging creepiness in her description of a lover who could be, "a sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare." When it peaked at #10, "Sweet Dreams" became the fourth top 10 pop hit from the album I Am...Sasha Fierce.
"Naughty Girl" kicks off with lines from Donna Summer's disco classic "Love to Love You Baby." It then uses Arabian influenced sounds to stir up a stew of sexual innuendo. There is an engaging musical tension between the "naughty" elements of the song and Beyonce's image not quite fitting that of the "bad girl." "Naughty Girl" was a #3 pop hit and the fourth consecutive top 5 hit from the album Dangerously In Love.
"Halo" gained a certain amount of notoriety for controversy surrounding its similarity to Kelly Clarkson's hit "Already Gone." However, it is a very strong romantic song all on its own. Songwriter Evan Bogart has said the song was influenced by Ray LaMontagne's "Shelter." "Halo" peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and received a Grammy Award nomination for Record of the Year.
"Check On It" was intended as a song for the soundtrack to the film The Pink Panther which starred Beyonce. However, it was left off the soundtrack and included on the Destiny's Child compilation #1's. Lyrically, the song encourages men in a club to check out Beyonce's body. "Check On It" went to #1 on the pop singles chart and stayed there for five weeks.
"If I Were a Boy" was one of a pair of singles released as an introduction to Beyonce's third solo album I Am...Sasha Fierce. The other was "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)." This slow ballad was a serious exploration of differing male and female perspectives in relationships. "If I Were a Boy" peaked at #3 on the pop singles chart and sold over two million copies.