Put A Ring On It: Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’

“Single Ladies” by Beyoncé. The song which won three Grammys and gave us one of the most parodied and imitated videos ever mainly because of its brilliance.

Perhaps because of all the exposure to all things Beyoncé, Jay Z, Bue Ivy and a desire to not stir up the BeyHive we here at MVD have stayed well clear of Queen B and her music. Now, not having written about her before does not mean we do not like her and acknowledge her talent and great performer that she is. There are several videos she has made that we enjoy but it is time we write about one of the greatest ones of the 00´s decade and on all the top lists and also where we can see one of the best choreographic performances by a singer ever!

Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) – Beyoncé

Making it to Number one on the Billboard Hot 100 this 2008 song went double platinum. It had more than 5 million digital downloads (we are talking about paid downloads here) and the single sold more than 6.1 million copies, which makes it one of the best selling singles of all time.

Directed by Jake Nava (who has done like 9 more videos by her as well as Jay Z, Kanye West and Arctic Monkeys) the video is minimalist and black and white. There are no changes of clothes, make up or hairstyles in the video. Beyoncé has said the inspiration for the video is a routine by Bob Fosse called “Mexican Breakfast” which was presented on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Mexican breakfast

The video has 397,766,291 views on YouTube. The song and video both tell the story of a now single Beyoncé (ironically it is “the only statement she made after her wedding to Jay Z” when by the end of the video she flashes her own wedding ring) and her two friends, dancers Ebony Williams and Ashley Everett who are out celebrating in a club. There is a new love in sight and she is singer to her former lover on having to right to say anything because he did not propose. And of course, there is another theory on what the video is really about.

Like we said before, the video has been parodied a lot of times, but my favorite one is the sketch done by Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg with Beyoncé making a cameo.

Beyonce and Justin Timberlake – single ladies

and there have been many Graphics Interchange Format or in human terms, gifs, mash ups and different music added to the choreography but the most famous one is probably this one

Single Ladies ft. Ducktales


Reaching an iconic status, the video won video of the year, best choreography and best editing in the 2009 MTV Video and MTV Europe Music awards, the 2009 MOBO award and the BET award. It received a large number of nominations on different categories worldwide. However, besides that, the video and song have something so catchy, joyful and sassy, that it is difficult to beat. I love the fact that for that album “I Am…Shasha Fierce” the other videos were more produced, elaborate and expensive, but this is the one which will be remembered forever.

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