To say Lemonade lit up social media is like saying the ocean is wet. Beyoncé has completely dominated the last few days and everyone from The New York Times to Buzzfeed has rushed to decipher the meaning behind every image, every phrase, every head whip.
And then there’s the #BeckyWithTheGoodHair circus, with Rachel Roy seemingly outing herself as Jay Z’s (alleged) mistress—a rumour that goes back to the elevator incident at the 2014 Met Gala. (At the time, US Weekly reported that Solange yelled at Roy before confronting her brother-in-law.)
Clearly, Bey has been dealing with some drama. So who’s holding her down IRL? A look inside the real ride-or-die Beyhive.
Tina Lawson and Solange Knowles: Prior to his firing, Beyoncé and her father/manager, Matthew Knowles, were inseparable. Since her parents divorced (amidst rumours of a love child), B fired her dad (amidst rumours of financial indiscrepancies), and Tina has been her right hand woman, designing costumes and cheering B on at every major event (like the Super Bowl). Beside their stratospheric level of fame, Bey and Solange are typical sisters. As Bey told Essence in 2003: “Don’t talk about my sister; don’t play with me about my sister. If you do, you’ll see another side of me. I admire her, and though she’s five years younger than me, I strive to be like her.” Judging by elevator-gate, the feeling is mutual.
Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams: Bey pays more than lip service to her former Destiny’s Child sisters; at the 2013 Super Bowl, she chose Kelly and Michelle as her special guests. She also takes time out of her (very busy schedule) for baby showers and birthday parties, and sang on Michelle’s gospel single, “Say Yes.” Bey playing back-up? That’s love.
Angie Beyince: Angie is one of the few non-famous faces to make an appearance on Beyoncé’s Instagram account. She’s a maternal cousin, is the VP of Operations at Parkwood Entertainment and joins Bey on tour, on yachts, in choppers, and courtside, and even gets FaceTime with Blue Ivy. Her roots run deep; she worked as a promoter/tour manager/HBIC for Destiny’s Child.
Stylist Ty Hunter: Years ago, Hunter was working in a Houston boutique and often helped a local stylist named Tina Knowles. Today, it takes a team (including Raquel Smith and mama T, not to mention countless designers) to stock Bey’s eclectic closet. They’ve come a long way since “Bills, Bills, Bills,” but obviously it pays to be a Destiny’s Child early adopter.
Assistant Sam Greenberg: Most of the world was introduced to Sam through a cringe-inducing red carpet moment (Bey saying “stop it” through a clenched smile has given us all “crying in the bathroom at work” flashbacks). Still, Greenberg might have the coolest job in the world. She is always at Beyoncé’s side (check the background of those paparazzi shots—you’ll see Sam in all black in the background), and her schedule is so hectic that she became the focus of a Vogue piece that looked at how she packs for life on the run.
Lemonade Cameos: Beyoncé put together a stunning group of women for her latest visual album, including Serena Williams, Zendaya, The Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg, ANTM contestant (and Canadian model!) Winnie Harlow, Quvenzhané Wallis, Halle and Chloe Baily, and French-Cuban twins Ibeyi. No #BeckysWithTheGoodHair allowed.