It’s the best of times and the worst of times for 16-time Grammy Award winner Beyoncé Knowles. On a natural high following a well-received rendition of the National Anthem, the balloon quickly deflated amid rumors that her rousing interpretation of “The Star Spangled Banner” was not delivered live, but over a pre-recorded vocal track. Beyoncé has neither confirmed or denied the accusations, but the airwaves are still full of suspicion and doubt. Fortunately, The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, came to Bey’s defense, saying that the practice of singing to a pre-recorded track was quite common, given that extremely cold weather makes it very difficult for singers to be at their best.
As the speculation continues, so does Beyoncé’s stratospheric success. Queen B will star in the Super Bowl XLVIII Half-time show in New Orleans on February 3, recently signed a record $50 million promotional deal with Pepsi, and is expected to release an album in 2013. Her year is off to an auspicious beginning with the release of “Love Songs,” a compilation of Destiny’s Child’s romantic tracks which features “Nuclear,” the trio’s first new song in eight years.
“Love Songs,” a 14-track collection, showcases the ladies’ tight, yet lilting harmonies as well as the contrast between their three voices — Beyoncé, bold and assertive; Kelly Rowland, cool and compelling and Michelle Williams, light and ethereal. The disc features the romantic hits “Cater 2 U,” “Say My Name” and their beautiful arrangement of the Bee Gees’ “Emotion,” which are a stark juxtaposition to their unapologetic dance hits such as “Bootylicious,” “Survivor” and “Independent Woman.”
At the Super Bowl, Rowland and Williams will join Beyoncé to perform “Nuclear,” a danceable techno-track produced by respected musician, producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams. The song was co-written by Michelle Williams, James Fauntleroy and Lonny Bereal, with Bereal and Beyoncé contributing vocal production. “Love Songs” is now available in stores and at online outlets.