Beyoncé is widely regarded as one of the most important musical figures of her generation. As a result, it would appear that she is untouchable. But it turns out that not everyone is crazy in love with the former Destiny’s Child star. So from hip-hop acts to conspiracy theorists, here’s a look at 20 famous faces who refuse to bow down to the artist known as Queen Bey.
Beyoncé once again had everyone in raptures when she dropped another surprise visual album called Lemonade in 2016. However, Khia – who is famous for the provocative urban anthem “My Neck, My Back” – certainly wasn’t a fan. The singer told an Atlanta-based online radio station that year, “F*** her. First of all, the video was tired, and through, and long and it made black people look bad as hell.”
Khia appeared to take particular umbrage with how a certain tennis player was represented. She said, “[Beyoncé had] Serena Williams as her g**damn jester, dancing and stripping for her. I can’t believe [Williams] got on there and was Beyoncé’s prop – twerking in a body suit in this long a**, black, slave a** video… After all the years of tennis training with her father, how in the hell did she end up on the floor stripping for Behosay?”
19. Etta James
Beyoncé initially seemed to have impressed the musical legend she portrayed in 2008 drama Cadillac Records. Indeed, Etta James even rocked up to the movie’s L.A. premiere with the star in tow. But just a year later the soul icon made it crystal clear how she truly felt about Queen Bey and her performance of “At Last” at Barack Obama’s Inaugural Ball, in particular.
James was on stage for one of her own shows when she told the crowd, “I tell you that woman he had singing for him, singing my song, she gonna get her a** whipped. The great Beyoncé… I can’t stand Beyoncé. [She] had no business up there singing. Singing on a big ole, big ole president day and going be singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.”
18. Rachel Roy
Beyoncé’s surprise album Lemonade left everyone wondering, just who is “Becky with the good hair?” The mystery woman was referenced in “Sorry” – a track which suggested that husband Jay-Z had strayed. And Rachel Roy – who was once married to a business partner of the rapper – appeared to throw her name into the mix with a 2016 Instagram post captioned, “Good hair, don’t care.”
And this wasn’t the first time that Roy had been linked with the Carters. She was also reportedly at the center of Jay-Z and Solange’s Met Gala scuffle. And an anonymous source apparently informed Page Six that Roy reveled in causing trouble for Queen Bey. They allegedly said, “She loves the attention and being in the headlines. I’m not surprised she would jump on this, especially after [what happened after] The Met.”
17. Sanaa Lathan
Sanaa Lathan has been accused of taking her apparent dislike of Beyoncé to another level. The actress became the number one suspect following Tiffany Haddish’s claim that Queen Bey had been bitten at a party in 2017. The Girls Trip star told GQ the following March that problems began after Jay-Z got a little too close to another unnamed partygoer for Beyoncé’s liking. During their subsequent encounter, the mysterious woman allegedly sank her teeth into the former Destiny’s Child star.
Haddish kept the alleged biter’s identity secret, though she did later claim in a stand-up set that the woman in question was an ex of French Montana. Beyoncé’s loyal fan base soon began playing detective and determined that Sanaa Lathan must be the culprit. However, the Tony Award nominee dismissed the theory, tweeting at the time, “Under no circumstances did I bite Beyoncé and if I did it would’ve been a love bite.”
16. Kid Rock
Kid Rock has never been afraid to shoot his mouth off. And in 2015 he made Beyoncé his latest target in a chat with Rolling Stone. The hick-hop pioneer admitted he took offense with the goddess-like status that the triple threat had established. He said, “Beyoncé, to me, doesn’t have a f***** ‘Purple Rain,’ but she’s the biggest thing on Earth. How can you be that big without at least one ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ or ‘Old Time Rock & Roll.’”
Continuing on his charm offensive, Rock added, “People are like, ‘Beyoncé’s hot. Got a nice f****** ass.’ I’m like, ‘Cool, I like skinny white chicks with big t***.’ Doesn’t really f****** do much for me.” The “Cowboy” singer soon learned that you slate Beyoncé at your peril. In response to his remarks, her army of fans known as the Beyhive swarmed upon Rock’s Instagram page to flood his comments section with bee emojis.
15. Azealia Banks
It’s probably easier to list the stars that Azealia Banks hasn’t offended since rising to fame with the hip-hop anthem “212.” In 2016 the controversial rapper once again took a pot shot at Beyoncé by questioning her creative involvement on the Lemonade album. She tweeted, “Don’t think for a second that Beyoncé was intelligent enough to come up with any of those ideas on her own.”
Banks continued, “[Beyoncé is] not an artist, she’s a poacher. She takes food out of darker skinned women’s mouths and pretends to be inspired. Beyoncé spent her entire career purposefully avoiding ‘blackness’ but now that it’s a trend she’s trying to capitalize on it.” Banks also took aim at the star’s relationship with Jay-Z, adding, “You been singing about this n**** for years and he still playing you. That’s not strength that’s stupidity.”
14. Alex Jones
It’s not exactly surprising to learn that one of the most outlandish criticisms of Beyoncé comes from hot-headed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. The man behind the InfoWars website believes that the singer has been recruited by the government to instigate a race war. And he went into particular detail during one of his famous Facebook rants in 2016.
Jones referred to Beyoncés promo for “Hold Up” and added, “So then she sits there wish this rage. You know, great actress, like, ‘Grrrr, Police. Grrr, you’re the enemy of my people.’” He went on, “This is to get us all at each other’s throats, when we’re all Americans getting screwed over by the NSA, and the foreign banks and derivatives. We’re all getting our kids attacked and aborted, and shot up with vaccines and GMOs. We’re all in this together.”
13. Keyshia Cole
“Flawless” was considered by many as one of the highlights of Beyoncé’s self-titled 2013 surprise visual album. However, fellow singer Keyshia Cole wasn’t particularly enamored with the song’s attitude-laden lyrical content. And she soon let all of her Twitter followers know that the track wouldn’t be on repeat in the Cole household.
And Cole certainly didn’t hold back in a post full of text speak. She tweeted, “Can’t stand when people all self-righteous when it’s convenient. It makes them look good. Lmao! But can still talk s*** when convenient to. FOH [F*** outta here]. First [it was], ‘Women need to stick together,’ now [it’s], ‘B****es better bow.’ SMH [shaking my head].”
12. Aretha Franklin
In 2008 Beyoncé joined forces with Tina Turner on the Grammy Awards stage after giving her quite the introduction. She told the crowd, “There is one legend who has the essence of all of those things: the glamour, the soul, the passion, the strength, the talent. Ladies and gentlemen, stand on your feet and give it up for the queen.” But there was one viewer who didn’t appreciate her choice of words.
Aretha Franklin was left stunned when she heard Beyoncé talk of Turner in such regal tones. The so-called Queen of Soul even issued a statement in which she described the introduction as a “cheap shot for controversy.” However, Franklin proved that she wasn’t entirely anti-Queen Bey when she signed off, “Love to Beyoncé anyway.”
11. Keri Hilson
“Your vision [is] cloudy if you think that you’re the best… She can sing but need to move it to the left… She need to go have some babies.” Appearing to reference Beyoncé’s “Irreplaceable,” these lyrics from a remix of “Turning Me On” suggested that Keri Hilson had a problem with her fellow R&B star. But rumors of a beef continued to circulate even after she issued a denial.
Hilson didn’t exactly help matters with her conduct at the 2011 Soul Train Awards. While being interviewed on the red carpet the singer was asked to give a shout-out to Juicy magazine and hold its latest issue up to the cameras. However, Hilson spotted that Beyoncé and Jay-Z were the cover stars and responded, “No, I’m sorry, I can’t do that.”
10. Rudy Giuliani
Beyoncé earned rave reviews for her powerful and politically conscious halftime show at the 2016 Super Bowl Half Time Show. But New York City’s ex-mayor Rudolph Giuliani didn’t appreciate its sentiment. In fact, he believes that the star’s references to Malcolm X, the Black Panthers and the burgeoning movement known as Black Lives Matter was highly inappropriate for such an occasion.
An unimpressed Giuliani told Fox and Friends, “This is football, not Hollywood. I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive.” But Beyoncé’s former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland defended the star and told Us Weekly, “Giuliani should just shut up.”
9. Mike Huckabee
Beyoncé was invited to the 50th birthday celebrations at the White House for Michelle Obama in 2014 alongside her husband Jay-Z and daughter Blue Ivy. The former first lady had also taken her two children to one of the singer’s shows the year previously. But ex-governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee argued that the Obamas were failing in their duties as parents for aligning themselves with the star.
Huckabee told People, “I don’t understand how on one hand they can be such doting parents and so careful about the intake of everything… And yet they don’t see anything that might not be suitable for either a preteen or a teen in some of the lyrical content and choreography of Beyoncé.” Huckabee went on to claim that the “Crazy in Love” singer appears to have “sort of a regular key to the door of the White House.”
8. Tomi Lahren
Tomi Lahren found herself in hot water after taking aim at both Beyoncé and NFL star Colin Kaepernick in an inflammatory tweet. The conservative commentator felt compelled to respond to the footballer being presented with the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award by the singer in 2017. She posted, “Police-hating Beyoncé presents police and America-hating Kappy with a ‘legacy’ award. This is how far we’ve fallen. Wow.”
Unsurprisingly, Lahren suffered a backlash for her comments and various Twitter users described her as a propagandist. One individual even cleverly flipped her original remark on its head by replying, “Black-hating Tami presents Black-hating Nazi Twitter with her daily dose of race-baiting rhetoric for clicks. This is how far down America has always been.”
7. 50 Cent
50 Cent was famously shot no fewer than nine times before rising to fame, yet he appears to have been left more perturbed by an encounter with Beyoncé. In 2014 the rapper appeared on the radio station Power 105.1 and recalled an alleged incident at Las Vegas’ The Cosmopolitan in which he was confronted by the R&B singer. He said, “One time [Beyoncé] jumped off of a ledge and came running over cause she thought me and Jay had issues.”
The artist also known as Curtis Jackson continued, “And I’m like, “What the f***? She jumped out and I was like this, ‘What?! That Bonnie and Clyde for real! You try this or what, boy?! I’m here!’ She bugged out at me.” 50 Cent claims he doesn’t know why Beyoncé was so aggressive. However, earlier that same year the rapper had joked on Instagram about the infamous elevator fight between her husband Jay-Z and sister Solange.
Beyoncé drew criticism in 2013 when she reportedly bought a pair of trainers custom made by Isabel Marant that incorporated various animal skins – including those of crocodiles, anacondas and stingrays. She also came under fire that same year from one of the music scene’s most prominent animal rights activists for her choice in handbags. Indeed, Morrissey soon let fans at his Los Angeles’ Staples Center show know that he certainly wasn’t a member of the Beyhive.
The former frontman of indie legends The Smiths told the crowd in 2013, “The rhino is now more or less extinct, and it’s not because of global warming or shrinking habitats. It’s because of Beyoncé’s handbags.” To reiterate his point, Morrissey then delivered a rendition of his old band’s classic hit “Meat is Murder.”
5. Linda Perry
“Change a word, take a third,” goes the saying about artists who receive a songwriting credit for the most minimal of input. And Linda Perry – who’s penned hits for Pink, Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera – believes Beyoncé has benefited from this practise time and time again. The ex-frontwoman of one-hit wonders 4 Non Blondes made her feelings clear on the subject in a 2014 chat with Reddit.
Beyoncé has received songwriting credits for the majority of material she’s released. However, a skeptical Perry claimed, “… Some of these artists believe if it wasn’t for them your song would never get out there, so they take a cut just because they are who they are. But everyone knows the real truth – even Beyoncé. She is talented but in a completely different way.”
You probably expect conservatives like Mike Huckabee to take issue with Beyoncé’s sometimes revealing dress sense. Less so much younger Hollywood celebrities like former The Cosby Show actress Raven-Symoné. And yet the star revealed that she shares Huckabee’s views on Bey’s tendency to show skin while discussing the matter on daytime talk show The View.
Raven-Symoné said, “Okay, I have an issue, I love – oh, here we go with the Bey fans again… but I just need somebody to put some pants on when people are performing nowadays.” The Disney Channel graduate was also keen to state that she wasn’t taking aim solely at Beyoncé. The actress added, “I think there does need to be some class in the female pop world.”
3. Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey had some strong words for Beyoncé after seeing her outfit at the 2015 Met Gala. The Welsh icon best known for her James Bond anthems essentially told the star to cover up and sing while speaking to The Sun. She told the newspaper that year, “It’s like they’re all in competition with each other for who can wear the skimpiest outfit. I mean, come on! When I saw the Met Ball the other night, and Beyoncé’s gown, I was like, ‘Excuse me?’”
Bassey continued, “In my day it was for the stage only, you didn’t go out looking like that… I think you have to leave some things to the imagination… These girls are talented singers. They don’t need that but they feel they do. That’s the sad thing about it. Go in the studio and sing your heart out, get a vocal coach and strengthen your vocal cords.”
2. Amber Rose
Amber Rose left herself at the mercy of the Beyhive when she dared to speak out about their idol in a 2017 chat with The Daily Beast. The ex-stripper was discussing the double standards in the entertainment industry and said, “So if we could sing, it would be okay if we were on stage half-naked. We all love Beyoncé, but she’s on stage half-naked and twerking all the time, yet people say, ‘Oh, she has talent so she’s able to do that.’”
Rose also later claimed that she was “Becky with the good hair” – aka the woman Jay-Z allegedly cheated on Beyoncé with – in a tweet she tagged the star in. The model/actress later apologized for the trolling in a video on Instagram in which she alleged to have been a victim of hacking. However, some believe her tone was a little too sarcastic to be sincere.
1. Wendy Williams
The ever-outspoken Wendy Williams has taken aim at Beyoncé throughout much of her chat-show career. But her most brutal takedown came in response to the superstar’s 2012 behind-the-scenes insight for HBO called Life is But a Dream. Williams began her shade session, “I’m going to be watching this documentary – because fortunately one of the TVs in our kitchen has closed captioning, so I’ll be able to understand what she says.”
As her studio audience audibly gasped, Williams continued. “You know Beyoncé can’t talk. [The singer] sounds like she has a fifth-grade education.” But the host remained unapologetic for her comments, despite repeatedly claiming that she was a fan of the “Single Ladies” singer. Williams concluded, “We have to call a spade a spade.”