Beyoncé returned to the stage for her first headline show in more than four years, performing at a private hotel launch event in Dubai.
The music icon was rumored to have paid £19.4 million ($24m) for the exclusive concert at the lavish performance at Atlantis The Royal, billed as the world’s most ultra-luxury resort.
The singer was joined on stage at one point by her 11-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, for a duet with Brown Skin Girl from her 2019 album, The Lion King: The Gift.
Blue Ivy has performed with her mother in recorded situations before, but this marked her first performance on a public stage.
Opening her 90-minute set with her cover of Etta James’ At Last, Beyoncé wowed a 1,500-strong crowd with fan favorites like Crazy in Love, Naughty Girl, Halo and XO – drunk as fireworks Akasha concluding with Luv’s rendition.
Taking to the stage in a yellow sequined gown with sculpted feather cape, the 41-year-old was flanked by a full band, a Middle Eastern orchestra and dancers in scarlet sequined outfits and full skirts.
The singer chose not to debut any tracks from the latest album Renaissance, which has been nominated for two Grammy Awards.
“There is a utopia of people from all over the world on this stage and we are so honored to be here to celebrate this night with you,” Beyoncé said.
“My parents are here tonight to celebrate – my mom and my dad. My beautiful children are here to see me perform and my beautiful husband is here.
She later changed into a red and gold bejeweled body suit with a huge train and completed a third costume change with a red corseted minidress with matching stockings and gloves.
There was a strict “no phones” policy, asking attendees to keep their mobiles inside specially provided bags, but this did not prevent some VIP guests from recording parts of the show.
The special concert was attended by celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Liam Payne, Ronan Keating, Rochelle and Marvin Humes, and British Vogue editor Edward Enninful.
“We have given him creative control. It’s her art – we want her to express her art in her own way,” managing director Tim Kelly told the PA news agency ahead of the performance.
“I cannot express enough the level of professionalism and discipline you have with the rehearsal.
“She’s been on stage, rehearsing and performing since she arrived last week, and she’s been developing and curating a performance.
“She’s not taking a show out of the box because she doesn’t have a show in the box. You get full force Beyoncé.”
Asked if it was difficult to secure a global pop star for the launch, Mr Kelly said: “It took a long time, but it came together fairly quickly.
“This is a situation where she chooses what she wants to do. We are honoured, we are proud and for her to be in Dubai tonight to do this, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“We’ve always expressed that this is an iconic building, and then to have the most iconic artist available on the planet today, who hasn’t been seen on public display in four years, is truly the night of the icon.”
(Tags to translate) UKmusic (T) Beyonce