Her last album, Renaissance (Act I), was an LGBTQ+ battle cry. The first of a “three-act” passion project aimed at creating, as Beyoncé said in her mission statement, “a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.” By paying homage to the black and queer pioneers of disco, funk and house music – using samples of underground drag icons and the industry’s most revered LGBTQ+ creatives – the album was, the Gay Times declared upon its release last July, “a queer euphoria from start to finish.”
There was plenty of euphoria at Beyoncé’s private gig at the launch of the Dubai Atlantis Royal hotel on Saturday, and plenty of stars there to watch the 41-year-old artist get propelled 16ft up in the air, above the hotel’s vast Skyblaze fountain, while fireworks detonated around her – but all that LGBTQ+ sentiment had been silenced by a reported £19.3 million cheque.