Looking back over the past decade — a span in which she’s stepped away from supersuccessful Destiny’s Child to become a megasuccessful solo artist, landed her first leading film roles, married the planet’s biggest hip-hop star — Beyoncé, 28, cherishes one memory above all others: the night she sang the Etta James classic ”At Last” for President Obama and the First Lady at the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball in Washington, D.C., last January. ”I don’t usually watch my performances, but I have looked at this one over and over,” the 10-time Grammy winner tells EW. ”I just want to relive that moment. It was history and it was really magical.” For millions of fans around the world, those words could describe practically any time Beyoncé enters the spotlight. She’s the ultimate diva: a superhuman force of nature, casting powerful spells with her high notes and hip shakes. Yet off stage, the singer-actress is an approachable Everywoman who radiates down-to-earth warmth even as she carefully protects her private life from the paparazzi. Is it any wonder we’re crazy in love with her?
Beyoncé’s decade…& beyond
On going solo
”I grew up in a group, so my first solo project felt like moving out for the first time or going away to college. But Kelly, Michelle, and I always have and always will support each other.”
”I am most proud of having written songs that became anthems for young women. I realize that in those songs I am saying so much of what young women want to say. Whether it is to leave a terrible relationship, work on making themselves better, loving themselves more, or just finding their inner strength, I hear all their stories on the tour and around the world. To have any part in that is amazing.”
On her future
”I would love to maybe direct more. I directed my first video this year and, more recently, my concert tour shoot. I may also want to work with other artists to guide them and teach what I have learned.”