When the producers of Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks special contacted Beyoncé about introducing their display of forty thousand fireworks over the Hudson River with a musical performance, it must have seemed like the most obvious phone call. Thanks to a combination of factors, not least her relative resistance to the return of European dance sounds in pop, her promise to campaign for Barack Obama in 2012 (as she did in 2008), and her “Move Your Body” video for Michelle Obama‘s “Let’s Move” campaign, unpacked by Mike Barthel at Sound of the City, B has come to represent a certain facet of “America.” No other artist could as effectively have honored the 125th anniversary of the gift of the Statue of Liberty by performing at its base.
Plus she’s promoting her new album 4! So everybody wins. Above, watch her performance, to a crowd of adoring fans, of her single “Best Thing I Never Had,” for which a video will be premiering imminently.
After a commercial break, but before the fireworks, she performed Lee Greenwood‘s 1984 country hit “God Bless the U.S.A.,” viewable below. We suspect she picked the song, which is perhaps our least favorite American-pride song thanks to its contribution to the return of jingoism in the Reagan era, because it mentions her hometown of Houston.