While this post is not about music, per se, it’s about my favorite artist and my hero…Beyoncé. As I posted a few months ago, superstar duo Jay Z and Beyoncé set out on their massive stadium tour On The Run in June. I was wholeheartedly prepared for them to skip out on my home town, Minneapolis and readily purchased tickets to the Chicago show at Soldier Field. My brother and I initially struggled to get great seats but were blessed to finally land some floor tickets. We made the 8-hour trek to Chicago on the Megabus and excited is a complete understatement to how we were feeling at the time.
On the Megabus, I checked Instagram and realized that the Power 92 radio station was giving away a Beyoncé meet-and-greet. My heart raced and then sank all at once because while I was excited about the possibility of meeting my idol, I knew that I probably wouldn’t win the contest. Drew and I entered anyway and tried our best to submit as many entries as possible using the little Megabus wifi we had at our disposal. We chatted about what we would do if we actually got to meet her, even making a pros and cons list to make ourselves feel better when we were to inevitably lose the contest. Pros: We would meet Beyoncé, our lives would be complete, we would be apart of a select few who actually meets the Queen, we would meet Beyoncé. Cons: We would stress out so much about what to say to her, we wouldn’t know what to wear, we would probably pass out before we shook her hand. Of course, we lost the contest. I tweeted, “Hahahahaha dying at this girl who won Beyoncé meet and greets! omg so exciting!” and “The radio station totally tricked her, but she was so excited omg, I’m glad it was a fan that won.”
Drew asked me what I would do if I saw Bey at a restaurant in Chicago. I said that we would have to go up to her and say something but he said he would be more hesitant. We then made a decision to stop talking about it because we were getting our hopes up. I tweeted, “Radio contests are awesome, but I sometimes hate them because they give me false hope about possibly meeting Bey”.
Upon arrival to Chicago, I gave up all hope about meeting her. I mean, the city is absolutely huge. There was no way we were going to run into her. I shook the thought out of my mind because I was getting too worked up about something that would never happen. After dragging our luggage to the hotel in the scorching heat only to deal with credit card problems upon check-in, I was ready to hit the city and do some serious shopping. After all, I needed the perfect outfit for the concert the next night.
Drew and I didn’t have any luck at Forever 21 and headed on over to Wow Bao for a snack. We putzed around and ate our delicious food for a little before deciding on Top Shop. As we were walking in I said to Drew, “Didn’t Miley Cyrus come here once?” He nodded and we thought that it was pretty cool. We browsed around for about 20 minutes and I had plenty of options to try on in the downstairs dressing room. The employee made it a point to tell me to hang everything back up on the hangers when I was done trying on. I found some great dresses and asked Drew to head back upstairs to grab some more jean shorts in my size. When he came back down, the employee asked him to stand outside the dressing room area. I was busy hanging everything back up on my hangers when I received a text from Drew saying, “SOS. Get out here now.” He called for me as well and I was annoyed because I still had to hang up some more clothes. I finally finished and walked over to my brother. “Allie,” he started. “Don’t freak out but I think Beyoncé’s coming here.” My heart sped up and the blood rushed to my head; I could physically feel face get warmer. “How do you know that?” He proceeded to tell me that he overheard the employees talking when I was in the dressing room. We aimlessly walked over to a corner to make a game plan. I started, “Well we have to stay here all night. Do you think they meant tonight or tomorrow? Did you-“. He interrupted me with, “Allie, she’s right there, turn around.” That’s when everything changed.
I turned my head and saw Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter. Right there. In front of me. She was wearing a blue football jersey that said “Carter” on the back with white pants, black heels, and she was holding a champagne flute. Of course she was, she’s Beyoncé. Her hair was in two loose braids and she looked even more beautiful in person. If that’s even possible.
In that moment, it didn’t cross my mind not to go up to her. Her security team was not around her and she had a few friends with her; it was do or die. I took a few steps and remember muttering, “Beyoncé,” just to convince myself that it was actually her. I walked even closer and said, “Beyoncé. Hi!” She smiled. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Is there anyway we could get a picture with you? We’re such big fans!
Bey: I’m sorry, no pictures tonight.
Me: No problem! (Seizures on the inside)
Drew: We’re coming to see your show tomorrow!
Bey: Aw really? Thank you (Smiling from ear to ear)
Bey puts her hand out and shakes my brother’s hand and then shakes mine. I look her in the eyes and say, “I’m Allie,” and that’s when I started to lose it.
Me: You’re my biggest idol and I really just want to thank you so much for everything you do. (I choke and start crying, but I try to hold back my tears).
Bey: Aw thank you. Thank you so much. (She kept smiling). It was so nice to meet y’all.
I walked away and cried at another clothing rack. Her security suddenly got more intense but she was still walking around the store. I don’t think anybody else got to talk to her like we did because we caught her just as she snuck in. We followed her around, trying to be discreet but dying on the inside. At this point, it has not hit me that I just met Beyoncé. I text my friends but they don’t initially believe me because I always joke around about hanging out with her. It’s one of those things that you can joke about because it’s so unlikely.
As she was turning another corner and walking our way again, I grabbed the nearest hat on the rack and plopped to goofy fedora on my head. I said to her, “Hey Bey, do you like our hats?”. She laughed and answered, “Cute, super cute,” as she walked by. It was one of those sarcastic exchanges that you have with a friend. So basically Beyoncé is my best friend. She walked around the store for a while and then went off into her dressing room where she remained before she snuck out at the end of the night. When she left the store, everybody screamed and freaked out because we had been keeping our cool for so long. I loved how nobody screamed at her and people respected her space. If it were Justin Bieber, his fans would have tackled him. People respect Bey and are extremely intimidated by her, which is why she got to shop like a decently normal person. Well, as normal as you can get for being a legend.
When I talked to her, she was extremely humble and sweet. Although I always knew this because of her interviews, I was impressed and relieved that my idol was actually the person her fans think she is. She was gracious, kind, poised, and breathtakingly beautiful. I can’t shake the fact that out of all of Chicago, my brother and I were the ones who happened to be at the perfect place at the perfect time. We happened to be at the same corner of the store as her, and this experience changed my perspective on fate and karma. I think that because my brother and I have been so dedicated to her and because we were gracious when we lost the radio contest, someone was looking out for us. Or maybe we are just the luckiest people in the world. I still can’t wrap my mind around what happened but I wanted to share my story because I never, ever thought that something like this would happen to me.
Miracles happen. I believe that now.