She’s become one of the most powerful women in music in recent years and Beyonce has revealed that performing in Egypt two months before the country’s uprising was one of the moving experiences of her career.
The 29-year-old popstar says she will never forget seeing women in burkhas singing along to some of her biggest hits.
“There were a lot of women in the audience in burkas,” she tells the UK edition of Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
“They were singing along to ‘Irreplaceable’ – it was amazing! Some of the men got really upset! They were like to their women, ‘We have to get you out of here!’....“I guess some of them (men) do get annoyed. But I never want to do ‘the banner thing’.”
The ‘Best Thing I Never Had’ singer says that she is happy to be called a feminist, as it comes naturally to her, however she believes the movement may need a new name.
“I don’t really feel that it’s necessary to define it,” she says. “It’s just something that’s kind of natural for me, and I feel like...you know...it’s, like, what I live for. I need to find a catchy new word for ‘feminism’, right? Like ‘bootylicious’...”
Beyonce admits that she loves spending time with her female friends, such as actress Gwyneth Paltrow, and says she doesn’t understand women who surround themselves with men.
“I’m afraid when women never hang around with other women,” she says. “That’s a little scary to me – why is that?”
The star says she often spends time at the home of Gwyneth and her and husband, Coldplay star Chris Martin, and has great admiration for her friend.
“She pushes her boundaries all the time,” she explains. “You go to her house and she makes you feel like you never want to go home. She is what I strive to be one day.”
Beyonce says that she and her husband Jay-Z have become incredibly close to Gwyneth and Chris because they “have very similar values”. “We have also been able to become each other’s support systems over the years, as none of us needs anything from the other,” she says.
Beyonce is turning 30 in September and she says admits she is very excited about the future and feels very comfortable with who she is.
“This is such a pivotal moment in my life! I’m transitioning as a woman, and I’m finally able to express myself as I am.”
Beyonce dons a selection of outfits by Azzedine Alaia, Armani, Prive, Hermes, Azzaro and Lanvin in a stunning photo-shoot for magazine.
The full interview appears in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK. A behind the scenes video of the photo-shoot is available at www.harpersbazaar.co.uk