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Beyoncé returns to the stage after a 5-year hiatus for the grand reveal of Atlantis The Royal in Dubai

Beyoncé made her grand return to the stage this weekend in her first live performance since 2018’s “Beychella” spectacle.

The songstress stepped back in front of a live audience for the first time to commemorate the Grand Reveal of Dubai’s newest ultra-luxury resort destination, Atlantis The Royal.

Despite a strict no-phones policy at the exclusive, 1,500-seat gig, footage of the show flooded the internet.

The star-studded affair featured celebrity sightings of Chlöe& Halle Bailey, Nia Long, Winston Duke, Sabrina Dhowre Elba, British Vogue Editor Edward Enninful, and of course, her doting husband Jay-Z among the audience.

Though grand, the set was a notable departure from the heavily choreographed, bass-thumping stage shows Beyoncé has become known for.

Accompanied by the famed 1500 or Nothin’ live band, 48-person all-female orchestra Firdaus, mentored by Academy Award-winning composer, A.R. Rahman, her own backup dancers and The Mayyas, an all-female precision dance group from Lebanon, choreographed by Fatima Robinson, the 24-time Grammy winner opted for a more ballad-driven show, surprisingly performing little to no choreography herself.

She welcomed the crowd to the experience, introducing her band and dancers, appreciatively noting that her family was there to see her perform.

“My parents are here tonight,” she said, smiling. “My mother and my father. My beautiful children are here tonight, to watch their mother perform. And of course, my beautiful husband.” 

While many of her fans are ecstatic just to see her return to performing live, others are disappointed that she didn’t use the opportunity for political reasons.

Since the show, Beyoncé has received backlash from some people who believe the popstar should have made a statement about homosexual rights in the United Arab Emirates.

The ‘Crazy in Love’ singer opted to perform covers and lesser-known songs from older albums rather than her new album, ‘Renaissance’, which celebrates homosexuality and was nominated for a Grammy last year.

Some activists asserted that since she was performing in Dubai, it would be a good opportunity to sing ‘Rennaisance’ songs, making a political statement about the country’s laws, which excludes gay marriage.

Bev Jackson, co-founder of the LGB Alliance, said that Beyoncé’s decision “casts a shadow over her support for lesbians and gay people.”

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Written by Jamil Johnson