US POLITICS

Beyoncé’s Surprise DNC Performance Was Just A Crazy Rumor

But if Bey had shown up at Hillary's big show last night, how awesome would it have been?
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Bey, performing somewhere other than the DNC :( — REUTERS
Jul 29, 2016 at 4:57 PM ET

On Thursday, the Democratic National Convention wrapped up in Philadelphia with an uplifting speech by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. The night wasn’t just for wonks; a performance by a glittering Katy Perry and a general atmosphere of gleeful matriarchy could hold the attention of even the most politically apathetic. But there’s one thing the night lacked: Beyoncé.

Before the night’s marquee speeches by Clinton veep also-rans like Senator Sherrod Brown and political progeny Chelsea Clinton, before military father Khizr Khan and his wife brought the arena to tears, before the balloons fell from the ceiling like so many kickable snowflakes, members of the media were whispering and tweeting that maybe—maybe—Beyoncé might show up as a “special guest.”

I first saw rumblings of it in tweet form. An acquaintance who works in media said he’d heard similar from “a few people.” Where did the rumor come from? Who gave it life? It seems to have sprung up, fully-formed, from the wishes and dreams of the Twitter user base and, from there, bloomed into a completely unfounded rumor. Good, old-fashioned groupthink broadcast on a neutral, new-fangled social network can catch fire pretty quickly.

It’s not a totally bananas rumor; Beyoncé is no political bystander. She performed at Barack Obama’s inauguration in 2009, she was spotted at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser in Brooklyn in spring 2015. She, like Hillary Clinton, self-identifies as a feminist. Thus appearing at the convention wherein the first ever female major party presidential nominee was minted would be #onbrand. But there were problems with the rumor from jump. First off, one would think that something that big would have been hyped from jump. Second, no political party in its right mind would feature a guest that could overshadow its nominee. And third, Beyoncé posted a bunch of vacation Instagrams literally during Hillary’s speech.

If a person wasn’t crazy already, covering two political conventions back-to-back can drive them about to the brink. But crazier things have come of this convention season. News broke today, for example, that Justin Bieber was offered $5 million to perform at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, and only turned it down after his manager and LeBron James intervened.

Silver lining: Thursday night at the DNC wasn’t totally Bey-less, thanks this enterprising delegate/member of the Beyhive.

Oh, well. There will be other Hillary-Beyoncé opportunities. Maybe.