Last night, Beyoncé dropped a song and video out of nowhere for her new song “Formation” on Tidal, and as per usual, the internet immediately went crazy over it. We saw every lyric and shot get dissected, resulting in hilarious Red Lobster memes and even accusations of uncredited footage being used in the video. Beyoncé also released accompanying merch with lyrics drawn straight from the song to accompany its release. Overall, dropping the song as a surprise turned out to be great marketing on Beyoncé's part, who was set to perform at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show the next day.
Tonight during her halftime performance, following an opening medley from Coldplay and Bruno Mars, Beyoncé performed her new song and paid homage to Michael Jackson. The new Queen of Pop came out on the field wearing an outfit drawing direct inspiration from the King of Pop's 'fit from his own iconic Super Bowl XXVII halftime performance. People took notice and drew comparisons between the two greats.
Beyoncé flipped a Michael Jackson lewk. Lord. I cannot even.
— Michael Arceneaux (@youngsinick) February 8, 2016
BEYONCE IN THAT MICHAEL JACKSON SUPER BOWL FIT pic.twitter.com/G919sWvPOq
— Gaby Wilson (@GabrielleWilson) February 8, 2016
The king and queen of pop. #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/Bxl7yw2fCD
— The FADER (@thefader) February 8, 2016
.@Beyonce was channeling major @Michaeljackson vibes during her #SB50 performance ❤️ pic.twitter.com/gKmQjzJkko
— On Air/Ryan Seacrest (@OnAirWithRyan) February 8, 2016
Others pointed out how the outfit also paid homage to the stylings of female Black Panther members from the 1960s and '70s.
Beyoncé just did a Black Panthers – Michael Jackson tribute at the Super Bowl. The rest of the game is now irrelevant. #SB50 #PepsiHalftime
— Ashley Weatherford (@sincerelyash) February 8, 2016
Michael Jackson…the Black Panthers… I'm speechless ✊???@Beyonce ! #sb50 #hotsauceinmybag pic.twitter.com/oYKetRQP78
— Melanie:) (@dancindoc1022) February 8, 2016
Given the song's strong pro-black message, and that we're a week into Black History Month, it's a fitting move to pay homage to both an iconic black entertainer and such a significant social justice group at once. Make sure to watch the video for the song here, if you haven't done so already. Also, keep an eye out for tickets to Beyoncé's upcoming Formation World Tour stop in your city, releasing on Feb. 15.