Everybody put your hands up: Arguably Beyonce’s biggest hit, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” turns six years old today (also turning six? “If I Were a Boy”). The song was released to radio this week in 2008, and the instantly-iconic video dropped Oct. 13, 2008. “Single Ladies” went on to hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Dec. 13, 2008.
“Out of all my videos, it was the least expensive and took the least amount of time. And it ended up being the most iconic,” Beyonce told Billboard in 2009. “I absolutely didn’t expect that — I don’t think anyone did. But I knew exactly what I wanted to do: Keep it simple. I’ve done so many things in videos with different hair and wardrobe changes, different sets and lights. I just wanted to keep this one really minimal. And once we got on the set, it was like, ‘Wait a minute. This is something special.'”
Just in case you’ve forgotten (hahahaha. Yeah right) here is the video for the Grammy-winning tune again:
Kanye West was right: It really is the best video of all time. In honor of the birthday, we rounded up some of Queen Bey’s best performances of the track — both from the original 2008 rush and in many of her concerts since. (Remember when she started mixing in those “Hey hey hey hey” riffs? That was a great idea.) What’s surprising when watching so many of her live performances all at once is how little she’s messed with the song over the years. She knows exactly what people want to see, and goes on to hit every single mark in the complicated dance every time.
Check them all out below, but only if you’re fully prepared to dance in a way that lets everyone around you know you actually can’t dance at all.
Which is really a big part of this tune’s legacy.
6. 2008 American Music Awards
Bonus: Hey there, Brittany (Heather Morris) from Glee! Taking place in Nov. 2008, this performance happened right when the dance was sweeping the country — and showstoppers like this certainly helped it along.
5. The 2009 Video Music Awards
Moody power singing kicks things off to give this performance a memorable twist. Then stay for literally dozens of back up dancers soldiers.
4. Glastonbury 2011
For this once-in-a-lifetime show, Beyonce pulled out all the stops (and donned a gorgeous gold blazer).
3. I AM… World Tour 2009
For her world tour following the song’s release, Beyonce had the most fun with the tune, getting audience members involved and also spotlighting the viral nature of the video, showcasing video homages as well.
1. Atlantic City Shows 2012
Three months post-Blue Ivy, these concerts came to be known as her “comeback shows” — not that any kind of comeback was needed. Bey was on top of her game here, and made sure it seemed like she’d never left at all.