Beyonce brings out JAY-Z and Destiny's Child for historic Coachella headlining set

After postponing 2017’s headlining Coachella slot due to her pregnancy with twins, Beyoncé made a historic return to the main stage to close out the second night (April 14) of the festival in Indio, Calif.

Prior to what would ultimately turn out to be a new career-defining peak, rumors swirled that the pop megastar would reunite Destiny’s Child and bring out 100 dancers to back her up. And just hours before performance began, she took to Facebook to shout out her fans, and let them know to get in formation during the hour intermission before the games began.

“I am so excited to see the BeyHive tonight at Coachella,” she wrote. "We have been working hard and have a special show planned for you so please be safe and stay hydrated. We need your energy! There will be an hour intermission before my performance, so mark your spot, charge your phones, grab your drinks. Can't wait to see y'all at 11:05pm!"

The speculation and rumors were accurate: Not only did Beyoncé reach a new creative peak, but she did it all while making it look effortless. Throughout a ceaseless two-hour set, the pop icon took the swelling Coachella crowd back to the days of feverish high school pep rallies and college homecomings. On stage, a tiered set of bleachers scraped the sky as a brass band and dozens of dancers backed what was indisputably the weekend's most stunning performance, with guest appearances from a reunited Destiny’s Child (for a series of their classics), as well as cameos from her husband JAY-Z and sister Solange.

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Beyoncé's performance at Coachella 2018
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Beyoncé's performance at Coachella 2018
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
Beyonce performs with Jay-Z Saturday during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kyle Grillot (Photo credit should read KYLE GRILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Coachella )
Beyonce performs with the original members of Destiny's Child Saturday during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kyle Grillot (Photo credit should read KYLE GRILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Beyonce performs Saturday during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kyle Grillot (Photo credit should read KYLE GRILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
INDIO, CA - APRIL 14: Beyonce Knowles performs onstage during 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Weekend 1 at the Empire Polo Field on April 14, 2018 in Indio, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)
Beyonce performs Saturday during the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, April 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Kyle Grillot (Photo credit should read KYLE GRILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
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Most importantly, though, Beyoncé made history, not just in her own career -- turning her music and performance into high art -- but at the festival, which is now in its 19th year. “Coachella, thanks for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline,” she said before bringing out Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. “Ain’t that 'bout a bitch?"

Even by Beyoncé’s standards, the show went above and beyond. It was impeccably choreographed, designed and directed, right down to the minute details -- Bey tapping her fingers across her knees in time to the beat on “Partition,” the exact dance moves done for her rendition of “Baby Boy,” the little teases of hits from the past as songs segued from one to the next.

“This is a very important performance for me,” she told the crowd between “Sorry” and “Bow Down/I Been On.” “I’m happy to be back home on the stage tonight.”

But above all, Beyoncé did it without breaking a sweat, an almost superhuman feat. Whether she was soaring over the crowd during “Drunk in Love,” or hitting micro-choreographed dance moves with the best backup dancers available while growling, “Suck on my balls" during "Sorry," she proved that she’s truly pushing her art form forward, in both creative scope and the breadth of music she’s recorded. It was invaluable context, even, to get glimpses of her roots throughout the performance, whether Bey was singing with JAY-Z for “Déjà Vu,” dancing with Solange for the extended version of “Get Me Bodied,” or traipsing through her Destiny’s Child days with Rowland and Williams as if the chemistry had never wavered.

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Stars at Coachella 2018
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Stars at Coachella 2018
my ladies for life
Early Riser 🧠
#yeezyseason7
pre-cardi lunchin 🌭🍋🌵
When you’re 5’1” and Beyoncé comes on
Chiltas got her daisy dukes on today with @wrangler @wrangler_europe #summerofwrangler
I’m not a regular mom I’m a cool mom
the 60s started it. #chella18
@shaniatwain is so dope in real life. @theweeknd @frenchmontana @nav @belly @dude_br0
“I could buy designer but this @FashionNova fit” 🎶
Meanwhile at #Coachella (📷: Getty Images)
📀📀📀 Had so much fun celebrating the announcement of my friend @itsjeremyscott’s @moschino collaboration with @hm this weekend in the desert !! 🌈🌵📀🚨🚧 captured by our epic friend @ronyalwin 📸
Reckless 🌴@FashionNova #ad
Such a lovely day with @RachelZoe & all these beautiful, talented & inspiring women. 👯‍♀️👯‍♀️👯‍♀️👯‍♀️ #GirlBoss Baes
Coachella Main Stage. 8.45.
She’s back ⚡️
Coachella moments
Yes boots or no boots? Throwing an after party for Chella let’s goooo @ffrecords
Celebrating @houseofharlow1960 x @urbandecaycosmetics collaboration in the desert 🌞🌵🌈
Fav @gretavanfleet
COACHELLA BABY. TWO OF MY FAVORITE PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. @coltonlhaynes @ameliagray 🦋
Celebrating my beautiful, fashionable friend @RachelZoe at #Coachella. 🌴👯‍♀️🌴
About last night 🍔 🍟 ❤️ @revolve #revolvefestival @grlfrnd_denim @maneaddicts
cotton candy cream kylighter ... 💕
the wind you guys, is this necessary?
💚 @revolve #REVOLVEfestival #REVOLVEambassador
Coachella Day 3: currently driving back to LA so here’s a pic of @nickviall being awkward
#BarbieTingz #ChunLi
Day 2️⃣ get into the groove ✴️🔆🌅⭐️✨ #festival
came thru drippin’
They don’t make a sound
Another magical night in a Moroccan oasis under the desert sky all wearing @shoprachelzoe #ZOEasis2018 #coachella🌴☀️ #livingthedream 💫✨xoRZ
Rita Chelita 😍
☀️ Fun day with @sinfulcolors_official @ultabeauty #SCVanessa #OmbreAllDay ❤️ #ad
it ain’t nothin
me... right now🕺🏻🕺🏻🕺🏻🕺🏻 @revolve #revolvefestival @grlfrnd_denim @caraasantana
Boo thang on a Sunday 😍
💚
The Jar has arrived. I love these ppl too much. #coachella2018
Windy chella I’m coming!
Happy lady because it’s my FAVORITE TIME OF YEAR!! 🌞🌵🌻🌴 lets go 5th year in a row! #coachella
👾
🖤
this is not my outfit
Find your own version of a turn up #coachella 🌵🌞👯
#revolvefestival
These are some good times ...✌️🎡🎶 @omega #OMEGATresor #omegamychoice
Backstage ‘Nannigans!!
MY GIRLS!!!! Tonight couldn’t have been more magical!!! ❤️ #Coachella2018 #BeyChella 📸: @ravieb
denim blue 🆗
all smiles today with @levis
Day bathing 😍🐶
when u finna run outta hangers.
drag.
Hat swap - ok they’re both his! @jamiroquaihq it was a pleasure 😊
Coachella Day 2: awkwardly pushing the limits of fashion
“I’m ready to be home” Necklaces: @itsirisjewelry thanks @rebeccalaurastyle for putting me on
Skylark Tylark
#MoodAF ✨🔥🦋🔥✨
Finding flowers and never letting go. #faux #freezing lol
The stars align ... ⭐️🌈⭐️🌈⭐️🌈⭐️
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Of course, when it comes to Beyoncé, nothing ever waivers. Not only did the Queen set a new standard for herself at Coachella, but she set a standard for the entire festival and its future marquee performers -- not just as the first black woman to headline the fest, but as an artist whose creative prowess will continue to be nearly impossible to match.

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