Beyoncé (born September 4, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress. Performing in singing and dancing competitions as a child, she began her music career as a member of Girl's Tyme, which in 1993 was recast as Destiny's Child, one of the world's best-selling girl groups of all time in the 1990s. In 2003, she released her debut solo album.

From 2001 to 2013, Beyoncé won 17 Grammy Awards, and sold over 13 million albums in the US, making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. She was also included in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2013.

In this exercise, you will watch an interview in which Beyoncé talks about directing a behind-the-scenes documentary on her personal and professional life. You will also listen to one of her songs – If I Were A Boy.                                                                                  (Reference: wikipedia.org)

 

Part 1 - Interview on ABC’s Nightline

A. Pre-viewing

Go through the following notes on vocabulary and culture found in the interview and familiarize yourself with their meanings.

  1. Forbes magazine –an American business biweekly magazine. It is well known for its lists, including its lists of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400), highest-paid stars under 30, and its list of billionaires
  2. unplugged – originally means music played acoustically, without amplification
  3. questioning God - the Christian tradition tends to emphasize faith in light of doubt, frowning upon the act of questioning divine authority
  4. (oh) lord - used to express surprise, shock, or frustration
  5. ok and whatever – used as expression of dismissal in this video
  6. Jalapenos – hot picked chili peppers that are popularly associated with Mexican cuisine
  7. Kanye West – a famous music producer, singer and rapper
  8. rapper mogul – a very rich or powerful person who raps (rap is a style of music)
  9. Help a brother/sister out?” – a common phrase made popular by African Americans. Meaning “Can you help me?” but with a more friendly and familiar tone to it.

Part 1 - Interview on ABC’s Nightline

B. Culture and vocabulary in context

Watch the video again to see how the words/phrases in bold are used and try to explain what they mean in these specific contexts. Pay attention to the interviewer’s and the interviewee’s intonation, body language and facial expressions to help you.

Click here to watch hide the video

Video ©ABCNews.com

1.“Beyoncé Knowles is one of the biggest stars on earth. She’s sold over 11 million albums, and figures prominently on every list of the world’s hottest recording artists.”
  aggressively
Sorry!
   importantly
Correct!
   appealingly
Sorry!
2. “She’s…the break-out star of Destinies Child.”
  a person who has the potential to be famous
Sorry!
  a person who gradually became famous
Sorry!
  a person who becomes famous all of a sudden
Correct!
3. “Beyoncé Knowles is clearly at the top of her game.”
  having lots of fun
Sorry!
  the best of her kind
Sorry!
  performing at her best
Correct!
4.Beyoncé: “it’s a lot of things that I revealed about myself that I would have never given to a different director.”
Interviewer: “So what we see are some very tender moments between you and you.”
  gentle
Correct!
  private
Sorry!
  quiet
Sorry!
5. “I used to not do that. I think I was too young. And now I know, you know, when I win 6 Grammys in a night, to really soak up every second, because it’s something that can never happen again.”
  get nervous about
Sorry!
  to enjoy the experience
Correct!
  forget
Sorry!
6. “She’s cut some of those raw moments into a film she’s directed about the tour.”
  professional and planned expressions
Sorry!
  the concept of moment in mathematics involving probability functions
Sorry!
  honest, real and usually vulnerable moments
Correct!
7. “You know, I’ve performed 9 nights in a row and nobody cares about me.”
  well organized
Sorry!
  having arguments
Sorry!
  consecutively
Correct!
8. “I’m just really upset I don’t have anyone that’s concerned about my body and my well-being.”
  the state of feeling wealthy and strong
Sorry!
  the state of feeling healthy and happy
Correct!
  the state of feeling well and powerful
Sorry!
9. Interviewer: “Does it feel that way (that nobody cares about you) sometimes?”
Beyoncé: “I was delirious. And I just felt, was feeling, sorry and bad.”
   unable behave properly because you are extremely frightened
Sorry!
   unable to think or speak clearly because of fever or mental confusion
Correct!
   unable to control your feelings because you are extremely angry or excited
Sorry!
10. “Why do you think people are so fixated on this (that you are pregnant)? Because you cannot, I mean in preparing to sit down and talk to you, it’s just about every 30 days, there’s another rumor that you’re pregnant.”
  arranged or decided already and not able to be changed
Sorry!
  unable to think about something
Sorry!
  focusing on something all the time
Correct
11. “I’m only 29, guys! Lighten up!”
   to make lighter or brighter
Sorry!
  to light up a cigarette
Sorry!
  to be less serious and demanding with someone or something
Correct!
12. I said, “Oh! this is perfect. This is my first time directing a DVD, will you guys (Jay Z. and Kanye West) help me out? Help a sister out?” And they came through!
  pushed through a crowd of audience
Sorry!
  successfully accomplished something
Correct!
  appeared in front of her from no where
Sorry!

Part 2 – Song: If I Were A Boy

"If I Were a Boy" laments the misunderstandings between the genders and indicts the male side of relationships. Listen to the song on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7XW0KBUjP0 and explain what the words/phrases in bold mean in their respective contexts.

1.I'd roll out of bed in the morning
  leave                
Correct!
   hang out
Sorry!
   bring out
Sorry!
   launch
Sorry!
2. Throw on what I wanted and go
  put on/wear
Correct!
  take away
Sorry!
  bet on
Sorry!
   pack
Sorry!
3. I’d kick it with who I wanted
  quit a habit
Sorry!
  leave/exit
Sorry!
  spend time with
Correct!
   passed away
Sorry!
4.They’d stick up for me
  a robbery
Sorry!
  support/ back up
Correct!
  glue together
Sorry!
   to raise
Sorry!
5. I swear I’d be a better man
  honestly
Sorry!
  to utter obscenities
Sorry!
  to promise
Correct!
   to prove
Sorry!
6. Taking you for granted
  not appreciated/not valued enough
Correct!
  love you unconditionally
Sorry!
  take your things away without your permission
Sorry!
7. Put myself first
  look down on the others
Sorry!
   take initiative
Sorry!
  take care of yourself first/ be selfish
Correct!
   cut in a line
Sorry!
8. Make the rules as I go
  be bossy
Sorry!
  assess the situation
Sorry!
  be considerate
Sorry!
   improvise
Correct!

Part 3 - Vocabulary Round-Up

A. Complete the sentences below with the words provided in the box.

  1. prominently
  2. tender
  3. well-being
  4. swear
  5. delirious
  6. fixated
  7. improvise
  1. What you need is some loving care.
  2. A photograph of her son was displayed in a position where it could be seen on her desk.
  3. He became with his best friend's girlfriend and could not stop thinking about her.
  4. People doing yoga benefit from an increased feeling of .
  5. She had a high temperature and was .
  6. Sometimes when the actors forget their script they just have to .
  7. I don't know anything about what happened, I .

B. Select the best answers for the following sentences.

  1. I guess I was at the top of my game last year. This year, I stink.
  2. After launching his solo career in 1983, Michael Jackson was a break- out star of Jackson 5.
  3. Just stroll around the bazaar and soak up the atmosphere.
  4. I haven't had a good meal for three days in a row.
  5. Please lighten up on her. You are being very cruel. You are too harsh.
  6. You can depend on Jane. She'll always come through.
  7. She threw on a raincoat and ran outdoors to get the cat.
  8. Everyone was making unpleasant remarks about John, but I stuck up for him .
  9. Tom is a playboy. He always kicks it with different beautiful girls.
  10. I take a lot of things for granted. I need to learn to be grateful to things that I have.

BEYONCÉ INTERVIEW on ABC’s Nightline (Transcription)

McFadden: Singer and actress, Beyoncé Knowles is one of the biggest stars on earth. She’s sold over 11 million albums, and figures prominently on every list of the world’s hottest recording artists. She even ranked number 9 in this year’s Forbes magazine list of the most powerful women in the world. But the star continues to stretch her talent in unexpected directions, fresh off her recent I AM world tour. She told me about sliding for the first time into the director’s chair.
McFadden: This is the Beyoncé we’ve all seen. She’s always loved to sing, and she’s been famous for it since she was 17, the break out star of Destinies Child. Their first hit, No no no. As a solo artist, in 2003, she topped the charts with Crazy in Love.  Now at the ripe old age of 29, fresh off a year-long world tour, Beyoncé Knowles is clearly at the top of her game.  And while touring, the famously private super star made a stunning decision, during her quiet times on the road, she would turn a camera on herself, and let the rest of us see the real woman behind the star, without make up, without lights, unplugged.
Knowles: “And I’m flying home, because I miss my baby.”
Knowles: I feel like I wanted the fans to be able to see what I see, it’s a lot of things that I revealed about myself that I would have never given to a different director.
McFadden: So what we see are some very tender moments between you and you.
Knowles: Definitely.
McFadden: What was the hardest one to show the rest of us?
Knowles:  Well there’s one moment I remember being in China. And I was in this huge suite, and I looked out of the window, and it was just thousands of people walking, and I couldn’t believe my life. And just, I guess was a bit lonely, and I wanted to talk to someone, so I opened up my computer, and I just talked.
Knowles: “Why did God give me this life? Sometimes overwhelming. Why did God give me my talent, my gift, my family? I know you’re not supposed to question God…”
McFadden: So what’s your answer?
Knowles: I can’t answer that. Only God knows. And I don’t take it for granted. I see in the moment, how amazing the opportunities are. I used to not do that. I think I was too young. And now I know, you know, when I win 6 Grammys in a night, to really soak up every second, because it’s something that can never happen again. And before, I wouldn’t go to the pyramids, or I wouldn’t go jump in the Red Sea, or I wouldn’t go to the Great Wall of China, but this time I can appreciate how incredible this is, and the history, and I try to live in the moment. 
McFadden: She’s cut some of those raw moments into a film she’s directed about the tour. Listen to what she says while wearing one of the costumes from the show.
Knowles: “It’s gonna be like, almost 9 days, without resting my voice and my body and my mind. And I’m just really upset I don’t have anyone that’s concerned about my body and my well being.”
McFadden: You’re saying, “You know, I’ve performed 9 nights in a row, nobody cares about me.”
Knowles: Yeah.
McFadden: Does it feel that way sometimes?
Knowles: I was delirious. And I just felt, was feeling, sorry and bad, and I was like, you know…I need rest. I need someone to say stop. And in the end I cried, because clearly I’m a human being, and I bleed, and I hurt, and I fall and I cry just like everyone else. 
Knowles: “I’m here on the couch in my sweat suit, with a very sweaty face, eating salt potato chips, I want a pickle and Jalapenos.”
McFadden: This is how I ate when I was pregnant, you don’t have anything you want to tell us do you?
Knowles: No, no I don’t. And this was shot a long time ago. And so there was nothing then, and there’s nothing now. No. It will be, one day. Definitely one day.
McFadden: You’re 29, you’ve got plenty of time.
Knowles: Exactly. I’m 29, guys!
McFadden: Lighten up!
McFadden: I’m wondering, I know how close you are to your mother, and I’m wondering if you’ve given any thought to the kind of mother you’d like to be one day.
Knowles: Definitely my mother, I mean it’s one of the reasons why I haven’t had a child yet, because I feel like there are certain things that I wanted to do before I had a child, so that I could really, really focus on being a mother. And I’m getting closer to that point, but I mean I still am in such a great place in my career, that I feel like I want to wait until I’m really, really ready.
McFadden: Why do you think people are so fixated on this? Because you cannot, I mean in preparing to sit down and talk to you, it’s just about every 30 days, there’s another rumor that you’re pregnant.
Knowles: It is. And it is difficult, because one day I will decide to have a child, and I want people to be excited, and they’re going to be like, “Lord, ok, whatever, she’s been pregnant 25 times.”
McFadden: Her husband is of course the rapper mogul, Jay-Z, who makes a surprise appearance on stage with her in London.
McFadden: How did that happen? Because you two have really done a lot to keep your careers sort of separate.
Knowles: It was great. He happened to be in London, and umm, he was actually working on his own stuff. And Kanye (West) was there in London. And I said, “Oh! this is perfect. This is my first time directing a DVD, will you guys help me out? Help a sister out?” And they came through!
McFadden: When we come back, this is one performer who doesn’t need any help when it comes to tough decisions.
Knowles: How can you dare say…?(Nobody said that was…) No, let me finish. This is NOT working. We got three more days of rehearsal…
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