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Let’s assess the evidence that Beyoncé is somehow involved in Black Panther

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Due to Beyoncé’s penchant for developing her albums in secret and springing them on the public without notice, her fans have developed a kind of pop-music PTSD over the years, the result being that any sudden movement or cryptic quote from Queen B can throw the fandom into a panicked frenzy of anticipation. This weekend was no different, as fans dove headlong into various conspiracy theories based on an outfit Beyoncé wore to the Grammys, which may or may not suggest that she’s somehow involved in the movie Black Panther. So, let’s take a look at the evidence.


First and foremost, her clutch is a black panther. Seems a bit on the nose, but it’s hard to deny that the thing she’s holding is also the name of a movie. Then, there’s the fact that, the day before the Grammys, Beyonce wore diamond-studded black-panther earrings, which can be seen in this Instagram post.

Add to that the all-black, all-Art Deco vibe of her looks this weekend that undeniably fit with the aesthetic of Black Panther’s promotional material, and you’ve got a real theory going.


It didn’t take long for music-starved fans to declare these were clues that Beyoncé was either going to make a surprise cameo in the upcoming Marvel film, or, better yet, would be appearing on the Kendrick Lamar-curated Black Panther soundtrack, which so far remains shrouded in secrecy. Of course, there may be a simpler, less conspiratorial explanation for Beyoncé’s Grammys look.


Beyoncé’s outfit may just have been inspired by, you know, the real Black Panthers. Not the one from the comic books. For years now, and much to the chagrin of uptight white people everywhere, Beyoncé’s music, stage show, and overall aesthetic have been inspired by the Black Panther Party. It may just be a coincidence that there is a Black Panther movie coming out around the same time Beyoncé appeared in public looking the way she normally would anyway.

Or there will be a full double album dropped tomorrow. In which case, we called it.


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About the author

Dan Neilan

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Have Fun — Will Travel.