The Beyonce divorce rumor mill is on high alert after Bey slayed the VMAs without her husband, Jay Z. In its usual form, the VMAs are usually the perfect platform to make a big statement. For the last two decades, artists have used the award show to put on public displays of affection for their partner or to make a statement that they’re newly single. Although she’s usually shrouded in secrecy, Beyonce is not an exception to this rule.
While Beyonce hasn’t used the platform to put a spotlight on her love life, she did use the VMAs to announce she was expecting daughter Blue Ivy at the 2011 award show while performing her hit “Love on Top.” Since then, all eyes are on Beyonce when she performs at the VMAs to see if she’ll drop some bread crumbs about her personal life.
That said, the Beyonce divorce rumors have been a little crazy since she dropped her visual album, Lemonade, in April. While Beyonce and Jay Z tried their best to put a band-aid on the drama that unfolded at the Met Gala in 2014, Beyonce left little to the imagination with Lemonade, as she displayed what some think was a very clear narrative that Jay Z had cheated. Everyone ran with the news with scandalous songs like “Hold Up,” “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” “Sorry,” and “Love Drought,” which painted a pained Beyonce trying to figure out how she missed the signs that Jay Z cheated on her and then ultimately seeking revenge.
At the 2016 VMAs, Beyonce took to the stage to present Lemonade once again to an audience that is still wondering about the status of her relationship with Jay Z. What unfolded was a 15-minute performance featuring songs “Pray You Catch Me,” “Hold Up,” “Don’t Hurt Yourself,” “Sorry,” and “Formation.” And while MTV would probably not pass up panning the camera to Jay Z’s face while his wife sang those now-infamous lyrics, “You Better Call Becky with the good hair,” there wasn’t an opportunity to do so. That’s because Jay Z was a no-show at the 2016 VMAs. Although Beyonce went on to thank Jay Z during her acceptance speech, she seemed to ignore the elephant (not) in the room.
— Gabe Ortíz (@TUSK81) August 29, 2016
The hint that Jay Z wasn’t going to show up to the award show came early on, when Beyonce walked the red carpet with daughter Blue Ivy and four mothers from the Black Lives Matter movement, whose sons were lost due to gun violence.
So, is Jay Z’s no-show at the VMAs a sign that the Beyonce divorce rumors are true? Some seem to think so, but Jay Z did eventually turn up during the night — it just wasn’t where cameras could catch him. According to TMZ, the after-party was lit with hip-hop’s most well-known artists, and that includes Jay Z. After the VMAs, Beyonce was joined by her husband, P. Diddy, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West, and Alicia Keys at NYC spot Pasquale Jones. The group partied it up, but when they stepped outside afterward all were silent for the paparazzi vying for some commentary about the night.
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) August 29, 2016
Despite Beyonce and Jay Z’s reunion post-VMAs, tensions have been high. As Hollywood Life reported, Jay Z recently manhandled a fan who was a little too excited to see Queen Bey. The two were making their way out of the Hands of Stone premiere at the SVA theater in New York when things got a bit heated. The fan, who attempted to snap a selfie with the singer, was shoved away by Jay Z, who didn’t look too happy with the random intrusion.
It’s easy to see why people would assume the Beyonce divorce rumors are true, given this era of such transparency from Beyonce, but due to the fact the couple has made appearances together left and right, perhaps Lemonade and all that follows is just good old fashioned therapy?
[Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images]