Beyonce may be called “Queen Bey” everywhere, except for one place on earth. Throughout the span of her iconic career, she’s become one of the most adored entertainers on the planet and of this generation. Her music has crossed language barriers, and she’s helped to drive the culture worldwide. The “Formation” singer has also caped for women and women’s rights on numerous occasions. One would think that the places that she could NOT go are nonexistent, but there’s at least one country that has banned her from touring or even visiting.
Beyonce’s performing days date back to her childhood, where she and her Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland were in a group Girls Tyme. Cutting down from six to four members after their infamous Star Search loss, the group would eventually change their name to Destiny’s Child and after years of vocal and dance “boot camp”, set up by her father and previous manager Matthew Knowles, as well as a failed record deal with Elektra Records, the group would find a home at Columbia.
Destiny’s Child went on to become one of the biggest selling girl groups of all time, selling over sixty million records to date. After their disbandment, Beyonce would go on to achieve even more superstardom on a solo level, becoming one of the best selling artists of all time.
Although Bey is well-loved worldwide, she’s also had her share of controversial moments. One of her most recent being the release of the music video for the song Formation, which was filled with political and personal viewpoints of the Black experience.
Beyonce not only dominates American soil when it’s time for her to tour, but she usually travels to other continents where she brings her full production so that fans overseas can get the full experience. However, in 2007, it was announced that her scheduled concert in Kuala Lumpur would be canceled after finding out she was banned due to concerns that her outfit choices would be inappropriate.
The announcement of her concert appearance in the Malaysian capital was met with protests by local Muslim groups, and it’s reported that industry sources claim Beyonce refused to abide by the country’s strict dress code. Muslim groups, including the 10,000-strong National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students, urged the Ministry of Culture, Arts, and Heritage (who’s responsible for the rules of attire) to cancel the concert, which would have been Bey’s debut performance in the country.
Also according to the rules, which Kuala Lumpur-based concert promoter Pineapple Concerts claimed they would abide by, were to be no hugging or kissing audience members or fellow artists, no jumping or shouting, no throwing objects onstage or at the audience and no foul language. Clothes also cannot have obscene or drug-related images or messages, and female performers must show no skin from the tops of their chests to their knees.
Also subject to fines previously in Malaysia were The Pussycat Dolls, who’s 2006 concert brought controversy and they were fined for performing “sexually suggestive” dance routines. Other performers such as Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani were met with pushback, but ended up performing while wearing clothing that revealed little skin.