From Nina Simone to Nicki Minaj.
Turn up the volume. Queen Bey and the Queen of Pop have come together for a remix of this summer’s disco anthem, “Break My Soul.” Beyoncé and Madonna surprised music fans by releasing “Break My Soul (The Queens Remix)” on Aug. 6, marking the first time the queens have officially collaborated together on a song. The remix included snippets of Madonna’s 1990 hit “Vogue,” but updated to give shout-outs to a list of Black women in music, including Beyoncé’s sister Solange Knowles.
Since Queen Bey’s “Break My Soul” dropped on June 20 as the lead single for her new album Renaissance, a tribute to dance music history with roots in house music, ‘70s disco, and hyperpop, it’s been rising in the charts. The album is positioned to take the top spot on the Billboard charts days after its July 29 release.
Beyoncé released remixes of “Break My Soul” with artists will.i.am, Terry Hunter, Honey Dijon and Nita Aviance on Aug. 3, but the collab with Madonna was an extra special one. Within hours of its drop, it’s already in the top 10 songs on iTunes in the U.S., according to Chart Data. Madonna tweeted on Aug. 6, “Don’t F*** with the Queens” to announce the song’s arrival.
In the third verse of the song, Beyoncé pays homage to Black women in music including her sister and her former Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. She sings, “Rosetta Tharpe, Santigold, Bessie Smith, Nina Simone, Betty Davis, Solange Knowles, Badu, Lizzo, Kelly Rowl', Lauryn Hill, Roberta Flack, Toni, Janet, Tierra Whack, Missy, Diana, Grace Jones, Aretha, Anita, Grace Jones, Helen Folasade Adu, Jilly from Philly, I love you, boo,” while lines from Madonna’s “Vogue” can be heard in the mix.
She continues to name-drop iconic celebrities, along with ballroom houses and fashion houses: “Mother of the House, Michelle, Chlöe, Halle, Aaliyah, Mother of the House, Alicia, Whitney, Riri, Nicki, House of Xtravaganza, House of Revlon, House of LaBeija, House of Amazon, the House of Aviance, The House of Balmain, the House of Ninja, The House of Lanvin, House of Telfar, House of Ladosha, House of Mugler, The House of Balenciaga, the House of Mizrahi.” The specific inclusion of various ballroom houses is important, considering vogueing was born in the ballroom scene before Madonna made the pose-heavy dance mainstream with “Vogue.”
This queens duo is a match made in music heaven, and all those shoutouts will have just about everyone feeling the love.