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Beyoncé's 23 best songs of all time

A definitive ranking of Queen Bey's greatest hits, from her "Dangerously in Love" days to her "Renaissance" takeover

Written by
Time Out editors
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Stay calm everyone. The moment we’ve been waiting for for literally years is here. Beyoncé is touring the world (again), and it’s going to be absolutely epic. Queen Bey never seems to take a day off, and we’re not complaining, as just when you start to think “I haven’t heard from Beyoncé recently,” there she is, with another banger. 

The Queen herself will be touring her 2022 album Renaissance from May 2023, and the tickets are about as hard to get hold of as you'd expect. But don’t let that stop you, Bey Hive. Get those tickets. And whether you’re lucky enough to get tickets or not, you’re bound to be wondering what bangers she’ll feature in the show. To refresh your mind, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to rank all of Bey’s best tunes, from the very start of her solo era. Let’s go. 

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Best Beyoncé hits, ranked

“Halo” (2008)
Image: Columbia Records

1. “Halo” (2008)

As the crown jewel of I am...Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé’s “Halo” is the strong, feminine, power-pop love ballad that we never knew we needed. Showcasing Beyoncé’s strong voice and expansive range, the song’s powerful hook drives home the theme of all-encompassing love. Rightly, it earned Beyoncé a Grammy for best Female Pop Vocal Performance in 2007.—Aashna Shah

“***Flawless” (2013)
Image: Columbia Records

2. “***Flawless” (2013)

From the Star Search sound bites to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s iconic speech on equality, this feminist-power-packed, self-love anthem is all about celebrating the beauty and strength of yourself and other women. It’s Bey officially breaking out as a feminist force to be reckoned with, and summoning her hive to follow suit. On the remix, we also get Yoncé and Nicki spitting about their assets and accomplishments. Some may consider it borderline cocky (“You can say what you want, I’m the sh*t”), but the queen says it herself: “I want everyone to feel like this.” And let’s be real: You probably know exactly where you were when this digital album dropped, and you’ve woken up "***Flawless" every day since.—Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo

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“Love On Top” (2011)
Image: Columbia Records

3. “Love On Top” (2011)

It’s no wonder that Queen Bey used this song to announce her pregnancy at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Showcasing flawless runs on an '80s-style beat, the song is a modern R&B revelation with pop flair that will make you feel the love (on top).—Jake Cohen

“Best Thing I've Never Had” (2011)
Image: Columbia Records

4. “Best Thing I've Never Had” (2011)

Bey inverts and reclaims this titular woebegone heartbreak trope as only she can, mutating it into a defiant takedown of an unworthy lover. She didn't lose the best thing in her life — rather, he's the best loss imaginable. Good riddance!

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"Black Parade" (2020)
Image: Parkwood

5. "Black Parade" (2020)

"Black Parade" is Beyoncé at her most stirring and powerful. Released in commemoration of Juneteenth 2020 at a time when BLM protests were at a fever pitch, the song samples generously from across the Black musical diaspora, from trap to gospel, pan-African to electronica. The result is at once deeply personal and universal, and Bey's deserved subsequent Grammy made her the most awarded singer and second-most awarded artist in Grammy history.

“Crazy in Love” (2003)
Image: Columbia Records

6. “Crazy in Love” (2003)

It's not her first collaboration with future husband Jay-Z (that'd be "03 Bonnie and Clyde") but this is the song that cemented their artistic partnership early on. What better introduction for future pop royalty (as Jay says prophetically "history in the making") than a regal brass fanfare that segues into a funky-drummer-esque break beat. —Andrew Frisicano

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“Irreplaceable” (2006)
Image: Columbia Records

7. “Irreplaceable” (2006)

Beyoncé doesn't need a man. Beyoncé doesn't need anything. Bey is sufficient unto herself, not just emotionally but financially, as this 2006 megahit repeatedly reminds the cheating object of her disdain: It's her house she's evicting him from, her car she's taking back the keys to. "You must not know 'bout me," she taunts him coolly, making sure in the process that everyone listening knows exactly who she is. —Adam Feldman

“Sorry” (2016)
Image: Columbia Records

8. “Sorry” (2016)

In the last couple of years I vowed to no longer waste any attempts at apologies or reconciliations with people who would never lift a finger to do the same for me. Beyonce's anthem is my inspiration for telling people to fuck off with a smile. —Jillian Anthony

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"Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (2008)
Image: Columbia Records

9. "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (2008)

We're loath to say it, but Kanye was right. Beyoncé really did have one of the best videos of all time with this all-timer from Sasha Fierce. (That's probably why she won the VMA Video of the Year Award in 2009, which was presented after 'Ye dickishly interrupted Taylor Swift's Best Female Video win). You know the beat. You know the infectious "oh oh oh." You know the dance. "Single Ladies" has become a part of the pop culture lexicon in a way few songs have: It's a constant on playlists and part of casual conversation 12 years later. Most artists are lucky to become part of pop culture history. Only the best define it. 

"Break My Soul" (2022)
Photograph: Columbia Records

10. "Break My Soul" (2022)

The Renaissance album was a fresh new sound from Beyoncé, and both singles released from it hit the Billboard Hot 100’s top 10 pretty much straight away. “Break My Soul” was a powerful dance track with a distinctly 90s vibe we hadn’t heard from Bey before. It’s as suited to the club as it is to dancing in your kitchen, and includes the lyric “Bey is back and I'm sleeping real good at night.” Iconic.—Ella Doyle.

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