Beyoncé was recently the subject of unverifiable tabloid claims that H&M tried to alter the photos of her in the fast-fashion chain's big advertising push. H&M sent us a statement* that neither confirmed nor denied the gossip mongers' tales, and Beyoncé's reps didn't respond at all, but this much is clear: There's a whole lot more to Mrs. Knowles-Carter's new song "Standing on the Sun" than could be heard in her 90-second H&M teaser commercial.
As fan footage from the singer's May 31 concert in Belgium reveals, the song moves from the swaying, H&M-approved portion to livelier fare: a near-rapped verse from B that includes words you don't hear in corporate commercials, a ferociously sung section where she declares her desire to "love you long time," and a jagged, dubby breakdown where she stops singing altogether. Written by Greg Kurstin and Sia, "Standing in the Sun" is almost like two or three songs in one, and is an exciting complement to the Timbaland-produced "Grown Woman."
If nothing else, here's proof that while Beyoncé will play the endorsement game, she definitely won't let herself be airbrushed. (Turns out we were partly wrong when we said her H&M song wouldn't sound like her Houston rap tribute "Bow Down / I Been On," huh?)
* Here's that statement from H&M: "Beyoncé was our first choice for this campaign and we were delighted when she said yes. Our purpose has always been to portray Beyoncé as the strong and beautiful woman she is."