Just moved to Texas? Congratulations! You can now claim the same home state as Beyoncé. Born and bred in Houston, the 33-year-old tour de force is the world’s greatest performer—and arguably its most famous Texan. Her last album—the fourteen-track, seventeen-video masterpiece she surprised everyone with in December 2013—sold one million digital copies in less than a week. And she’s sitting pretty atop the Forbes Celebrity 100 list after pulling in $115 million in the span of a year.
Though she’s blessed with the kind of talent, smarts, and looks that comes along once in a century, she’s also a pure product of her Texas upbringing. She has the work ethic of a weathered cowpuncher and the graceful grit of a frontier mother. She’s got Selena’s knack for showmanship, Willie’s genre-busting appeal, and Farrah’s trend-setting style.
If Beyoncé had been raised in California or New York, she’d still have the pipes, but she would not have the swagger or the charm. What else could explain her latest alter ego, Third Ward Trill, which was inspired by H-Town’s “chopped and screwed” rap kings? Queen B says it best herself in “Run the World (Girls),” her global girl-power anthem: “This is how they made me / Houston, Texas, baby.”
More ultimate Texans, three other staffers weigh in:
Associate editor David Moorman: Sam Houston, the leader of the Texan army and the first president of the Republic of Texas.
Editor texasmonthly.com Andrea Valdez: Lydia Mendoza, the San Antonio sensation behind “Mal Hombre” and the most important woman in the history of Mexican American music.
Executive editor Skip Hollandsworth: Dandy Don Meredith, who played quarterback for SMU and the Dallas Cowboys and later joined the crew of Monday Night Football.
This piece is just one bit of wisdom offered in our April 2015 cover story, “Welcome to Texas!” a friendly user’s guide for our state’s most recent transplants. To read more advice, go here.