728x90 DART richIframeInline(S). pagename: bands

 Bands Main
 Bands A-Z: Beyoncé
 News Archive: Beyoncé

Page 1

 "It was exciting being a guy," Beyoncé says ...

Page 2

 Beyoncé explains exactly how she got her "Freakum" on. …

Page 3

 What went on behind the scenes at the B'Day videos. ...

See B do her best Hova, "reflect" with Shakira and say hello to a ginormous "Kitty" in her B'Day videos. Get 'em all right here!

Browse Bands by Name

Or enter a band name below to search:

— by Jennifer Vineyard

Usually, when an artist releases a "deluxe edition" of an album that's already been out for a few months, they'll slap on one or two new (or leftover) songs and some new artwork.

For the deluxe edition of Beyoncé's second solo LP, B'Day, however, the singer went all out. She added five new songs (including one as a hidden track) and she re-recorded some of her earlier hits in Spanish. She also assembled a separate video collection called "B'Day Anthology Video Album" (available through Wal-Mart), which encapsulates nearly all the songs from her original album, plus a few deluxe delights that she filmed shortly before preparing to go on her worldwide tour, which kicks off on April 10 in Tokyo. It all adds up to a bounty of new Beyoncé stuff that's really her her "b'day" present to us.

MTV News recently caught up with B. in New York and got the inside scoop about the new B'Day offerings, her goofy side, belly-dancing with Shakira, her all-girl backing band — and, of course, what it's like to imitate Jay-Z while he's watching.

MTV: You've been unbelievably busy — you must be exhausted!

Beyoncé: Between recording the album, doing ["Dreamgirls"], promoting the movie, promoting the album and now rehearsing for tours, it's been a lot of work — and between that, I shot eight videos, which was overwhelming but such an amazing experience. When I told the label I wanted to do it, they said, "Why don't you just do two videos?" But I knew we could do it, so we had the best people — the best directors, the best choreographers, the best makeup artists, the best stylists — make that happen. Every one of the videos is incredible. I can't decide which one is my favorite.

MTV: You've pretty much made a video for every song on the album, well, except for "Resentment." I wonder if the song resents not being included?

Beyoncé: Yeah, I'm sure! [She laughs.] Well, I initially wanted to make videos just for the uptempo records, and then I did two new ballads [for the B'Day re-release] and they just felt so natural, so I was able to do those two ballads as well. I did a video for every song except one or two, and it was difficult having to make those decisions, but I still have 12 videos, which is incredible.

MTV: You also have new songs in Spanish — was that hard for you?

Beyoncé: I took Spanish in school but I don't know how to speak it — I can say a couple of words. But I wanted to do the Spanish versions because four or five years ago, Destiny's Child did a duet with Alejandro Sanz ["Quisiera Ser"], and our Latin fans were so excited, they were like, "When are you going to do more?" I was only going to do one, and I didn't want to rush it and have it not be correct, so I got the best coach, Rudy Perez, and he was so patient with me. We did it phonetically and I was pretty good at it, and before you knew it, I had six of them.

MTV: Did Shakira help with that?

Beyoncé: She's one of my favorite Latin singers, and I have nothing but respect for her. She's so sweet, so sexy, so positive ... We met three or four years ago at the MTV Video Music Awards, and we said, "We have to do something together," and finally, we made it happen. We weren't able to record [their "Beautiful Liar" duet] together [in the studio] because she was on tour, but it still turned out so wonderful. And the video, I wanted us to play off the idea that we kind of look alike. I saw this guy dancing once, and it looked like he was performing in the mirror until I realized [he was dancing with] another person, and I thought, "How amazing!" So we tried to do that.

MTV: What was the first clip you shot for your new video anthology?

Beyoncé: "Kitty Kat." The song is very sexy, talking about a man who is out with friends all night and you're left at home. And you're like, "No more of this. It's time to go." We had the oversized kitty cat [in the video], which was so cute! I had to pretend it was there, because I was really in front of the green screen — I'd be on a big giant wooden cow and they superimposed a kitten. And we used leopard-print makeup and the catsuit and the nails to make me more like a cat. I really am a cat person — my first pet was a Himalayan-Persian cat named Gizmo, like in "Gremlins."

MTV: Which was the toughest video to shoot?

Beyoncé: "Green Light" — because of the shoes. We love the Robert Palmer videos of the '80s [like "Addicted to Love," with its stone-faced models pretending to play guitars], and this is a modern version, we used the instruments as props.

MTV: You're rocking out with a guitar — but there's no guitar in the song!

Beyoncé: I was pretending to be a rock star! [She laughs.] The set reminded me of Vanity 6. I play a little bit of guitar, but I don't think I'm quite at the level to play it live. I can do it in jam sessions. The guitar felt good in my hands — I want to learn to play now, for real. And the band [in the video] is my real band. I invited women from around the world to audition, and their debut was in the "Irreplaceable" video and then "Green Light," and right now we're rehearsing for the tour. I love being around females. They inspire me, make me stronger, and there's something special about us jamming. I think I'm going to name them Suga Mama — and I never told anyone that, so y'all have an exclusive!

MTV: You said the camaraderie of women inspires you — but in "Upgrade U," you're a guy.

Beyoncé: I love it because it's completely out of my character, or at least the character that people think I am. I was pretending to be Jay[-Z], and he was there, and I told him he had to leave, because I couldn't do it with him in the room — it was way too embarrassing. I think I did a pretty good job. I had the lip curl down!

MTV: Did Jay coach you? Or do you just know how to "be" him from observing him over the years?

Beyoncé: I had it down already. I'd seen him perform so many times, you know? And it was exciting being a guy, it gave me an excuse to pretend that I was a little gangster. I could do whatever I wanted — I could slouch, be a little more tough, be a little more aggressive, say whatever I wanted. I didn't have to be so prissy. And it was great not wearing the heels — although they don't really bother me anymore, except the ones in "Green Light." Those were very, very difficult. It was just exciting to switch it up and show a different side of myself. I'm sure people would be shocked to see that I even did it, or that I could act that way, but I really am a little bit of a tomboy — the way I work, the way I treat my job, the way I focus is kind of masculine. I don't let things get in the way. I'm not emotional when it comes to my work, and I'll do anything. I'll jump off a building!

MTV: If you're really a tomboy, you're also really a goofball — at least according to the video for "Flaws and All."

Beyoncé: Well, I am a little silly, I am a little goofy, and it's great. There are a lot of things I keep to myself, because that's the only way you keep your sanity. This [video] is the way my family sees me, it's me being who I really am. It's been 10 years, and it's time for people to see that side of me. It's not about glamour, not about celebrity, not about being a diva — it's about someone loving you for you.

NEXT: Beyoncé explains exactly how she got her 'Freakum' on. …
Photo: MTV News

160x600 DART richInline(S). pagename: bands