In the lead up to the release of her fantastic album 4, Beyonce was all about spreading the word about how awesome it was to take several months off. (If only we were all lucky enough to take months and months off!)
Bey needed to recharge her batteries, so she disappeared from the spotlight for nine months. The break turned into a spiritual journey and "creative reawakening" for the "Love on Top" singer, which she cataloged for her "Year of 4" documentary and put in writing in an Essence magazine article, titled "Eat, Play, Love."
Now, her July 2011 Essence cover story has won the star a prestigious New York Association of Black Journalists prize, which will be awarded at a May 15 gala.
"She's a real writer," Essence entertainment director Cori Murray told The New York Daily News. "We had to edit her, but everyone gets edited except Toni Morrison."
Congrats, Queen Bey! Check out "Year of 4" below for more on Beyonce's time away from the spotlight.