The Heartwarming Reason Beyoncé Started Her Original 10-Piece All-Female Band ‘The Suga Mamas’
If you’ve had the pleasure of seeing Beyoncé perform in concert, you know that she and her 10-piece all-female band — the Suga Mamas — always put on an incredible show.
Since the singer is all about women empowerment, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that she only uses female musicians to back her up while she captivates audiences around the world. But being a feminist isn’t the only reason why the Queen Bey has talented women locking down the groove during her live shows.
Beyoncé introduced her all-female band in 2007
In 2007, Beyoncé decided to do things a little differently for her first major solo world tour — The Beyoncé Experience — following the disbandment of Destiny’s Child.
Instead of having both men and women musicians perform alongside her during each show, Bey put together an all-female band, who she dubbed The Suga Mamas.
Before embarking on her tour, the “Crazy In Love” singer and her team held nationwide auditions for female musicians in major cities across the country.
The auditions consisted of keyboard players, bassists, guitarists, horn players, percussionists, and drummers re-creating the performance of “Work It Out” from Bey’s live album Live at Wembley (2004). They also had to perform at least a one-minute solo.
In the end, Beyoncé hand-selected 10 female musicians out of thousands of applicants and brought them along with her to perform 96 shows during a five-leg tour.
Beyoncé wanted young girls to have more role models
Beyoncé’s motivation behind The Suga Mamas was simple: to highlight female musicians so young girls could be inspired to play instruments.
“When I was younger, I wish I had more females who played instruments to look up to. I played piano for like a second but then I stopped,” Beyoncé previously said in a statement via ColorLines. “I just wanted to do something which would inspire other young females to get involved in music so I put together an all-woman band.”
Since The Beyoncé Experience World Tour, Beyoncé and The Suga Mamas have played together on practically every continent, sold-out arenas worldwide, and even performed at major events like the former First Lady Michelle Obama’s 50th birthday and the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Though a few of the original Suga Mamas still play alongside Beyoncé, many of them have gone on to pursue their own musical careers either as solo artists or with other ensembles.
But in 2017, the musicians came together to celebrate their 10th anniversary as a group with a series of concerts, Master Classes, and shows around the world.
Today, the Suga Mamas are still role models to millions of females who have watched and listened to Beyoncé perform over the years and continue to prove that girls really do run the world.