Fact Check: Beyoncé Is Facing $10B Loss After 'Black National Anthem' NFL Performance?

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Claim:

Beyoncé lost more than $10 billion after performing the Black national anthem at an NFL game during the 2023 season.

Rating:

Rating: Labeled Satire
Rating: Labeled Satire

On Sept. 12, 2023, SpaceXMania.com published an article claiming Beyoncé performed the hymn "Lift Every Voice and Sing," also known as the Black national anthem, at an NFL game, and, because of that performance, she now faces a $10 billion loss. The article read:

Just in: Beyoncé Faces Nearly $10 Billion Loss Following ‘Black National Anthem’ Performance at NFL

In today’s fast-paced world, where social media trends can dictate stock market fluctuations and where a celebrity’s every move is scrutinized, dissected, and often blown out of proportion, we find ourselves examining an astonishing claim: Beyoncé, the global music icon, facing a loss of nearly $10 billion due to her recent performance of the “Black National Anthem” at an NFL game.

Other websites republished the article word-for-word. It did not specify which game during the 2023 season the purported performance took place, and it described the alleged financial loss stemming from drops in merchandise sales, refunds from "Beyhive membership" fees, and dips in music streams, among other things.

But nothing about the story was real. It was not true that Beyoncé faced a financial loss due to singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" at an NFL game, nor was it true that such a performance happened. SpaceXMania is a website that describes most of its output as satirical in nature. The in-question article has a "satire" label above its headline, and a disclaimer page on the website reads:

Please note that the article under the category “SATIRE” are satirical in nature and are not meant to be taken seriously. These articles are meant to be humorous and are often entirely made up. We make no claim that the information presented in these articles is true or accurate.

SpaceXMania's Facebook page, SpaceX Lovers, shared the article on Nov. 3, and that post garnered more than 16,000 likes and nearly 4,000 comments. Some comments indicated that readers believed the story to be real, with messages such as, "GOOD!! Only one National Anthem!!!" and, "Hope [Beyoncé] goes farther below BROKE." Other websites republished the article word-for-word.

James Weldon Johnson, a leader of the NAACP, wrote "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as a poem in 1900. His brother, John Rosamond Johnson, composed accompanying music, and the song was performed for the first time later that year. The NAACP adopted the hymn as its official song in 1919.

Since 2020, the NFL has occasionally invited singers to perform the song before kickoff. That happened at Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles and the first game of the 2023 season between the Chiefs and the Detroit Lions.

While Beyoncé has not performed the song at an NFL game as of this writing, she did sing it during her "Beychella" set at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

The fictional story followed a similar satirical article by SpaceXMania about the NFL supposedly issuing a "lifetime ban" on Beyoncé after she sang the same song at a game. Snopes alerted readers to that story in September 2023.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources:

admin. “Just in: Beyoncé Faces Nearly $10 Billion Loss Following ‘Black National Anthem’ Performance at NFL.” USA NEW’S, 4 Nov. 2023, https://www.faithhopel.info/just-in-beyonce-faces-nearly-10-billion-loss-following-black-national-anthem-performance-at-nfl/.

Beyoncé HOMECOMING Lift Every Voice (HQ). www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rn4Xh99dd4. Accessed 6 Nov. 2023.

Disclaimer - SpaceXMania. 3 Jan. 2021, https://spacexmania.com/disclaimer/.

Just in: Beyoncé Faces Nearly $10 Billion Loss Following “Black National Anthem” Performance at NFL. 12 Sept. 2023, https://spacexmania.com/just-in-beyonce-faces-nearly-10-billion-loss-following-black-national-anthem-performance-at-nfl12/.

Lift Every Voice and Sing | NAACP. https://naacp.org/find-resources/history-explained/lift-every-voice-and-sing. Accessed 6 Nov. 2023.

“Lift Every Voice and Sing” Performed by Sheryl Lee Ralph at Super Bowl LVII. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0Qzu6r40_4. Accessed 6 Nov. 2023.

Liles, Jordan. “NFL Issues Beyoncé Lifetime Ban for Singing Black National Anthem at Game?” Snopes, 12 Sept. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/beyonce-booed-nfl-ban/.

The Kansas City Boys and Girls Choir Performing Lift Every Voice and Sing at DET@KC Kickoff Game. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PW5OE9DHYU. Accessed 6 Nov. 2023.

Foundation, Poetry. “Lift Every Voice and Sing by James Weldon Johnson.” Poetry Foundation, 6 Nov. 2023,