Bey blows up at Coachella, boosts HBCU scholarships
4/20/2018, 7:19 a.m.
On the back of wide praise for her two-hour performance at the Coachella music festival, Beyoncé on Monday said she was offering $100,000 in scholarship money to students at four historically black colleges and universities.
The Homecoming Scholars Award Program for the 2018-19 academic year will give away $25,000 in scholarship money to a student respectively at Xavier University of Louisiana, Wilberforce University in Ohio, Tuskegee University in Alabama and Bethune-Cookman University in Florida, the “Lemonade” album singer’s foundation announced.
Beyoncé’s performance at the Coachella festival in the Southern California desert last Saturday was billed as a homage to education and black American culture, featuring a marching band, performance art, choir and dance. She was supported by more than 150 performers on stage in a two-hour set paying tribute to the marching bands, the dance troupes and step teams at HBCUs. She even performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the black national anthem.
The Queen Bey also reunited with Destiny’s Child, with Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams joining her as they sang their smash ‘‘Say My Name,’’ and husband Jay-Z also came out for a collaboration. And she had a dance-off with her sister, Solange.
It was Beyoncé’s first live performance since giving birth to twins Rumi and Sir Carter last June.
It also was the first time a black woman headlined the two-weekend festival, one of the biggest U.S. music gatherings of the year.
“We honor all institutions of higher learning for maintaining culture and creating environments for optimal learning which expands dreams and the seas of possibilities for students,” Ivy McGregor, who administers the singer’s BeyGood foundation, said in a statement announcing the scholarship.
The more than 100 historically black U.S. colleges and universities were all established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, when white-dominated institutions of higher education could bar African-American students.
Last year, the 36-year-old singer established a merit scholarship program to support young women.
The “Formation” singer’s Coachella performance, which was streamed live on YouTube, was hailed as an “unprecedented celebration of black cultural influence in America” by NBC News.
Trade publication Variety called Beyoncé’s show a “musical, visual and physical triumph.”
Beyoncé will perform again at Coachella this Saturday, April 21. She and Jay-Z are set to begin a U.S. and European tour together in June.