Beyonce Disputes Claim She's Anti-Police
Photo: Protesters gather at Anti-Anti Beyonce Protest Rally at NFL Headquarters on February 16, 2016 in New York City. Getty Images
Beyonce is proud of the message in her new song Formation, even though it was initially perceived as an attack on the police.
The Drunk in Love singer sparked controversy when she released the new track in February and then performed it at the Super Bowl. Critics were quick to argue that the accompanying music video (watch explicit version at bottom) and her live set featured a clear anti-police message.
Beyonce's Super Bowl half-time show gig featured a tribute to the Black Panthers movement - a revolutionary black nationalist organisation which tackled police corruption and brutality in the 1960s and 1970s.
Following her performance many police unions in Miami and Tampa, Florida and Tennessee launched boycotts against Beyonce, and called on her to apologise.
Many law enforcement supporters also threatened to protest over the perceived message, but the 34-year-old is now hitting back at the controversy, insisting the song aims to simply highlight police brutality issues.
"I mean, I'm an artist and I think the most powerful art is usually misunderstood," she tells Elle magazine. "But anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken.
"I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of the officers who sacrifice themselves to keeps us safe. But let's be clear, I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things. If celebrating my roots and culture during Black History Month made anyone uncomfortable, those feelings were there long before a video and long before me.
"I'm proud of what we created and I'm proud to be part of a conversation that is pushing things forward in a positive way."
Beyonce is reportedly gearing up to release her sixth studio album.. A release date for the project has yet to be revealed, but songwriter Carla Marie Williams claims her upcoming record will follow Formation's "powerful" lead.
"I'm loving where she's going," she told British newspaper The Mirror. "I haven't heard the whole album but we're talking real issues. The new single we've done is very powerful."