Lemonade was released on April 23, 2016, with an accompanying hour-long film on HBO 

By Ally Mauch
April 24, 2021 10:45 AM
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Beyonce
Credit: Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images

Beyoncé is feeling "grateful" as she looks back on her iconic visual album, Lemonade.

On Friday, the singer marked the five-year anniversary of the highly influential album on Instagram, sharing a series of stills alongside a message to her fans. 

"I'm grateful that this body of work has resonated so deeply with so many people," she wrote in the caption. "I'm so thankful for all the beautiful souls involved in making one of my favorite pieces of art. As I celebrate five years of LEMONADE, I encourage everyone to continue healing, loving, forgiving and uplifting." 

"I hope you find joy today," the 39-year-old star concluded. 

Lemonade, which includes the songs "Hold Up," "Formation," "All Night" and "Freedom," was released on April 23, 2016, to widespread acclaim. The album was accompanied by an hour-long video that premiered on HBO.  

The video tells the deeply intimate story of a scorned lover who ultimately finds her way back — a journey largely accepted to be a reference to husband JAY-Z

In addition to infidelity and forgiveness, the star centers on themes of race, generational trauma and womanhood — made clear by the Malcolm X quote featured prominently in the video: "The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman." 

Lemonade also features a series of cameos from influential Black women — from tennis star Serena Williams to actress Zendaya and Beyoncé's own daughter, Blue Ivy

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Among other accolades, Beyoncé received four nominations at the 2016 Primetime Emmy Awards for the Lemonade video. She also won a Peabody Award and two Grammys, though Lemonade was infamously snubbed for album of the year. 

"Adroitly bringing together stories about betrayal, renewal, and hope, Lemonade draws from the prolific literary, musical, cinematic, and aesthetic sensibilities of Black cultural producers to create a rich tapestry of poetic innovation," the Peabody Award Board of Jurors wrote in a description alongside the award. 

"Defying genre and convention, Lemonade immerses viewers in the sublime worlds of Black women, family, and community where we experience poignant and compelling stories about the lives of women of color and the bonds of friendship seldom seen or heard in American popular culture," the description continued. "This innovative and stunningly beautiful masterpiece challenges us to readjust our visual and sonic antennae and invites a reckoning with taken for granted ideas about who we are."