Beyoncé went out again last night—although this time her appearance was much more formal (and less viral-video scandal-inducing) than her basketball game date with Jay-Z. The singer made a surprise appearance at the AFI Awards to honor her friend and longtime collaborator Melina Matsoukas. Bey dressed very elegantly for the occasion, wearing a cream off-the-shoulder dress with a long cape. Beyoncé shared photos on her Instagram of the look:
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Matsoukas has collaborated with Bey on a number of music videos, including “Upgrade U,” “Diva,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Why Don’t You Love Me,” “Move Your Body,” “RUN,” and “Formation.” Entertainment Tonight reports that Bey paid a heartfelt tribute to her friend in the speech she gave on stage.
“After over a decade of collaborating with Melina we’ve become family,” she said. “In 2005, she managed to shoot five videos with me in three days, creating beautiful imagery with little to no budget. We’ve come a long ways since those days.”
“[Melina] is holding up a mirror for people who look like you and me to see ourselves, saying, ‘You are beautiful, and your stories matter,'” she added. “She is fearless, no matter the challenges, and believes in breaking stereotypes in the industry, hiring marginalized creators, especially women. As a woman of color, conformity is not her thing. She stays authentic to her roots and femininity in an industry dominated by men. Her drive, vision, taste level, and storytelling is boldly unapologetic.”
Bey even added a rare caption to her Instagram, praising her friend again. “Melina, I’m so proud of you my sister. Love you deep,” she wrote.
Matsoukas replied, “I love you sis. So overwhelmed by this gesture. You have taught me so much and continue to create opportunities for US. I am not the same voice, creator, filmmaker without you.”