Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s eldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter has been in the spotlight almost since the moment she was born. Now, at 11-years-old, Blue Ivy is confident enough in herself to stand in that spotlight next to her mother on stage. The pre-teen was celebrated for her dancing skills this summer as she joined Beyoncé and her back-up dancers during the Renaissance Tour. Her dad could not be more proud.
During a new interview with Gayle King for CBS Mornings, Jay-Z shared behind-the-scenes details on how Blue worked up to her debut and also dropped the info that “Blue Ivy” was not the couple’s first choice for a name when they were expecting.
“She was meant to be Brooklyn,” the rapper admitted. “It was supposed to be Brooklyn, that was the name we had in theory. But when we got the sonograms, you know, [the baby] is super small, and we was calling her a blueberry. Like, ‘Look at the little blueberry!’ It was like a nickname. For nine months we were like, ‘look at the little blueberry.’ So it was just natural, we just took the ‘berry’ off and called her Blue.”
About Blue’s dancing to the song “My Power” at Renaissance, Jay-Z stated the choice was about “reclaiming her power” after having so much toxic attention directed her way.
“What makes me super proud and I still get goosebumps seeing her walk on stage… Blue’s been born into a life she didn’t ask for,” he said. “Since she was born she’s been [under] scrutiny and the public eye and everyone having an opinion—even as a little girl, [for example, with] how she keeps her hair. So for her to be on that stage and reclaim her power… and the song is called ‘My Power,’ you can’t write a better script.”
The young dancer wanted to be on stage for the very first night of the tour, but her parents asked her to practice, knowing what it’s like to suddenly be in front of thousands of screaming fans for the first time. Jay-Z said he could tell that when she finally got to a confident place with the choreo, it was still a nerve-wracking experience.
“She’s 11, she’s nervous—I know how nervous she was, I know how frightened she was, but she wanted to do it,” he explained. “She wanted to do it the first night, we were like, ‘OK if this is something you want to do, you can’t just go out there. You gotta go work with the dancers.’”
He added, “She worked every day… she had a little icy pack on her back some days.”
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.