On February 6, 2016, Beyoncé released "Formation" for free on the music streaming service Tidal and its accompanying music video on her official YouTube. The following day on February 7, 2016, Beyoncé performed "Formation" during her performance at the Super Bowl 50 halftime show. Immediately after the performance, a commercial aired announcing The Formation World Tour, which kicked off in Miami on April 27, 2016, with the first pre-sales going on sale just two days after the announcement on February 9, 2016.

Leading up to the tour announcement, Beyoncé was both praised and criticized over her new song and Black Panther-influenced costume for the Super Bowl halftime performance. As a result of this, the hashtags "#BoycottBeyonce" and "#IStandWithBeyonce" began trending on social media platforms such as Twitter. A group of protesters planned to stage an "anti-Beyoncé" rally outside of the NFL's headquarters in New York City on the day general sale of tickets went for sale, but no protesters showed up and instead dozens of Beyoncé supporters held a rally for her.

The album title was inspired by Beyoncé's grandmother Agnéz Deréon, as well as her husband Jay Z's grandmother, Hattie White. At the end of track "Freedom", an audio recording of Hattie White heard speaking to a crowd at her 90th birthday party in December 2015 is played. During the speech, Hattie says "I had my ups and downs, but I always find the inner strength to pull myself up. I was served lemons, but I made lemonade." Streaming service Tidal described the concept behind Lemonade as "every woman's journey of self-knowledge and healing.


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