Last week, a few minutes before the curtain rose at “Jerusalem,” I saw Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban sitting two rows behind me. There was enough of an angle so I could actually look at her. Gorgeous in life as on screen. When the curtain fell at intermission, the celeb couple was quickly escorted out, presumably to some quiet room secluded from crowds.
Not really much of a star -watcher myself, I was reminded of a similar experience.
In April 2005, we were in Tokyo, accompanying my husband on a business trip. I had dragged my three teenagers to a souvenir store lauded in all the guidebooks.
Suddenly, an oversized, black American car pulled up. An entourage of African Americans entered the store- cameramen, security detail, and three glamorous young women. They were “Destiny’s Child,” unrecognizable to everyone in the store, including the boys and me. But Lydia, then 13, sure knew them. Sweating, crying, and laughing, throwing her rain jacket at us, she gasped, “It’s Beyonce and Destiny’s Child.”
She became a bit of a celebrity herself, drawing attention from other shoppers and the staff who were eager to know who these strangers were but too shy to ask. I remember a young Swedish girl being enthralled talking to Lydia and then telling her mother.
Though star struck, Lydia mustered enough courage to approach the group. Each one chatted with this young American tourist, and insisted she attend that night’s concert.
They gave her three passes with instructions to ask for “Shorty,” the over 300 –pound bodyguard.
After the first act it was clear they intended to go to the concert. Ecstatic, the three returned three hours later, having been given front row seats and a nod from Beyonce herself. Lydia’s friends said they saw her on television.
No longer part of the group, Beyonce has released many solo albums, acted in movies, sung and danced in numerous commercials, and garnered 16 Grammy Awards, 6 in 2010 alone.
Years ago this star could have chosen to ignore a young fan. Instead she acknowledged a fellow foreigner in a strange place. To some, Beyonce’s an icon, a pop queen, a diva. To me, she’ll always be a hero.