She’s a mother, a wife, a “Survivor,” a Grammy winner, and now an award-winning journalist. Beyonce seems to be the pop star who can do it all.

The New York Association of Black Journalists will bestow an award on the pop singer for a July 2011 cover story she wrote for Essence magazine entitled “Eat, Play, Love.” The article provided a rare inside glimpse into the inner life of Beyonce, detailing her days as a young girl in Houston, the inspiration she derived from her mother Tina Knowles’ hard work, and how a 9-month vacation helped get her creative juices flowing.

Beyonce’s essay recounts a moment in Egypt during her I AM… world tour in 2009 that inspired her to begin writing the album 4, saying, “I was in the middle of performing ‘Irreplaceable’ and…there was a woman sitting on top of a man’s shoulders in her full, traditional burka. Only her eyes and hands were visible. She was waving her hands to the left, to the left, and singing every word — which I could see because the veil around her mouth was moving.”

She details feeling moved and galvanized by the unexpected appearance of the strength of this woman, who lived in a country and under beliefs that restricted her freedom, to choose to attend the concert.

Interestingly, Beyonce recounted taking time to attend several festivals in her time off and feeling a spark watching performances by a disparate list of bands, including Muse, the Dead Weather, Stevie Wonder, and Rage Against the Machine.

She also reveals her travel exploits in Japan, where she dressed as a Harajuku girl; London, where she met long-time idol Sade; Russia where she saw Swan Lake; and Paris where she tried escargot.

For those who can’t afford a world-tour vacation, Beyonce recommends treating yourself, “Anyone can plan a staycation, just make the decision to take time for yourself and explore,” she writes. “Eat alone at your favorite restaurant or the one you’ve always wanted to try. Go to a day spa instead of getting the quick mani-pedi. Grab a friend and visit the closest winery.”

-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local


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