Bill Gates Just Found out Beyonce Mentioned Him During Her Super Bowl ‘Formation’ Performance

February 24, 2016 Updated: February 26, 2016

Beyonce’s Super Bowl 50 halftime performance of her new single “Formation,” watched by over 100 million, made headlines around the world, receiving both praise and criticism.

References to the Black Panther movement in the performance drew ire, with some questioning whether the performance was an attack on police.


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In any case, there’s no doubt about the impact Beyonce has. Red Lobster, which received a sexually charged mention in “Formation,” saw a 33 percent surge in sales following the Super Bowl halftime performance.

Another big name mentioned by Beyonce in the performance was Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

“You might be just a black Bill Gates in the making,” Beyonce sang in the song.

Bill Gates in New York on Feb. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Bill Gates in New York on Feb. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

In an interview with Wired, Gates says that: “I hadn’t realized that she did that until somebody in the office actually sent me a copy of the lyrics and I said, “Are you serious?””

In the interview, Gates doesn’t seem to be clear whether that part of the lyrics was included in Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance.

“I’m not sure she said those words at the Super Bowl, though, did she?”

Yes, she most certainly did.

“I guess it’s nice that people consider me successful,” Gates said.

African Americans are currently severely underrepresented in the tech industry. At Google, African-Americans make up 1 percent of its tech workforce; at Yahoo, 1 percent; at Twitter, 2 percent.

Gates said in the Wired interview that he never met Beyonce, but that he knows her husband Jay-Z.

“I know Jay-Z, because when I did some humor right when I was retiring from Microsoft—he was nice about participating in that, and did a great job on that,” Gates said.

“I guess I should do a Bing search and see if there are more uses of my name that I don’t know about,” Gates said.