Celebrity friendships, like celebrity couples, can be an on-again, off-again affair. It makes sense: most normal adult friendships go through rough patches of their own, and that’s without the 24/7 media scrutiny faced by celebrities. When it comes to (now consciously uncoupled) Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and Beyoncé and Jay-Z, however, the friendship had seemed too solid to fall apart — until it did. From social media comments to public appearances, here’s all the information on what went down between these once-close celebrity couples.
Flare pegs the beginning of this friendship to fall 2006, when the four met at a benefit in NYC. In 2010, Paltrow more or less confirms this on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. According to the actress, she and Beyoncé “just kind of hooked up” at said benefit a few years back. Paltrow affirmed that she and her then-husband, Chris Martin, had become “really close” with Beyoncé and Jay-Z, adding that “they’re incredible people […] very, very kind, generous, good.”
In 2007, Beyoncé and Paltrow were spotted hanging out at the Oscars together, and in 2008, Paltrow and Martin attended Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s (very exclusive) wedding. Paltrow continues to reference her friendship with Jay-Z and Beyoncé over the years, including a 2012 tweet welcoming Blue Ivy to the world.
Welcome to the world Blue! We love you already.
In 2013, these couples seem closer than ever, brought together by the shared experience of raising children. Referencing the celebrity couple’s relationship with her children, Apple and Moses, she tells Now that “the kids call him Uncle Jay and Beyoncé, Auntie B.” Also in 2013, Beyoncé speaks out about her friendship with Paltrow at the premiere of her HBO Documentary Life Is But A Dream: “She is incredible; she’s a great friend on every level,” Beyoncé shared, commenting that the two see eye-to-eye when it comes to parenting. “I think for us, protecting our daughters is so important and…keeping things on our own terms, so I will still be protective and make sure [Blue Ivy] has a childhood and a great time.”
In 2014, Paltrow and Martin announced that they were separating — a sad moment, but one through which their friendship with Beyoncé and Jay-Z seems to have remained intact. In 2015, Paltrow introduced Beyoncé’s performance at the Grammys, calling her “my beautiful friend.” And when Beyoncé and Chris Martin performed together at the Super Bowl in 2016, Paltrow was looking after daughter Apple and Blue Ivy, posting this adorable Instagram to commemorate the moment.
When Beyoncé’s Lemonade was released in April 2016, rumors swirled about the possible identity of “Becky with the good hair,” a woman referenced in Beyoncé’s lyrics as a third party causing trouble in her marriage to Jay-Z. In 2018, Amber Rose suggested on a podcast that Paltrow was “Becky:” “I definitely think that Gwyneth Paltrow is ‘Becky with the good hair,'” Rose claimed. “They were like friends, and then, like, you don’t see Gwyneth Paltrow with Beyoncé anymore,” Rose added. “Now Gwyneth lost her husband, but like Beyoncé’s still with Jay. Paltrow’s rep swiftly denied the claim, calling it “completely absurd and 1000 percent false.” Paltrow also personally responded to the accusation on Instagram: “that is ABSURD. Good lord,” she shot back after a commenter asked her to confirm.
When Paltrow married producer Brad Falchuk in October of 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z were not in attendance, sparking further speculation about the state of their friendship. The duo was busy with their On The Run tour, and Beyoncé was posting photos from their concerts in San Francisco on the day of Paltrow and Falchuk’s wedding. The couple also did not attend Paltrow’s engagement party.
While Paltrow and Beyoncé have not been spotted together recently, it’s fair to say that both parties have been exceptionally busy — and Beyoncé in particular is rarely sighted on a casual public outing. If there was a significant falling out, neither side seems to be acknowledging it, with Paltrow continuing to show support of Bey’s music, posting a video of herself dancing to “Formation” on March 3 of this year. On March 29, Paltrow and husband Brad Falchuk also attended Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s GLAAD awards party — and while the couples are not pictured together, an invitation seems like a clear sign that these stars are not actively feuding.
While the duo may no longer be as close as they once were, it’s hard to imagine their friendship — and close relationship to one another’s children — could disappear for good. Paltrow has proven herself committed to keeping family relationships intact, and we doubt she’d let Uncle Jay and Auntie B. out of her kids’ lives so easily. For now, we’ll have to chalk it up to re-configured couple dynamics following Paltrow’s split from ex Martin, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s work in recent years to repair their own relationship. Whatever happens now, we can agree that this friendship was an iconic time in the early 2000s, and a collab we wouldn’t mind seeing revisited in coming years.