December is shaping up to be a pretty good month to see music's remaining super-superstars in Phoenix -- Beyonce was announced for December 7 at US Airways Center this week, joining Justin Timberlake's VIP-friendly 20/20 Experience date (did you pick up your $1950 ticket?) on December 2.
One other thing both of them have in common: They've managed to navigate more than a decade of pop stardom without ever appearing dated, even though they've done a ton of dated things. (justin-timberlake-frosted-afro.jpg.)
I'm repeating myself, but they've somehow become permanent pop stars. And if you have any doubt about their relevance after going-on-15-years in the public eye, try this test in the crowd for either one: How many of the kids in the crowd were born after they became famous?
And remember: Beyonce's first single came out on MiniDisc.
However she's done it, she's managed to avoid being identified permanently with any of the trends she's helped set -- the boy-and-girl-band stuff of the late '90s with Destiny's Child, the diva bombast of "Crazy in Love," even the minimalism of "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It, It Being My Loud Robot Hand)"
She's even managed to avoid being identified with the Austin Powers series, although it's hard to tell whether she would have been able to escape being permanently dated by, say, The Love Guru.
What makes Beyonce Beyonce is that she doesn't even have to hide all those connections to her past as a plain old pop star; her willingness to appear in a Destiny's Child reunion was also a willingness to admit in front of a Super Bowl audience that she's 31 years old.
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By the time thousands and thousands of Arizonans have paid a lot of money to watch her perform a decade's worth of songs live, she'll be 32. And I'm willing to guess she'll still seem weirdly timeless, too. If Justin Timberlake can make us forget the afro, she's still got a lot of slack left.