Beyoncé’s highly anticipated documentary “Life Is But a Dream” premiered on HBO this past weekend and it seemed as though all of social media was tuned in. Both fans and critics seemed equally intrigued at the chance to see a little “behind the veil,” and get a glimpse of what life must be like for one of the world’s biggest superstars. There were moments of refreshing honesty and others that reeked of staged “regular girl” pandering, as to be expected. And, of course, some were enthralled by any and every mundane detail of “being Bey,” while others were repulsed by what they felt was just empty fawning over yet another celebrity they’ve deemed “overrated.”

But one consistent source of biting humor and scathing criticism was her voice.

Not that force she unleashes during resort concerts, halftime performances and award show tributes. No. Her speaking voice. The decidedly unrefined, quietly unassuming voice that you hear in interviews and that you heard during voice-overs throughout “Life Is But a Dream.”

Beyoncé was famously mocked by talk show host Wendy Williams for sounding “like she has a fifth grade education,” late last year when the documentary was announced. And the Twittersphere was overrun with criticism ranging from “She sounds so dumb” to “I wouldn’t be shocked if she was illiterate.”

Are we overstating here? Or worse — are we bashing one of the world’s most famous women for daring to sound like — gasp! — a girl from Houston?

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Stereo Williams

Todd "Stereo" Williams, entertainment writer based in New York City. He co-founded Thirty 2 Oh 1 Productions, an indie film company.

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