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BEYONCE FIRST PERFORMERANCE AFTER BIRTH OF BLUE ICE backposted on Sat, 26 May at 21:02
Taking to the stage in New Jersey last night for the first time since giving birth to daughter Blue Ivy, it appeared her time out for motherhood hasn't affected her stage presence.
Showing off her post-baby curves in a showgirl-style, fringed bralet and tiny shorts, the 30-year-old wowed the sold-out crowd on the first of a three-night stint at the Revel Resort & Casino in Atlantic City.
Supporting her from the wings was her rapper husband Jay-Z, who recently returned from the London leg of his Watch The Thrones tour with Kanye West.
Under his Twitter name Mr Carter, he wrote: 'I'm gonna say this and then I'm gonna end mine. BEYONCE is the best performer in the world. Period.'
The gig marked Beyonce's first concert since giving birth to their daughter Blue in January, following her last gig at the MTV Video Music Awards last August - the same day she confirmed her pregnancy.
Speaking to the 5,500 fans at the Ovation Hall in the Revel, she said: 'I gotta say, it feels so good to be back home on stage.'
However, she didn't bring up her new life as motherhood too often, except for a fleeting glimpse of Beyonce cradling her daughter in a video montage on the screen behind her.
Beyonce shows off post-baby curves as she performs first time since Blue's birth
Energetic: The singer has been rehearsing for weeks to get in shape for her comeback.
Her sexy costumes were custom-made by London design house Ralph & Russo, who used 500,000 Swarovski Elements crystals to create the look.
Ralph & Russo designer Tamara Ralph told People magazine: 'Beyoncé wanted us to be really creative and create fun and edgy designs that had an ultra-glamorous feel to them.'
During the set, she performed a selection of her biggest hits, including Crazy In Love, Love On Top, Irresistible and If I Were A Boy.
She paid tribute to the late Whitney Houston with a cover of I Will Always Love You and closed the concert with Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).
Critics and fans were unanimously impressed, with USA Today's Elysa Gardner writing: 'Backed by an all-female band and a tireless posse of dancers and backup vocalists, Beyonce reasserted her unique pop persona; she was at once angel and seductress, cool diva and woman of the people.'
Also in the crowd were Beyonce's former Destiny's Child bandmate Kelly Rowland and Victoria's Secret model Selita Ebanks.
Ahead of the concert, Beyonce posted a behind-the-scenes video on YouTube featuring her rehearsals for the concerts, admitting she was 'nervous' about returning to the stage.
She said: 'I'm enjoying being a mother so it's like going back to my old job, and it's a little strange.
'But it's important that you don't lose yourself and still have your own passions. And so I'm back to work, I'm back to business.'
Beyonce is also seen in dance rehearsals in the five-minute video, with her choreographer helping her get back into the swing of things.
'We're basically warming her up and getting her back into shape,' dancer and choreographer Danielle Polanco says to the camera.
'Stretching her out . . she hasn't been working out in I don't know how long!'