Beyoncé’s Guitarist Bibi McGill Talks Hardship, Persistence, and Beyoncé

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In a recent interview with Ebony.com, Beyonce's guitarist Bibi McGill discusses her road to success..

Bibi McGill

If you’ve ever been curious about the talented, African-American female guitarist that plays for Beyoncé, her recent interview with Ebony.com may quench your thirst for information about her. Bibi McGill is a woman who appreciates simplicity. She even thought about passing up the opportunity to work for her current boss because she wasn’t a fan of the extensive travel. She prefers peace and quiet.

A Denver, CO, native, McGill started taking private guitar lessons at the age of 12. She later attended University of Colorado, where she majored in Music Scoring and Arrangements. Despite her busy schedule, she indulges in her other passion — yoga — and is an instructor. The music director/guitarist for Beyoncé’s “The Suga Mamas” tour band discusses her past financial hardships, numerous auditions, maintaining her persistence, and landing the gig with Beyoncé in the excerpts below.


On her “big break” after spending years being broke and making $40 per gig:

I wanted to give up, but I couldn’t because there was nothing else I could do. I was very frustrated. I was very hungry. I was very broke. I had very little hope, but I had enough hope to keep me alive long enough to get that call that said, ‘Hey, Pink picked you. You’re going to get on a plane and go to New York and play Saturday Night Live with her. I don’t know the details of how it happened. I never auditioned or interviewed with Pink, so I don’t know how she picked me. But she did somehow…From that gig, everything exploded because everybody saw me on TV. Everybody was like, “Whose that girl?” So, that’s 2001, and now its 2013.

On her decision to audition for Beyonce after saying she wasn’t interested:

What made me change my mind, after a whole day of people calling me, texting me, emailing me, was my dad. Somebody from Beyonce’s camp had been getting his haircut since he was three years old by my dad in Denver  and he had been hearing about me through my dad…So, when Beyonce was looking for a guitar player, and he was working somehow in Beyonce’s camp, he thought of me and he called my dad. And my dad called me and said somebody from Beyonce or Beyonce called looking for you. He didn’t even know how to say her name. He didn’t know who she was and I was just like, “Yeah Dad, I know. But I am not interested.” And I hung up the phone.

Then I thought about it, and I felt bad. I thought, “Well, I am going to just go to the audition, so I can just tell my dad that I went.” I’m glad that I went, because once I got there I realized that it was where I was supposed to be. It was what I was supposed to be doing, and I got the gig.

On her new entrepreneurial endeavor:

Well, Beyonce just announced her world tour, so I am going to start rehearsals for that soon. So besides that… I am making this product called Bibi Kale Chips…Right now, Bibi Kale Chips are in about ten stores in Portland, Oregon, three stores in Hawaii, and a couple of stores in the rest of the U.S. I am really looking to build the business by obtaining the proper funds and investors to make this a household snack.

I am here to replace potato chips. My product is extremely healthy. When people eat healthy food, they feel better. They are able to heal themselves of imbalances in the body. I think it’s really important to get that out to people. I am hoping people will come together with me and support this, because right now there is a kale revolution happening. Kale is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and kale chips are about to explode, so what better person to do that than Bibi McGill?

Read the whole interview here


Maria Lloyd (@WritingsByMaria) is the Business Manager for the Your Black World Network and Dr. Boyce Watkins. She is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and an advocate of dismantling the prison industrial complex, increasing entrepreneurship, reforming education, and eradicating poverty.