The Daily Telegraph reported that Beyoncé's father and then-manager Mathew Knowles pursued the publishing rights of "If I Were a Boy" after realizing that it had the potential to become a big hit.  It was the 68th highest selling single of the 2000s in the UK, where it is Beyoncé's highest-selling single, with 746,000 sales as of November 2013, though it only comes in third (behind "Halo" and "Crazy in Love") once streaming data is included.  During the bridge of the song, she included excerpts from Morissette's "You Oughta Know" and Tupac Shakur's "California Love" while imitating a male person with her moves. They wrote that the song "found Beyoncé at her most honest, drawing in both women and men".  Ed Masle of The Arizona Republic noted that the progression is reminiscent of Nirvana's 1991 song "Smells Like Teen Spirit". "If I Were a Boy" is a song recorded by American singer Beyoncé, from her third studio album I Am... Sasha Fierce (2008).  While preparing her third solo album, Beyoncé wanted to experiment with stronger lyrics and record ballads like "If I Were a Boy" because, "the music and the emotion in the story is told so much better. Columbia Records released "If I Were a Boy" to US radio on October 8, 2008, as a double A-side single album's alongside "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" as the lead singles.  Still imagining herself impersonating the man who has wronged her, she highlights how some men switch off their phones to avoid ex-lovers after having found another girl. " Friedman later reported that Beyoncé and Jean had come to terms. (réactualisé)", "Alexandra Burke claims X Factor title after seeing off rivals in final", "Biggest Haul at Grammys Goes to Beyoncé", "Beyonce Covers Alanis Morissette At Grammys", "Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon Lead Grammys", "At Hot Contest, Cool Beyoncé Is a Dynamo but Never a Diva", "Beyonce covers Kings Of Leon and Prince at Glastonbury", "Beyonce Brings Hits, Jay-Z to "I Am..." Tour opener in New York", "I Am...Yours: An Intimate Performance at Wynn Las Vegas", "Beyonce, Jay-Z Thrill New York Crowd At I Am... Stop", "Pop Music Review - Live: Beyoncé at Honda Center", "Live: Beyoncé Brings The House Down At Atlantic City's Newest Casino", "Run the World (Showgirls): Beyonce Gets Back to Business in Atlantic City", "Beyonce Returns to the Stage in Atlantic City", "Michelle Obama, daughters attend Beyonce concert", "Beyonce wows in first post-baby performance", "Beyonce's post-baby concerts: Whitney Houston tribute, Goo Goo Dolls and Lauryn Hill songs", "Beyoncé makes nod to The Verve at London's O2 Arena", "Beyonce "Today" Hoaxer Says He Was Trying To Make A Point", "Beyonce Comments On Fake 'Screeching' Tape", "Week Commencing 24th November 2008 ~ Issue #978", "Beyoncé reúne 164 mil pessoas em sua primeira turnê pelo Brasil", "Beyonce Chart History (Canada CHR/Top 40)", International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, Danishcharts.com – Beyonce – If I Were a Boy", Lescharts.com – Beyonce – If I Were a Boy", "Deutsche Charts – Singles Top 10–21.11.2008", "Rádios Top 40 játszási lista (2009. Fends Off Beyonce, Remains Atop Hot 100", "Australia Single Top 50 (November 2, 2008)", "New Zealand Latest Gold / Platinum Singles", "Official Charts Flashback 2008: Beyoncé – If I Were A Boy", https://twitter.com/chartdata/status/1258058008342532097?s=19, "Beyoncé's VMA-Nominated 'Single Ladies' Video Began As An Afterthought", "Beyonce Turns The Tables In 'Boy' Video", "Keeping Up With Eddie Goines 'Beyonce is Truly a Legend, "Beyoncé to Release Above and Beyoncé – Video Collection & Dance Mixes! No one in their right mind would sound like that, and no one would cheer for someone singing like that. Watch this Beyoncé-loving parrot belt out the singer’s 2008 classic, “If I Were A Boy.” It’s no wonder why Chico, a 9-year-old yellow-crowned Amazon, is a big draw for zoo-goers at Lincolnshire Wildlife Park in Friskney, England. In Beyoncé's world view, an independent woman must sacrifice the princess fantasy she was sold as a child, and keep that steely edge, even when her world is melting around her.
Beyoncé premiered the video, alongside the video for "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)", on MTV's Total Request Live show on October 13, 2008.  Steve Morse at The Boston Globe said that McEntire translated the song "artfully into country". In the end, Beyoncé can't resist arching her eyebrow; she's a survivor, and she won't let her pain completely unmake her.  A writer for Rap-Up commented, "Beyoncé delivers one of the year's best videos with the black and white clip.  She later performed the song during the sixth series of the British television show Strictly Come Dancing and the 2008 World Music Awards in Monaco on November 9, 2008, which was followed by another performance on The Oprah Winfrey Show on November 13, 2008.
By contrast, in an interview with her as recipient of their 2019 Trailblazer Award, she identified the song to Billboard magazine as artistically a misstep: We had [covered the song] for [Unplugged on CMT], and the record label really wanted me to record it and put it out as a single.