The Real Story Behind That Viral Beyoncé Concert Proposal

Photo by Daniela Vesco
Celebrity choreographer John Silver reveals what went into his surprise proposal to Beyonce dancer Ashley Everett during a Formation tour stop in St. Louis, and what the couple has planned for one epic wedding. 

Crafting the perfect proposal is no easy task. But somehow, celebrity dancer and choreographer John Silver managed to pull it off—and go viral nonetheless—with the help of Beyoncé.

While many of us can only dream of having an iconic musician in on our “I do” plans, this St. Louis native made it happen much to the shock of Beyonce’s dance captain Ashley Everett. In this ESSENCE exclusive, Silver details his love story going on six years today, the moments leading up to the worldwide proposal and future plans for a “happily ever after.”

It’s been a little over a week since you popped the question and everyone is still talking about it. Before we get to how you pulled it off, how did you find the courage to propose in public?

If it wasn't for me being used to dancing in front of thousands of people, I probably would have definitely choked up, but the moment I walked up those steps and Bey was right there there was no turning back. I just had to own it. Plus [Ashley] always thinks I don't overly express our love out in public, so I figured, what better way to do it than in front of thousands of people. After it went viral I said, "Babe, I stopped the world for you. Not many people can stop the world for their girl, so you gotta love me to death now."

Some women have an inkling that a proposal is on the horizon—especially around the five year mark. Do you think you did a good job of surprising her?

Ah, yes. Nobody knew. My family didn't know, Ashley didn't even know I was there. The only people who knew about the proposal were me, the choreographers, maybe a few security and Beyoncé. 

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Why was it important to you to propose in St. Louis?

I honestly had the ring in May and planned on proposing at the L.A. concert, but with Beyoncé's schedule being so hectic they didn't have time to throw me in that particular show. Then I got a call from her team three weeks ago and they were like, "Hey, are you still trying to do the proposal?" And I was like, Yeah, let's do it in St. Louis. What better place to do it than there?" They passed my idea along to Beyoncé, and she said 'Hell yeah! Let's do it!'  

I think the most amazing part of everything that happened was being able to do something positive in St. Louis. It really made me happy to bring good press to my home town instead of everything being so negative. 

Going back to the beginning, how did you two meet?

Ashley and I had actually done several videos together when I first really noticed her. I was working with Ne-Yo at the time and he brought her in just to do a few videos. I think it was ‘Beautiful Monster,’ ‘Champagne Life’ and ‘One in a Million.’ And I hadn’t talked to her at all until the ‘One in a Million’ video when she was my dance partner, actually. We really hit it off. She had me thinking ‘okay, who is this girl?’
Then for my birthday Ne-Yo threw a little party for me in Miami. And I was just like, ‘Hey Ne-Yo, why don't you invite the girl with the curly hair.’ He gave me this smirk, but didn't say anything. Next thing I know we’re at the airport and I see her approaching—we were all laughing at her, because she was just like, ‘It's just me with all the guys? Okay, whatever.’ That’s where I guess we technically had our first date in Miami—the whole weekend—we just really hit it off, just going bar hopping and celebrating my birthday.

That’s sweet—you basically got a girlfriend for your birthday! What do you love most about her?

She's not just my girlfriend, she'd my best friend. Since day one, we've always kicked it like the fellas. If I go out and have a drink, she comes out have a drink. She really is one of my best friends. She's just so cool and chill, and we both have the same profession. She understands my life, traveling and how living on the road goes. It all just makes too much sense. I just love her for being a well-rounded person. 

So I know you’re still in the early stages of wedding planning, but both being performers, are you two planning anything big for the reception?

Anybody who knows us, knows that our main thing is being epic. We always like to do epic things. As you can see! And we always try to out-do ourselves, so I'm almost positive whoever's at that wedding is going to get the treat of their lives, because we're definitely doing to do something outrageous. I don't even know what it is yet. But it's going to be something outrageous, for sure.

Watch the entire priceless proposal in the video clip below.

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