Beyoncé Reveals She Had Planned to Release ‘Cowboy Carter’ Before ‘Renaissance’

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Beyoncé may be Queen B, but when a higher power speaks, she listens — and that’s exactly what she did when it came to her Renaissance. The superstar revealed that though the first act in her trilogy made its debut in 2022, it was Cowboy Carter — which dropped Friday (March 29) — that she had originally planned to arrive first.

“This album took over five years,” she said of Act II in a Parkwood Entertainment press release Friday. “It’s been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it. I was initially going to put Cowboy Carter out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world. We wanted to dance. We deserved to dance. But I had to trust God’s timing.”

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The 32-time Grammy winner announced the follow-up to Renaissance during the 2024 Super Bowl in a Verizon ad that featured Tony Hale, and immediately dropped two songs: “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” offering the Beyhive a taste of her country-tinged album that features icons Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton.

But as Bey previously teased, “This ain’t a country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.” Indeed, the set features collaborators from various musical genres — including Post Malone and Miley Cyrus — as well as instruments such as the accordion, washboards, harmonicas and even her own nails.

“The joy of creating music is that there are no rules,” Beyoncé noted in the press release. “The more I see the world evolving the more I felt a deeper connection to purity. With artificial intelligence and digital filters and programming, I wanted to go back to real instruments, and I used very old ones. I didn’t want some layers of instruments like strings, especially guitars, and organs perfectly in tune. I kept some songs raw and leaned into folk. All the sounds were so organic and human, everyday things like the wind, snaps and even the sound of birds and chickens, the sounds of nature.”

Bey also opened up about her process, and revealed that she recorded many, many songs for the album.

“My process is that I typically have to experiment,” she shared. “I enjoy being open to have the freedom to get all aspects of things I love out and so I worked on many songs. I recorded probably 100 songs. Once that is done, I am able to put the puzzle together and realize the consistencies and the common themes, and then create a solid body of work.”

She concluded in the release: “I think people are going to be surprised because I don’t think this music is what everyone expects, but it’s the best music I’ve ever made.”

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