Beyoncé Says COWBOY CARTER Is Response to Not Feeling “Welcomed” to Country Music

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If you’ve been feeling a little extra yeehaw of late, you’re probably not alone: Beyoncé is gearing up to launch her country-inspired album, ACT II: COWBOY CARTER, on March 29th. In a new Instagram post, the artist unveiled the official artwork and shared a lengthy statement detailing what went into making the album, including her previous experience with the country music industry.

Opening the note, she thanked listeners for the response to pre-release tracks “16 CARRIAGES” and “TEXAS HOLD ‘EM,” the latter of which secured Beyoncé the title of first Black woman with a No. 1 single on the Hot Country Songs chart. She reflected on the accomplishment, saying, “My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.”

Beyoncé also explained that she felt a bit of a reclamation was due, recalling “an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t.” While she doesn’t confirm it outright, Beyoncé could be pointing to the Lemonade cut “Daddy Lessons,” which was staged at the 2016 CMA Awards with The Chicks in a performance that was met with backlash.

“Because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of country music and studied our rich musical archive,” she continued. “It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history.”

However, Queen Bey also said the project “ain’t a country album,” necessarily. Instead, she specified, “This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album. This is ACT II: COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

In terms of her slight pushback on the classification of this album as an all-out country record, she said, “ACT II is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

She also teased “a few surprises” on the album, including “brilliant artists who I deeply respect.” There’s a chance one of those collaborators could be Dolly Parton, who mentioned a potential collaboration in a recent chat with Knox News. “I think she’s recorded ‘Jolene’ and I think it’s probably going to be be on her country album, which I’m very excited about,” Parton shared.

As for the artwork itself, Beyoncé has leaned even further into genre staples while also tying the thread to the first act of her ongoing RENAISSANCE project, which showed her astride a chrome horse. This time, she looks ready to take over the nearest State Fair, decked out in her rodeo finest while hoisting a flag. A country revolution is coming, and if she’s leading us into battle, we’re absolutely following.

As the countdown to ACT II: COWBOY CARTER continues, revisit our breakdown of everything we know about the project so far.

ACT II: COWBOY CARTER Artwork:

beyonce act ii cowboy carter artwork
beyonce act ii cowboy carter artwork

Beyoncé Says COWBOY CARTER Is Response to Not Feeling “Welcomed” to Country Music
Mary Siroky

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