Paul McCartney Praises Beyoncé’s ‘Magnificent Version’ of ‘Blackbird’: ‘Makes Me Very Proud’

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It might be time to refer to the Beatles as the Bey-tles from here on out! On Thursday (April 4), Sir Paul McCartney took to his Instagram page to share a lengthy message lauding Beyoncé‘s cover of The Fab Four’s “Blackbird,” which appears on her brand new Cowboy Carter album.

“I am so happy with @beyonce’s version of my song ‘Blackbird,” he wrote in a caption of a carousel comprised of a photo of the two artists and the standard Cowboy Carter artwork. “I think she does a magnificent version of it and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place. I think Beyoncé has done a fab version and would urge anyone who has not heard it yet to check it out. You are going to love it!”

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“Blackbird,” stylized as “Blackbiird” on Beyoncé’s new LP, reimagines the acoustic original with additional bass, orchestral flourishes and lush harmonies (and lead vocals on the final verse) from a quartet of ascendant Black women in country music, including Tanner Adell, Reyna Roberts, Brittney Spencer and Tiera Kennedy.

McCartney spoke about the civil rights bent he alluded in Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, a 1997 Barry Miles-penned biography of the Beatles. In the book, McCartney explains that “I had in mind a [Black] woman, rather than a bird. Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a [Black] woman, experiencing these problems in the States: ‘Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith; there is hope.'”

McCartney — whose original master recording is used in Beyoncé’s version, according to Variety — also revealed that he had the chance to speak with the pop icon about her take on “Blackbird.”

“I spoke to her on FaceTime and she thanked me for writing it and letting her do it,” wrote McCartney, who attended Beyoncé’s record-breaking Renaissance World Tour last year. “I told her the pleasure was all mine and I thought she had done a killer version of the song. When I saw the footage on the television in the early 60s of the black girls being turned away from school, I found it shocking and I can’t believe that still in these days there are places where this kind of thing is happening right now. Anything my song and Beyoncé’s fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

“Blackbiird,” the second track on Bey’s already-record-breaking Cowboy Carter, is one of two covers on the LP. Elsewhere on the sprawling 27-tack album, Beyoncé takes on Dolly Parton’s seminal “Jolene,” rewriting the song to be a more seamless fit for a “Creole banjee b–ch from Lousianne.”

In 2022, with Renaissance lead single “Break My Soul” entering the Billboard Hot 100‘s top 10 for the first time, Beyoncé became the first woman in Billboard history to ever tally at least 20 top 10 hits as soloist and 10 or more top 10s as a member of a group. The only other two artists to accomplish such a feat? None other than Michael Jackson and McCartney.

The Beatles’ original version of “Blackbird” appeared on their eponymous 1968 LP — commonly referred to as The White Album — which spent nine weeks atop the Billboard 200. Recently, Emmy-winning documentarian Ken Burns compared Cowboy Carter to The White Album, citing both records’ extensive exploration of different musical genres.

Check out Sir Paul’s sweet Instagram message about Beyoncé’s “Blackbiird” below.

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