Beyoncé’s new album Renaissance has arrived, six long years since her last solo offering Lemonade took over the world. The 28-time Grammy winner’s seventh studio release follows her 2018 collaboration with Jay-Z, Everything Is Love, plus 2019’s Homecoming live album/film and Lion King soundtrack The Gift.
Deemed Act I of a “three-act project,” Renaissance clocks in at 16 tracks and 62 minutes long with guest appearances from Tems, Grace Jones, and Beam. The extensive composer credits boast the likes of Hov, Drake, the Neptunes, The-Dream, No I.D., Hit-Boy, Syd, Mike Dean, 070 Shake, Skrillex, Big Freedia, Labrinth, Lucky Daye, Raphael Saadiq, BloodPop, and AG Cook. Sampled artists include Donna Summer, James Brown, Kelis, Teena Marie, and Giorgio Moroder.
“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” she wrote alongside the cover art on Instagram at the end of the month. “It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”
In addition to revealing on Thursday that she’s got four versions of the Renaissance cover art, Beyoncé, 40, shared an extended version of those remarks. She thanked her three children Rumi, Sir, and Blue Ivy, her “beautiful husband and muse, who held me down during those late nights in the studio,” as well as her mother, father, “godmother” Uncle Johnny, and gave love to “all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long.”
“This is a celebration for you,” she wrote.
Just prior the the album’s drop, Beyoncé responded to reports that it leaked.
“So the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you all can enjoy it together,” she wrote on social media. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t thank y’all enough for your love and protection.”