Ready for round two? Because the second part of Beyoncé’s Renaissance is on its way.
During Super Bowl LVIII on February 11, the music icon dropped a bombshell, announcing her new album, Renaissance Act II, after teasing the new music in a Verizon commercial. The brand’s spot for the big game featured Beyoncé attempting to “break the internet” in a series of increasingly ludicrous stunts.
“OK. They ready. Drop the new music,” Beyoncé said in the ad’s closing seconds. This was no joke, because as the ad aired, two new songs hit streaming services: “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages.” The tracks also confirmed fans’ long-held dream that Bey has gone country.
To literally drive the message home, Beyoncé also shared an Instagram video paying homage to Wim Wenders’ 1984 film Paris, Texas. In the clip, she sits behind the wheel of a yellow taxi, zooming down a dirt road in a rural part of the Lone Star State. The car zooms by a crowd of locals looking at a new billboard advertising “Texas Hold ’Em,” which shows Beyoncé wearing pink lingerie, a cowboy hat, a pair of boots and a smile.
Keep reading to find out what else to know about her new album:
What’s the Meaning Behind the Title ‘Act II’?
When Beyoncé announced Renaissance in 2022, she explained that her seventh album was the first installment of a “three-act project” recorded over three years during the coronavirus pandemic. Finding herself in “a time to be still,” Beyoncé said she also found the worldwide lockdowns “a time … to be the most creative.”
Is Beyoncé Really Releasing a Country Album?
Whereas the first Renaissance album celebrated house music, Renaissance Act II will be country, according to the first two singles.
According to the credits for the first two singles, Beyoncé worked with prominent Black country artists Rhiannon Giddens and Robert Randolph. Giddens, who has been vocal about the banjo’s roots in Black culture, plays banjo and viola on “Texas Hold ‘Em” while Randolph plays the steel guitar on “16 Carriages.”
Some fans suspect that Act III will focus on rock music. “Reclaiming the genres that started with Black culture,” posted one user via X after Act II’s announcement.
Beyoncé’s fans suspected that her outfit at the 2024 Grammy Awards was a clue to her next album. She attended the February 4 event wearing a Western-themed outfit from Louis Vuitton, including a cream-colored cowboy hat.
When Will Beyoncé’s ‘Act II’ Be Released?
Act II will be released on Friday, March 29.
What Songs Are on ‘Act II’?
So far, Beyoncé has released two singles: “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages.”
Will There Be Any Features on ‘Act II’?
Renaissance’s first act featured appearances by Grace Jones, Tems and Beam. (Kendrick Lamar later jumped on the remix of “America Has a Problem,” while Madonna joined for a remix of “Break My Soul.”)
Beyoncé will likely include more Black country stars on Act II, with some listeners hoping for an appearance by Linda Martell. Martell is the first commercially successful Black female country artist and the first Black woman to play the Grand Ole Opry.
Other fans have their fingers crossed for a feature with The Chicks, who joined Beyoncé for a performance of the Lemonade track “Daddy Lessons” at the CMA Awards in 2016.
Are We Getting ‘Telephone’ Part 2?
Some fans are wondering whether Beyoncé’s Act II announcement also secretly hinted that she and Lady Gaga are working on a sequel to their 2010 music video, “Telephone.”
While in attendance at the Super Bowl, Gaga wore a jersey with the number 16, seemingly coinciding with Beyonce’s “16 Carriages” song. Gaga posted a photo from her seat, holding two fingers up in front of the camera. “Let’s f–king go” she captioned the post, which some observers think is a reference to a sequel to her collaboration with Queen Bey.
In the original “Telephone” video, Gaga was booked on February 11, the same day as Super Bowl LVIII and the Act II announcement. The video ends with Gaga and Beyoncé driving through the desert, with the words “To Be Continued …” appearing at the end. At the start of her Act II teaser, Beyoncé is also driving through the desert.