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Beyoncé releases Cowboy Carter: Tracklist, guest features and everything we know

Beyoncé has shared her eighth album, the country music-influenced Cowboy Carter, to major streaming platforms.

The Texas-born star released the album at midnight, shortly after sharing a promotional poster with the tracklist and a reference to the chitlin circuit, a network of venues where Black musicians could perform safely between the 1930s and 1960s.

Coming in at a staggering 27 tracks, Cowboy Carter includes collaborations with stars such as Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Miley Cyrus and Post Malone, along with covers of famous songs like Parton’s “Jolene” and “Blackbird” by The Beatles.

The album was preceded by the two lead singles, “16 Carriages” and “Texas Hold ‘Em”, the latter which propelled Beyoncé to the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, making her the first Black woman to achieve the feat.

Despite this achievement, the country music industry – notoriously hostile towards anyone it deems an “outsider” – has remained notably tight-lipped about the Lemonade artist’s latest album, with some exceptions.

Last week, Beyoncé hit back at the negativity, remarking that “the criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me”.

Her comments seemed to refer to her collaboration with The Chicks during a live performance at the Country Music Awards (CMAs) of her song “Daddy Lessons”, which was met by racist trolling and negative reactions from figures in country music.

Cover art for Beyonce’s ‘Cowboy Carter’
Cover art for Beyonce’s ‘Cowboy Carter’

“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 said in her statement.

“This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. 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.”

She continued: “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me. act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.

“I have a few surprises on the album, and have collaborated with some brilliant artists who I deeply respect. I hope that you can hear my heart and soul, and all the love and passion that I poured into every detail and every sound.

“I focused on this album as a continuation of RENAISSANCE…I hope this music is an experience, creating another journey where you can close your eyes, start from the beginning and never stop.

“This ain’t a Country album. This is a “Beyoncé” album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

You can see the full tracklist below:

  1. Ameriican Requiem

  2. Blackbiird ft Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts

  3. 16 Carriages

  4. Protector ft Rumi Carter

  5. My Rose

  6. Smoke Hour ★ Willie Nelson ft Willie Nelson

  7. Texas Hold ’Em

  8. Bodyguard

  9. Dolly P

  10. Jolene

  11. Daughter

  12. Spaghettii ft Linda Martell, Shaboozey

  13. Alliigator Tears

  14. Smoke Hour II ft Willie Nelson

  15. Just for Fun ft Willie Jones

  16. II Most Wanted ft Miley Cyrus

  17. Levii’s Jeans ft Post Malone

  18. Flamenco

  19. The Linda Martell Show ft Linda Martell

  20. Ya Ya

  21. Oh Louisiana

  22. Desert Eagle

  23. Riiverdance

  24. II Hands II Heaven

  25. Tyrant

  26. Sweet ★ Honey ★ Buckiin’ ft Shaboozey

  27. Amen

Beyoncé’s six-year-old daughter, Rumi Carter, is credited on “Protector”, while other guest stars include Linda Martell, Willie Jones, Brittney Spencer and Reyna Roberts.

“Blackbird” was written by Paul McCartney for The Beatles’ White Album in 1968, and inspired by the Little Rock Nine, a group of nine African American students enrolled at a formerly segregated school in Arkansas.

Along with the covers, Beyoncé interpolates “Good Vibrations” and Patsy Cline’s “I Fall to Pieces” on Cowboy Carter.