Beyonce says new album comes from experience of not feeling welcome

Beyonce has said her forthcoming album, Act II: Cowboy Carter, comes from an experience where she “did not feel welcome”, which inspired her to do a deep dive into the history of country music.

The American pop star, 42, became the first black woman to top Billboard’s country music chart in the US in February following the release of single Texas Hold Em’ – which dropped on the day of the Super Bowl, alongside 16 Carriages – when Beyonce first teased she would be coming out with a new album.

In anticipation of the record, which will act as a continuation of her 2022 album Renaissance, Beyonce wrote to her fans on her official website and Instagram page.

The 32-time Grammy award winner, who has six chart-topping singles in the UK, said she was “honoured” to become the first black woman to top the Hot Country Songs chart, but hopes that an artist’s race – in relation to music genres – will one day become “irrelevant”.

“Today marks the 10-day countdown until the release of act ii,” she said.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the supporters of Texas Hold ‘Em and 16 Carriages.

“I feel honored to be the first Black woman with the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart.

“That would not have happened without the outpouring of support from each and every one of you.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

Beyonce also teased some “surprises” on the album, and said she has “collaborated with some brilliant artists who I deeply respect”.

She added: “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 ‘Beyonce’ album. This is act ii Cowboy Carter, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

Beyonce, who is married to rapper Jay-Z, first made it big with girl group Destiny’s Child before she went solo and released her number one debut album Dangerously In Love in 2003.

Fans had eagerly been anticipating a new project from the singer, who initially released Renaissance, also called Act i: Renaissance, in July 2022, later revealing it was part of a three-act project.

In December, Beyonce released a new single titled My House to commemorate the “opening weekend” of the Renaissance tour film, which followed the music superstar on her world tour of the Grammy-winning album.