Beyoncé shares ‘Cowboy Carter’ album artwork and responds to backlash over country music

Beyoncé has revealed the official album artwork for ‘Cowboy Carter‘ and has addressed the backlash over her venture into country music.

READ MORE: Beyoncé – ‘Renaissance’ review: a celebration of love and Black joy

The pop icon shared the name of her upcoming eighth studio LP  ‘Cowboy Carter’ via her official website on March 12. The site’s landing page featured a photo of a horse saddle with a red, white and blue sash that read “Country Carter.” Many believed that the photo of the saddle was the official album artwork.

Today (March 19), Beyoncé took to her official Instagram account to share the actual artwork for the LP. The photo sees the singer in a white cowboy hat with long platinum blonde locks while wearing a red, white and blue leather outfit holding an American flag and wearing a “Country Carter” sash while sitting upon a white horse.

The artwork was shared in celebration of the ten day countdown until the album’s release on March 29.

“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,” wrote Beyoncé in the post’s caption.

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.”

The singer also revealed that there are “a few surprises on the album” and shared that she hopes that fans will be able to hear the “heart, soul, love and passion” she poured into the album.

“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.” she concluded. “This is a “Beyoncé” album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

The album is available for pre-save/pre-order here. Limited edition coloured vinyl pressings in red, white, blue and black are available as well as two limited-edition CDs with alternative cover photos featuring half of her face on display. The LP serves as the second instalment of what is expected to be a trilogy of ‘Renaissance’ albums.

Her latest singles ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ and ’16 Carriages’ will be featured on the album. Beyoncé unveiled the two tracks during this year’s NFL Super Bowl LVIII and announced the that her eighth album would be arriving this month. She made history by becoming the first Black woman to top the US country chart with ‘Texas Hold’ Em’.

In other news, Dolly Parton seemingly let slip that Beyoncé has covered her hit song ‘Jolene’.

While talking about Beyoncé’s pivot to country music in an interview with Knox News, Parton was asked about rumours that Beyoncé will include a cover of ‘Jolene’ on her new album. “Well, I think she has,” Parton said to Knox News. “I think she’s recorded ‘Jolene’ and I think it’s probably gonna be on her country album, which I’m very excited about that.” Parton added: “I love her! She’s a beautiful girl and a great singer.”

Kelly Rowland also responded to rumours on whether Beyoncé‘s new album will feature a Destiny’s Child reunion.

Rowland spoke to hip-hop commentator Big Tigger on the Atlanta radio station V-103 to promote the Tyler Perry-produced Netflix film Mea Culpa, in which she has a lead role. Tigger asked Rowland if the recent rumours about ‘Act II’ being “either rock-based or a [Destiny’s Child] reunion,” to which the 43-year-old replied “that is her business to talk about, not mind” before winking.

The post Beyoncé shares ‘Cowboy Carter’ album artwork and responds to backlash over country music appeared first on NME.

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