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11 things you didn’t know about Beyonce’s groundbreaking new album Cowboy Carter’

11 things you didn't know about Beyonce's groundbreaking new album Cowboy Carter'

Basically, it proves she can do anything.

So Beyoncé's new album Cowboy Carter has dropped, and obviously we're obsessed.

Her movement into Country has made history already, after all, with her single Texas Hold 'Em already shooting to number one in the US country charts, which was a first for a Black woman.

Cowboy Carter is officially named as an ‘Act II’, which is potentially a bit of a tease seeing as we were all on the edge of our seats anticipating a Renaissance Act II – but when has Queen Bey done what everyone else expects?

If, like us, you've already listened to the groundbreaking album on repeat (since its release, it has become Spotify's most-streamed album in 2024 so far), you might be looking for a little extra intel on Beyoncé's latest masterpiece.

Here's eleven more amazing things you may not know about Cowboy Carter.

1. There is speculation it was inspired by Beyoncé's experiences of racism…

Beyoncé has confirmed that her own experiences of not feeling “welcomed” in the country music space inspired her to work on Cowboy Carter and delve deeper into the history of the genre.

While she didn't confirm exactly which incident she was referring to, many have speculated that she was referencing the racist backlash she received from country fans after performing Daddy Lessons at the Country Music Awards in 2016 with The Chicks.

In an Instagram post announcing the album, she elaborates on how she was inspired to research country music further and her hope that music can “unite so many people around the world” and “amplify voices”.

Beyoncé posted: "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.”

2. And one track from the album addresses the civil rights movement

Her cover of Blackbird by The Beatles means much more than just a nod to a huge moment in British music history. Paul McCartney has since described how he was inspired by the “terrible racial tensions in the US”.

“This was really a song from me to a Black woman, experiencing these problems in the States," he wrote in his 2021 book.

While Blackbird is a beautiful Beatles cover, it's so much more than that. It also features contributions from Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy and Reyna Roberts.

3. Dolly Parton once said she'd love for Beyoncé to cover Jolene

Before the album even dropped, the country star shared that she'd love Beyoncé to take on her most-covered track, infamous for its take on infidelity and love triangles.

In a 2022 interview with The Daily Show, she said: “I don’t know if she’s even got the message, but wouldn’t that be killer? I think she’s fantastic and beautiful and I love her music. I would just love to hear Jolene done in just a big way, kind of like how Whitney [Houston] did my I Will Always Love You. Someone that could take my little songs and make ’em like powerhouses. That would be a marvelous day in my life if she ever does Jolene."

4. And on the album Beyoncé has rewritten Jolene, with fans finding it more empowering than the original

She didn't just cover Jolene, she put her own spin on it. Referencing Jay-Z's alleged infidelity with a line on “Becky with the good hair”, Beyoncé brings her own experiences and pain to a legendary track.

The lyrics seem to be “warning” Jolene, not begging her – a new take on discussing infidelity from a position of strength.

5. Beyoncé used the sound of her own nails on one track, just like Dolly did back in the day

That catchy rhythm you can hear during the Riverdance track? We can confirm that's the sound of the drumming percussion of our Queen's very own nails.

She was likely inspired by Dolly, who opened about this method in a 1980s interview, a fail-safe way to keep the creative juices flowing when there isn't an instrument within reach.

11 things you didn't know about Beyonce's groundbreaking new album Cowboy Carter'

Michael Buckner

6. Raye wrote a song on the upcoming Cowboy Carter album

The six-time BRIT Award winner has announced that she co-wrote Riverdance – so we've got the additional charms of Beyonce's fingernail percussion and Raye's songwriting genius to look forward to on that one!

7. There's been quite a divided reaction to Bey going country

Just like with Beyoncé's performance with The Chicks back in 2016, some country music fans have taken issue with her entering the space. Luckily, many have stood up and rejected this.

"Country music is based on the music from Africa brought over on the slave ships. And from Europe. With the fiddle and banjo," US radio host Bobby Bones said, pointing out that other artists had crossed over into the country music world with much less controversy. “So all these dudes yelling 'that ain't country'… unless you're European or African, you ain't really 'country.'”

8. Miley Cyrus has already opened up about collaborating with Beyoncé on Cowboy Carter

Miley, who has deep country roots, has taken to Instagram about her collaboration with Beyoncé on II Most Wanted, a track that is said to be an ode to Bey's relationship with Jay-Z.

“I’ve loved Beyoncé since long before I had the opportunity to meet & work with her,” she posted. “My admiration runs so much deeper now that I’ve created along side of her.”

11 things you didn't know about Beyonce's groundbreaking new album Cowboy Carter'

Emma McIntyre

9. Cowboy Carter has been a work in progress since before Renaissance

It was actually planned to be released before Renaissance – imagine! It's been a long time coming, with Beyoncé confessing in a Parkwood Entertainment statement that she had recorded “probably 100 songs” as she was putting the album together. “Once that is done, I am able to put the puzzle together and realise the consistencies and the common themes, and then create a solid body of work,” she said.

A big reason why the album hasn't been released until now is that it didn't feel right to release it with the “heaviness” in the world during and after the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It's been really great to have the time and the grace to be able to take my time with it,” Beyoncé has said. "I was initially going to put Cowboy Carter out first, but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world. We wanted to dance. We deserved to dance. But I had to trust God's timing."

11 things you didn't know about Beyonce's groundbreaking new album Cowboy Carter'

Instagram / @rokaelbeauty

10. The album's name is a character, inspired by the “original Black cowboys of the American West”

There's plenty of history and thought behind the name of the album alone, which Beyoncé has confirmed is grounded in the history of “Western fortitude” shown by Black cowboys.

“The character, Cowboy Carter, was birthed from these experiences and inspired by the original Black cowboys of the American West,” Beyoncé's Parkwood Entertainment statement reads. "The word cowboy itself was used in a derogatory way to describe the former slaves as ‘boys’, who were the most skilled and had the hardest jobs of handling horses and cattle, alike.

“In destroying the negative connotation, what remains is the strength and resiliency of these men who were the true definition of Western fortitude.”

11. The album has the most incredible list of collaborators and contributors

Including: Dolly Parton, Post Malone, Miley Cyrus, Rumi Carter, Willie Jones, Linda Martell, Willie Nelson, Shaboozey, Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts and Pharrell Williams.

She's only gone and done it again. Now how about a Cowboy Carter tour?!