Beyoncé has strong country roots.
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Beyoncé’s Act II: Cowboy Carter Album Pays Homage To Her Country Roots

“This ain’t a country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.”

When Beyoncé first announced that she would be dropping a new album called Act II: Cowboy Carter, reviews were mixed. Naturally, there were millions of us who were excited to get some new music from Beyoncé and were instantly obsessed with her single “Texas Hold ‘Em.” But there were some who criticized the singer for releasing a country music album. Enough critics that Beyoncé herself, as well as her mother, felt the need to put out several statements about her new album, which is the follow-up to 2022’s Act I: Renaissance. The truth is, Beyoncé has some deep roots in country music and Black cowboy culture, and she’s bringing all of that energy to an album that we already know will be nothing short of incredible.

Act II: Cowboy Carter, which comes out on March 29, features 27 songs including a much-anticipated cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and a song called “The Linda Martell Show,” a reference to one of the first Black artists to find success in country and the first to play the Opry. She also has two songs on her track list, “Dolly P” and “Smoke Hour Willie Nelson” that seem to reference country legends Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. Her first single from the album, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” already debuted at number one on Billboard’s Hot Country songs.

Which, according to her mom Tina Knowles, makes perfect sense for the Texas-born singer. “When people ask why is Beyoncé wearing cowboy hats? I actually laugh because it’s been here since she was a kid,” Knowles wrote in an Instagram post last month of the criticism her daughter’s new album has faced.

“We have always celebrated cowboy culture growing up in Texas,” Knowles explained alongside a video of her daughter dressed in cowboy attire through the years. “We also always understood that it was not just about it belonging to white culture only. In Texas there is a huge Black cowboy culture. Why do you think that my kids have integrated it into their fashion and art since the beginning.”

“We went to rodeos every year and my whole family dressed in Western fashion,” the singer’s mother continued. “Solange [Beyoncé’s younger sister] did a whole brilliant album and project based on Black Cowboy Culture ... It definitely was a part of our culture growing up.”

For her part, Beyoncé released a statement to her social media channels earlier this month about how her past informed this new album, per The Independent. “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.”

Finally, the singer noted, “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!”