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HRC Debuts Beyonce-Inspired 'Renaissance' HBCU Syllabus

Klaudia//March 30, 2024
It may be Cowboy Carter week, but the silvery disco ball strobe lights of Renaissance — the first act of Beyoncé’s presently unfolding trilogy — continue to illuminate the world. On Monday (March 26), the Human Rights Campaign debuted Renaissance: A Queer Syllabus, a sprawling collection of academic articles, essays, films and other pieces of media rooted in Black queer and feminist studies and directly inspired by each track on Queen Bey’s Billboard 200-topping dance album.

Curated by Justin Calhoun, Leslie Hall and Chauna Lawson of the HRC’s HBCU program, the syllabus will serve as an educational resource designed to honor, analyze and celebrate the joy, resilience, innovation and legacy of the Black queer community. The syllabus will be shared with nearly 30 historically Black colleges and universities, including Howard University, North Carolina A&T University, Prairie View A&M University and Shaw University.

Released in the summer of 2022, Renaissance was and continues to be a bonafide cultural phenomenon. A lovingly researched ode to the Black queer roots of dance music filtered through her intensely personal relationship with her late Uncle Johnny, the album captivated fans around the world and shined a much-needed light on the unsung movers and shakers of Black queer art and culture. The album won four Grammys — including a historic win for best dance/electronic album — housed a pair of Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits in “Break My Soul” (No. 1) and “Cuff It” (No. 6) and spawned a record-breaking stadium tour and accompanying box office-topping documentary concert film.

From the economic impact of Beyoncé’s silver fashion aesthetic to career boosts given to Black queer icons such as Kevin Aviance, Ts Madison and Honey Dijon, Renaissance proved itself to be much more than a standard LP. The HRC understood that there was a chance to make a real impact across education and activism through the lens of the record.

Beyoncé's 'Cowboy Carter' Already Broke a Major Spotify Record

Klaudia//March 30, 2024
It’s been less than a day since Beyoncé finally dropped her Cowboy Carter album, and the project is already breaking records.

The album is officially Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day in 2024, the streaming service announced on Friday (March 29). This is the first time a country-album holds the title this year. Before the album’s release, “Texas Hold ‘Em” was streamed over 200 million times.

That’s not the only record that the album broke. Cowboy Carter has the biggest debut to date earning more first-day streams on Amazon Music globally than any of her previous albums. The album also marks the most first-day streams for a country album by a female artist in the history of Amazon Music.

The 27-track album features a whopping list of star-studded collaborators, including Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Linda Martell, Tanner Adell, Willie Jones, Raphael Saadiq, The-Dream, Shaboozey and more. The project also features the Billboard Hot 100 chart-topper, “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

Beyoncé Releases Cowboy Carter

Klaudia//March 29, 2024
Beyoncé's eighth studio album is available worldwide now. act ii COWBOY CARTER arrives today following the successful release of two lead singles, "TEXAS HOLD 'EM" and "16 CARRIAGES" on February 11, Superbowl Sunday.

"TEXAS HOLD 'EM" landed across nine different genres on US music charts including Pop, Hot AC, Country, Rhythmic, Urban, and R&B, and making history with Beyoncé becoming the first Black female artist to reach No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart and No. 1 on the Hot 100 Chart with a Country song. It also spent four weeks at the top of the UK music charts.

COWBOY CARTER, executive produced by Beyoncé, is about genres, all of them, while deeply rooted in Country. This is the work of an artist who thrives in her freedom to grow, expand, and create limitlessly. It makes no apologies, and seeks no permission in elevating, amplifying, and redefining the sounds of music, while dismantling accepted false norms about Americana culture. It pays homage to the past, honoring musical pioneers in Country, Rock, Classical, and Opera.

The album is a cornucopia of sounds that Beyoncé loves, and grew up listening to, between visits and eventually performances at the Houston Rodeo – Country, original Rhythm & Blues, Blues, Zydeco, and Black Folk. The album wraps itself in pure instrumentation in a celebratory authentic gumbo of sounds using among others, the accordion, harmonica, washboard, acoustic guitar, bass ukulele, pedal steel guitar, a Vibra-Slap, the mandolin, fiddle, Hammond B3 organ, tack piano, and the banjo. There's also plenty of handclaps, horseshoe steps, boot stomps on hardwood floors and yes, those are Beyoncé's nails as percussion.

Beyoncé Shares 'Act II: Cowboy Carter' Tracklist

Klaudia//March 28, 2024
Beyoncé may be gearing up to release her first country music album, but this is not the pop superstar's first rodeo.

In anticipation of this Friday's release of her new album, Act II: Cowboy Carter, Queen Bey, 42, got fans excited by teasing the tracklist on Wednesday. The Grammy winner revealed the song titles with a post on Instagram, which subtly announced that the record is set to feature a cover of Dolly Parton's classic song "Jolene."

Beyoncé shared the tracklist by posting an image resembling a vintage concert poster, made to look like "Cowboy Carter" was the headliner and the titles listed below were members of her "Rodeo Chitlin' Circuit." The song names appeared alongside images of the hitmaker, and the bottom of the flyer teased, "Brought to you by KNTRY Radio Texas."


Black Parade Route Launches in Lagos, Nigeria

Klaudia//March 26, 2024
In 2020, BeyGOOD Founder @Beyonce introduced the Black Parade Route to the world to celebrate and support Small Businesses that had faced economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts assisted more than 900 small businesses globally.

Last year, Entrepreneurs along Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour received entrepreneurial grants as part of Phase 2 of the Black Parade Route - where businesses were also aligned with essential tools to support entrepreneurial growth and business sustainability.

AND we are excited to announce Beyonce’s GOOD continues and now to the Continent of Africa!!!! We are honored to announce BeyGOOD grants to support local entrepreneurs in LAGOS, NIGERIA!

Applications are NOW open for ENTREPRENEURS to apply for small business grants. Must be able to substantiate financial hardship and the business must be in or in proximity to Lagos.

ALSO . . . stay tuned for more information on Educational Scholarships in Johannesburg, South Africa and Community Impact support that will take place in Nairobi, Kenya! We expect that the Black Parade Route will ignite ingenuity and new opportunities in all three (3) of these amazing markets on the beautiful continent of Africa.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY NOW FOR THE LAGOS, NIGERIA ENTREPRENURIAL GRANT. Submissions close at midnight Eastern Time on Saturday, April 6th.

Stay connected here as the GOOD continues!

#BeyGOOD Everywhere

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hosts 'Beyonce Fan Day' to celebrate Bey's new album

Klaudia//March 23, 2024
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will celebrate the release of Beyonce’s new album “Act II: Cowboy Carter” with a Beyonce Fan Day on Friday, March 29.

The event will feature a Beyonce playlist packed with new album tracks and old songs from her illustrious catalog, along with highlighted artifacts such as the outfit she wore in the “Run The World (Girls)” video and from artists who have inspired her.

Plus, in the Foster Theater will be a collection of her music videos playing throughout the day.

For dedicated members of the Bey Hive currently enjoying her recent singles, the stomping “Texas Hold ‘Em” and the dramatic power ballad “16 Carriages” from her new country-music-infused album or anyone interested in country music, know this: Associate Professor of English at DePaul University and author Francesca Royster will give a talk about her new book, the Ralph J. Gleason award-winning “Black Country Music: Listening for Revolutions.” It focuses on contributions and discusses the past, present and future of black folks who love to listen to and make country music. The talk is 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, March 28, free with a reservation at rockhall.com.

"16 Carriages" Producer About the Difference Between 'Renaissance' and 'Cowboy Carter'

Klaudia//March 23, 2024
In an interview with journalist Alana M. Yzola for her Acknowledge YouTube series, songwriter and producer Atia 'Ink' Boggs broke down the difference between working with Beyoncé on Renaissance and her country-styled follow-up, Cowboy Carter.

Boggs has a writing and producer credit on "16 Carriages," which starkly contrasts the songs she worked on for Renaissance. She revealed that the song was the first one she ever worked on with Beyoncé, despite releasing after the three songs she worked on for the dance-oriented album Renaissance. "So a lot of people don't know, we actually had this first," she explained at 24:00 point of the interview, seen below. "So imagine having this timeless, classic music first and having to wait, and then she came up with Act I."

Bey and Boggs started working together in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which influenced the direction of the music they worked on and what order it was released. "So we came out of being isolated, back into the world from no parties to finally expressing ourselves," she continued. Boggs said that Renaissance took listeners to "other planets," while Cowboy Carter is more about roots. "And it's like, baby, we don't do just one thing we do everything and we do it well," she said. "That's what she's letting you know. This is her southern roots, this is her Texas roots."

Boggs also explained that the pivot of Cowboy Carter reiterates that Beyoncé cannot be put in a box. "Representation matters, that sound matters. This sound is Black music, this is what we started," she said. "'16 Carriages,' that was one of my favorite songs I've ever made and produced in all of my life. Because it's so personal. I love to see her in that personal light."

Beyoncé to Receive Innovator Award at 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards

Klaudia//March 21, 2024
Days after Beyoncé releases her highly anticipated eighth studio album, she’ll make an appearance at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards to receive its innovator award.

Beyoncé will appear at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to accept the honor during the April 1 ceremony hosted by Ludacris. She’s being recognized for her pioneering career: for decades of creative risks and influencing pop culture on a mass scale, as well as last year’s groundbreaking Renaissance World Tour.

This year, Beyoncé scored five iHeartRadio Music Awards nominations, including R&B artist of the year, R&B song of the year (for “Cuff It,”) favorite tour style, best fan army and a new category, favorite on screen, for “Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé.”

Beyonce's 'Cowboy Carter' Ads Appear on NYC Museums

Klaudia//March 21, 2024
This ain’t Texas, but New York City is gearing up for Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter release.

A number of major NYC art museums were seen with a display projected onto the front that reads, “This ain’t a country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album,” as shared in photos posted by ARTnews. Among the museums with the projected ad include the Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum, New Museum and Museum of Arts and Design. Bey also posted a photo of the Guggenheim’s coordinates to her Instagram Story on Wednesday night (March 20).

However, in a statement to ARTNews, the Guggenheim “was not informed about and did not authorize this activation. However, we invite the public—including Beyoncé and her devoted fans—to visit the museum May 16–20 when we present projections by artist Jenny Holzer on the facade of our iconic building to celebrate the opening of her major exhibition.”

The Whitney also noted to Billboard, “We wish Beyoncé well with her album, and look forward to seeing her at the Whitney Biennial soon.”

The Museum of Arts and Design mirrored the statement, sharing with Billboard, “While the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) was not involved in the activation, we are thrilled to see Beyoncé shining a light on the importance of museums in the cultural landscape. Her influence undoubtedly opens doors for even more people to explore and appreciate Black creativity, such as pioneering textile artist Sonya Clark, whose comprehensive survey, ‘Sonya Clark: We Are Other,’ opens this weekend at MAD.”

Billboard has reached out to Beyoncé’s team for more information.

Dolly Parton shares Beyoncé may have covered her classic country hit on Act II

Klaudia//March 16, 2024
The music icon said in a recent interview that fans may hear “Jolene” on Beyoncé’s forthcoming country album expected to debut on March 29.

As Beyoncé’s upcoming album inches closer to its release date, more details about what fans can expect have surfaced.

In a recent interview, country superstar Dolly Parton revealed that her popular single “Jolene” may appear on Beyoncé’s soon-to-be-released country project. Since the announcement of “Act II,” rumors about the details of the album began circulating, including Beyoncé covering Parton’s most famous song.

“Well, I think she has,” Parton told Knox News, People reported. “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 continued showering Bey with love and shared how they remained in contact over the years.

“We’ve kind of sent messages back and forth through the years,” Parton said. “And she and her mother were like fans, and I was always touched that they were fans, and I always thought she was great.”

"Texas Hold 'Em" becomes Beyoncé's longest-running UK Number 1 single

Klaudia//March 16, 2024
Today, Beyoncé celebrates a full month at Number 1 in the UK with TEXAS HOLD ‘EM, marking a new personal best for the superstar in the process.

The sixth UK Number 1 single, lifted from her newly-announced upcoming album COWBOY CARTER, is now her longest-running chart-topper on the Official Singles Chart; besting the previous three-week peaks of 2003’s Crazy In Love with Jay-Z and 2007’s Beautiful Liar with Shakira.

It also blows past the two Number 1 singles Beyoncé achieved as a member of Destiny’s Child; with 2000’s Independent Women and 2001’s Survivor both spending one week at the top of the chart. Thus, Beyoncé’s turn to country has dug up gold, gifting her the longest stretch at Number 1 of her entire career.

Beyoncé Officially Announces New Album Title as Act II: Cowboy Carter

Klaudia//March 13, 2024
Beyoncé announced the title of her forthcoming, country album. Having previously teased that she was going to release a country music project and the next phase of her acclaimed 2022 album Renaissance on March 29, she officially revealed that it’s called Act II: Cowboy Carter.

The pop superstar shared the title by simply adding the title and release date to her Instagram bio and posting a shot of a saddle with a red, white and blue sash that reads “Cowboy Carter” on her Instagram Story.

In the image, it’s as if the metallic, disco-esque saddle that Queen Bey rides on the cover of Renaissance is transforming into a western one — signaling her artistic transition.

The image is also displayed front and center on Beyoncé’s website. The Shop section of her site where fans can pre-order merchandise and the new record also reveals alternate artwork to feature close-up photos of the Grammy winner’s face as she wears a black cowboy hat, has a white snake over her eye and her hair done up in a blonde, feathered cut and braids.


'Texas Hold 'Em' Deals Beyoncé Winning Hand Atop Hot 100 for Second Week

Klaudia//March 5, 2024
A second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 is in the cards for Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em.” A week earlier, the song ascended to the summit, becoming her ninth leader on the chart.

“Texas Hold ‘Em,” on Parkwood/Columbia Records/Columbia Nashville, drew 27.6 million radio airplay audience impressions (up 72%) and 25.5 million streams (down 12%) and sold 22,000 downloads (down 24%) in the Feb. 23-29 tracking week, according to Luminate.

The single dips to No. 2 on the Digital Song Sales chart, after two weeks at No. 1, and to No. 3 after a week atop Streaming Songs, while bounding 43-23 on Radio Songs, as the song claims top Airplay Gainer honors on the Hot 100 for a second week.

Being promoted to multiple radio formats, “Texas Hold ‘Em” leaps 28-16 on Adult Pop Airplay, 25-17 on Pop Airplay, 36-23 on Rhythmic Airplay – as the Greatest Gainer on each chart – 28-24 on Adult R&B Airplay, 36-32 on R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay and 40-32 on Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay. It also debuts on Adult Alternative Airplay at No. 36, while slipping 34-38 on Country Airplay; thanks to its placement on the two tallies, where Beyoncé had not previously logged any entries, she has tied Pharrell Williams for the most airplay charts – 18 – on which any artist has appeared.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” concurrently adds a third week at No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart, which uses the same multimetric methodology as the Hot 100. The banjo-inflected single became her historic first No. 1 on the ranking; prior to its coronation, no Black woman, or female known to be biracial, had previously led the list.

Beyonce's 'Texas Hold 'Em' Debuts on Adult Alternative Airplay Chart

Klaudia//March 4, 2024
After reaching Billboard’s country charts for the first time with “Texas Hold ‘Em,” Beyoncé makes her first appearance on a rock radio airplay tally with the buzzy, banjo-inflected single.

The song debuts at No. 36 on Billboard’s Adult Alternative Airplay chart dated March 9. It’s Beyoncé’s maiden placement on any of Billboard’s rock-based airplay lists (Adult Alternative Airplay, Alternative Airplay, Mainstream Rock Airplay and Rock & Alternative Airplay). Adult Alternative Airplay reflects songs’ weekly plays on a panel of 50 adult alternative-formatted stations, with data, as monitored by Mediabase, provided to Billboard by Luminate. The format encompasses music under the umbrella of Americana, including material considered more specifically folk, country, blues, soul or other related styles.

The leader in spins for “Texas Hold ‘Em” on the Adult Alternative Airplay panel Feb. 23-29 was KVYN in Napa Valley, Calif. The station played the song 45 times in that span.

“KVYN decided to get on this Beyoncé track right away, mostly to support her musical evolution and dabbling in American roots music,” KVYN program director Nate Campbell tells Billboard. “So far, it’s working in our rotation and we’re happy to have ‘Country Beyoncé’ in our mix.”

Beyoncé's 'Texas Hold 'Em' Rises to No. 1 on Billboard Global 200 Chart

Klaudia//February 26, 2024
Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” draws the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Global 200 chart, lifting from No. 4. The song is the superstar’s first leader on the list (which began in September 2020).

The Billboard Global 200 and Billboard Global Excl. U.S. charts rank songs based on streaming and sales activity culled from more than 200 territories around the world, as compiled by Luminate. The Global 200 is inclusive of worldwide data and the Global Excl. U.S. chart comprises data from territories excluding the United States.

Chart ranks are based on a weighted formula incorporating official-only streams on both subscription and ad-supported tiers of audio and video music services, as well as download sales, the latter of which reflect purchases from full-service digital music retailers from around the world, with sales from direct-to-consumer (D2C) sites excluded from the charts’ calculations.

Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” jumps to No. 1, from No. 4, where it debuted a week earlier, on the Billboard Global 200, with 59.6 million streams (up 86%) and 43,000 sold (down 10%) worldwide Feb. 16-22. Dating to the chart’s 2020 start, she previously reached the top 10 with “Break My Soul,” which hit No. 6 in 2022.

Notably, “Texas Hold ‘Em” is the second Global 200 No. 1, among 54 total so far, that has topped Billboard’s U.S.-based Hot Country Songs chart, joining Taylor Swift’s 2021 leader “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version).”

Beyoncé's 'Texas Hold 'Em' Hits No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100

Klaudia//February 26, 2024
Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” shuffles to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, a week after it debuted at No. 2. The superstar earns her ninth leader on the list, and her first since “Break My Soul” in 2022.

A week earlier, the single became the superstar’s historic first No. 1 on the multimetric Hot Country Songs survey; prior to the triumph for “Texas Hold ‘Em,” no Black woman, or female known to be biracial, had previously topped the chart.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” is one of two songs that Beyoncé released Feb. 11 (with instrumental and clean and explicit a cappella versions of the song released Feb. 14), along with “16 Carriages.” The arrival of both tracks was announced via a Verizon commercial that aired during CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII, ahead of the March 29 release of her new album, which follows her 2022 Renaissance LP.

“Texas Hold ‘Em,” on Parkwood/Columbia Records/Columbia Nashville, becomes the 1,164th No. 1 in the Hot 100’s 65-year history. Below is a look at Queen Bey’s latest coronation.

Beyoncé has first UK No 1 in 14 years with Texas Hold 'Em

Klaudia//February 24, 2024
Beyoncé has scored her first UK No 1 in 14 years with her new country single, Texas Hold ’Em.

The song, which features Beyoncé line dancing through life’s problems with a whiskey in hand, has jumped from No 9 in its second week of release, and is the first country song to reach UK No 1 since Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road in 2019. Beyoncé was last at No 1 in 2010 with her Lady Gaga duet Telephone, and her last solo No 1 was If I Were a Boy in 2008.

While remaining an iconic and much-discussed figure in the intervening years, her commercial clout dipped slightly in the UK, with her albums 4, Beyoncé, Lemonade and The Lion King: The Gift only producing two Top 10 hits between them. But the dance music-obsessed UK warmed to her foray into house music on 2022 album Renaissance: the singles Break My Soul and Cuff It both reached the UK Top Five.