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How Big a First Week Will Beyoncé Lasso With 'Cowboy Carter'?

Klaudia//April 4, 2024
Beyoncé, Cowboy Carter (Parkwood/Columbia): Even in a first quarter that’s seen full-length releases from some pretty massive artists — including Kanye West & Ty Dolla $ign, Ariana Grande and Future & Metro Boomin — Beyoncé albums remain a next-level event in the pop sphere. Cowboy Carter rode onto the scene last Friday (March 29) with more buzz and anticipation than any other LP of 2024 thus far, and the results have not disappointed: The album currently boasts a 92 score on review-aggregating website Metacritic, making it the second-best-reviewed set from any artist this year, and has also started receiving some serious Grammy buzz as the set to finally earn her long-overdue first album of the year trophy.

Unsurprisingly, the release is expected to make an eye-popping debut — helped by a number of physical versions of Cowboy Carter that Beyoncé is currently selling exclusively via her webstore. (Vinyl and CD are scheduled to go wide to all retail on April 12, which should give it a nice sales bump in its third chart week.) The set’s vinyl release includes four different-colored variants, each with a different back cover image of Beyoncé. The CD version includes an extra song, “Flamenco,” and is available in four variants (each also with a different Beyoncé back cover), while two of the CDs are exclusively available inside the boxed sets she’s selling — three versions of which are currently for sale, each with a T-shirt and a copy of the album on CD inside a branded box. Both physical releases include extended versions of “Riiverdance,” “II Hands II Heaven” and “Tyrant”. And of course, there is a digital version for sale and streaming, which includes five tracks not featured on the physical release (“Flamenco,” “Spaghettii,” “The Linda Martell Show,” “Ya Ya” and “Oh Louisiana”).

All of this should add up to a lofty sales total for Beyoncé, who has become a reliable performer in terms of physical sales, moving 190,000 such copies of Cowboy Carter’s 2022 predecessor Renaissance in its U.S. debut frame, according to Luminate. The new album is also streaming very well — at 27 tracks, it’s the longest album of Bey’s career to date, which will certainly help boost those totals — and Spotify even confirmed that it was the service’s most-streamed album in a single day of 2024 so far upon its release last Friday. That said, outside of previously-released lead single (and former Billboard Hot 100 No. 1) “Texas Hold ‘Em,” the album has no breakout hit yet on streaming akin to Grande’s “We Can’t Be Friends” or Future and Metro Boomin’s “Like That” — as of Tuesday (April 2), the only new song from the set in Spotify’s Daily US Top Songs chart was the Miley Cyrus duet “II Most Wanted,” at No. 10. (Both “II Most Wanted” and Bey’s redo of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” were top 10 on Apple Music, at Nos. 10 and 8, respectively.)

Nonetheless, the high-volume combination of sales and streams should still result in a massive first week for Cowboy Carter — likely setting a new high-water mark for 2024 by passing Future and Metro Boomin’s We Don’t Trust You, which entered with 251,000 units on this week’s chart. It may also be in line to pass the 332,000 units Renaissance moved in its debut frame two years ago, becoming Beyoncé’s best-debuting album since her universally-beloved Lemonade bowed with 653,000 units back in 2016.

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."

"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.

Beyonce shares message about "Cowboy Carter"

Klaudia//March 19, 2024
Beyonce shared a message about her upcoming album "Cowboy Carter".

"Today marks the 10-day countdown until the release of act ii. 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.