Skip to main content

This month, Beyoncé will trade the silver heels on the cover of Renaissance for cowboy boots with the release of her new albumCowboy Carter arrives on March 29 and Beyoncé has finally released the official album cover. On it, the Houston native dons red, white, and blue, and carries an American flag on the back of a horse. In the accompanying caption, Beyoncé described the album’s inspiration, pointing to a time when she felt coldly unwelcomed in the country music industry.

Beyoncé shared the inspiration behind her new album, ‘Cowboy Carter’

In the caption accompanying the cover of Cowboy Carter, Beyoncé explained the album has been 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,” she wrote. “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.”

Here, she possibly references her 2016 performance at the CMA Awards with The Chicks. Their performance of “Daddy Lessons” sparked controversy, with some viewers complaining that Beyoncé had been invited to perform at the show. Notably, she has faced similar criticism on her latest releases. Some critics have refused to label “Texas Hold ‘Em” as a country song. Beyoncé hopes in the future, “the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.”

In her Instagram post, Beyoncé wrote that the criticism fueled her as she worked on Cowboy Carter.

“The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me,” she wrote. “[Act II] is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

Beyoncé thanked fans for their support of her new album

Beyoncé faced obstacles in bringing Cowboy Carter to light. This year, though, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” have been undeniable successes. She even made history with “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all 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,” she wrote. “That would not have happened without the outpouring of support from each and every one of you.”

She closed out her post by emphasizing her excitement to share Cowboy Carter with fans.

“I focused on this album as a continuation of RENAISSANCE,” she wrote. “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. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

Natalie Maines recalled the backlash after performing with Beyoncé at the CMAs

Natalie Maines, the lead vocalist for The Chicks, recalled working with Beyoncé ahead of their CMA performance.

“Let me just say, the week we worked with Beyoncé is the single greatest working week of my professional life,” she said on The Howard Stern Show. “It was awesome.”

It came as an unpleasant surprise, then, when she began to see the backlash to the performance.

“Then they start getting racist a**holes bombarding their website with comments and emails and whatever,” she said. “And so they take her down. They took our performance down and caved to that bulls***.”

According to Maines, CMA removed the video of their performance but reposted it within 24 hours after facing further backlash. Per Rolling Stone, the organization denied this in 2016. 

At the time, Beyoncé avoided talking about the controversy, but The Chicks posted a message of support.

“If we all turn this up really loud, together we can drown out the hate,” they posted. With it, they included a link to “Daddy Lessons.”