Just days after fans began speculating that Beyoncé was releasing a country album, she’s saying “yeehaw.”
After teasing new music in a Super Bowl ad for Verizon, Beyoncé announced that she’s releasing “act ii” of her three-act project on March 29. And judging by the first two singles and the Western-themed trailer on her website, she’s definitely going country.
“Texas Hold ‘Em” is a classic country hoedown, which will have fans square-dancing at Nashville bars. (As Beyoncé commands in the song, “Don’t be a bitch, come take it to the floor now.”)
On the flip side, “16 Carriages” is a tender, blues-tinged ballad in which Bey look back at her family history and personal journey thus far. “Had to leave my home at an early age,” she sings in the first verse. “I saw mama prayin’, I saw daddy grind / All my tender problems, had to leave behind.”
In the album teaser trailer, Beyoncé drives through deserted roads in a yellow taxi, which has a Texas license plate that reads “Hold ‘Em.” As a country radio station plays in the background, a series of men notice something unusual: a bright yellow billboard of Bey, also emblazoned with the words “Texas Hold ‘Em.”
Variety first reported that Beyoncé recorded country music back in 2022. The report claimed that the singer’s new project would “feature both dance and country-leaning tracks,” but noted the country songs could “appear as a separate album, or as part of the first edition of Renaissance.” (At the time, Beyoncé’s previous album, Renaissance, had yet to be released; when it debuted, fans quickly realized it was entirely devoted to dance music, like disco and house.) Bey later confirmed that Renaissance was the first part of a three-act project, and labeled the album “act i.”
Given the Variety report, fans had wondered whether “act ii” would be country-inspired. The rumors gained steam recently, especially when Beyoncé attended the 2024 Grammys in a cowboy hat and Western get-up.