We should've known something was up when Beyoncé rocked up to the 2024 Grammys, skipping the red carpet, in a western-leaning custom look from Pharrell Williams' Fall 2024 collection for Louis Vuitton. The signs were there, as glaringly obvious as a honking white cowboy hat. Or as eye-wateringly conspicuous as her "internet-breaking" Super Bowl advertisement with Verizon.
Well, while all eyes were on the Super Bowl, Beyoncé dragged them away from Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift (a task one would think was nearly impossible) to announce the much-hinted Act II of Renaissance on Instagram. To celebrate, Beyoncé also dropped two singles from the record: Texas Hold Em' and 16 Carriages.
It's clear, Beyoncé's latest act is about leaning into her Texan roots.
As further proof that Beyoncé is a genre-defying mother of invention, the artist has transitioned easily from the dance and house beats of Renaissance into an almost-entirely acoustic country sound for Renaissance: Act II. The artist also confirmed that the album will be the second part of a sonic trilogy, all of which we can expect to be linked by chain of shimmering silver.
While we have many questions (notably, what sound will Act III see Queen Bey experiment with?), we're ready for this new era of Beyoncé. Her artistry knows no bounds. It's also the perfect follow up to Jay-Z's defence of his wife at the 2024 Grammys, where he called out the Recording Academy for never awarding Beyoncé Album of the Year despite her being the most decorated Grammy-winning artist of all time.
Does this mean Beyoncé and Taylor Swift will go head-to-head for Album of the Year? We know who we're batting for. In the meantime, forget Fearless-era Taylor Swift, this is the only country we will be listening to.
When will Renaissance: Act II drop?
Beyoncé has confirmed Renaissance: Act II will arrive on March 29, 2024.
Where can I listen to Texas Hold 'Em by Beyoncé
In the meantime, you can listen to Beyoncé's latest two singles, Texas Hold 'Em and 16 Carriages on Spotify, Tidal, or Apple Music.