Beyoncé Seemingly References CMAs Criticism in 'Cowboy Carter' Statement, Says She 'Did Not Feel Welcomed'

Beyoncé also teased collaborations with some "brilliant artists" on her new album.


Beyoncé elaborated on what fans can expect from Cowboy Carter, Act II of her three-album trilogy. The singer took to Instagram to reveal the official artwork for her Renaissance follow-up, along with a lengthy Instagram caption where she lays out her album's thesis statement.

"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," she said of the support that helped make her the first Black woman to top the Hot Country Songs Billboard chart.

"Texas Hold 'Em" also became the first country song by a Black woman to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. "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," Bey added.

"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."

Performers on stage during a concert with instruments and microphones

Race and genre seem to be informing the album quite a bit.

"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," she wrote. "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."

She continued by explaining that Cowboy Carter has been "five years in the making." She suggested that it was inspired by her 2016 CMA Awards performance of "Daddy Lessons"—a Lemonade cut with clear country influences—with The Chicks. The performance has since been removed from the CMA's official YouTube channel, and at the time, Beyoncé and The Chicks faced backlash from conservative audiences who felt like Bey was intruding on the country music landscape.

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Beyoncé also addressed the "criticisms" she faced when she "first entered this genre," she wrote "forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me." On Cowboy Carter, Bey wrote that she took her time to "bend and blend genres together."

The singer has continued to face criticims from country gatekeepers in 2024. Earlier this year, when she first released "16 Carriages" and "Texas Hold 'Em," many country stations refused to play the songs. However, she's also been embraced by other country legends like Dolly Parton.

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Bey also teased "a few surprises on the album," and promised collaborations with "brilliant artists who I deeply respect."

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Calling Cowboy Carter "a continuation of RENAISSANCE," Beyoncé hopes the album lives in fans as "experience," and a "journey where you can close your eyes, start from the beginning and never stop."

"This ain’t a Country album," she concluded. "This is a 'Beyoncé' album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!"

Cowboy Carter is scheduled to release on Mar. 29.

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