Well, let’s giddy on up and yee-haw!
Beyoncé stole the show at the Super Bowl on Sunday by announcing that she’ll release the highly anticipated second act of her 2022 album, Renaissance, aptly titled, Renaissance: Act II. She also surprise-dropped two singles from the album, which is the second in a trilogy of projects conceived by the singer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To fans’ surprise, Queen Bey appeared in a Verizon ad and shared the exciting news.
According to The New York Times, the commercial opens with Beyoncé joking around with comedian Tony Hale about doing something worthy of breaking the internet. The singer tries different ways to do so, like opening a lemonade stand, referencing 2016’s Lemonade, and other bits like “Beyonc-A.I.,” “Bar-bey” and “Beyoncé of the United States.” Then the Grammy winner said, “Drop the new music,” just before the ad’s conclusion. Beyoncé’s website noted that Renaissance Act II would drop on March 29.
Beyoncé’s social media accounts shared a promo video for the second installment of Renaissance not long after the announcement. It suggests that Act II will pay homage to Bey’s home state of Texas with country music.
Beyoncé continued to delight fans by releasing two tracks from the upcoming album: “Texas Hold’ Em” and “16 Carriages.” The former marries an infectious country guitar with a danceable beat reminiscent of Beyoncé’s discography. The latter is an emotional ballad that swells into an anthem, with the Houston native singing about losing her innocence “at an early age.”
Both songs’ visuals feature Beyoncé in cowboy hats. In a visualizer for “Texas Hold ‘Em,” Beyoncé struts in black underwear, tights, a holster and an open leather dress. The visualizer comes alongside cover art for the song, which shows the “Break My Soul” singer in an NSFW countrified fit. So far, “16 Carriages” features cover art of Beyoncé in a cowboy and voluminous bob.
“TEXAS HOLD’ EM and 16 CARRIAGES out now,” Beyoncé wrote on Instagram in a post sharing the new songs.
Beyoncé has experimented with a more country song before. “Daddy Lessons,” from Lemonade, is musically and vocally the epitome of country and included a remix featuring The Chicks. She and the Nashville group formerly known as the Dixie Chicks performed the song at the Country Music Awards in Nov. 2016.
Act II has big shoes to follow. Renaissance‘s first act, which Beyoncé described as “a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world” on social media ahead of its release, quickly went to No. 1 and led to $580 million in ticket sales when she toured following the album’s release last summer.