Beyoncé has shared the cover art for her upcoming album, Cowboy Carter. The highly anticipated LP, coined “Act II,” is the follow-up to 2022’s Renaissance.

In the cover art for Cowboy Carter, which the megastar shared via Instagram with her nearly 320 million followers, she sits atop a white house whilst wearing a cowboy hat and western-inspired ensemble. Her long blond hair flows in the wind as she holds an American flag in her left hand. Along with the striking image, the singer included a caption providing context behind the motive for Cowboy Carter.

“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,” her caption began. “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. 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.”

Beyoncé then stated the inspiration for the forthcoming album stemmed from a moment when she wasn’t “welcomed.”

She continued, “This album has been over 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. 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.”

Beyoncé went on to say that the “criticisms” she faced when entering country music pushed her to create an album that would blur the line between genres. The mother-of-three also teased a few surprises like collaborations with “some brilliant artists” that she “deeply respects.”

The 32-time Grammy winner ended her post with a very clear message for the BeyHive: “This ain’t a Country album. This is a “Beyoncé” album.”

Although Beyoncé didn’t say any names, fans speculate the uncomfortable moment the singer mentioned stemmed from her 2016 CMA Awards performance, where she performed “Daddy Lessons” (from the Lemonade album) alongside The Chicks (formerly known as The Dixie Chicks).

The network removed all footage of the performance from their social media and any post-event recordings. At the time, Blavity highlighted several tweets calling out the station for its questionable actions.

One X user predicted Beyoncé’s performance would ruffle some feathers: “Imagine being an old racist watching the CMAs and Beyonce come out in a sheer gown singin about shootin dudes hahaha they was heated.” 

Another person called out the network for using the artist to gain views, tweeting, “It’s disrespectful to invite #Beyoncé solely for the ratings, GET the bump, then pretend like she didn’t perform.”

The station provided an official response, denying any malicious intentions behind the performance being scrubbed.

“CMA has not erased any mentions of Beyoncé’s performance on the CMA Awards. In advance of the broadcast, CMA removed a 5-second promotional clip from and CMA’s Facebook page,” the statement read. “The promo was unapproved and CMA removed it prior to the broadcast. Beyoncé’s performance with Dixie Chicks was a highlight of the evening and we are continuing to share the amazing full-length performance clip via our official social channels.”

Nearly a decade later, it’s obvious Beyoncé is paying no mind to the haters. In February, her single, “Texas Hold’em,” knocked Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves’ “I Remember Everything,” out of the No. 1 spot after 20 weeks, making Queen Bey the first Black woman to chart No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. We can’t wait to see what this new era brings!