Just hours after Beyoncé announced that her forthcoming sixth solo album, “Renaissance,” will be arriving on July 29, Variety received more information on the release from a source familiar with the project.
The album will feature both dance and country-leaning tracks, the source says, with contributions from hit songwriter Ryan Tedder, who co-wrote her 2008 hit “Halo” as well as hits for Adele, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Bros. and his own group, OneRepublic. Also said to be involved is Raphael Saadiq, who has crafted hits for Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, John Legend and Andra Day as well as his own excellent solo albums, and executive-produced “A Seat at the Table,” Beyoncé’s sister Solange’s widely praised 2016 album.
It was unclear whether the country songs will appear as a separate album, or as part of the first edition of “Renaissance.” Country is not new terrain for the singer: “Daddy Lessons,” from 2016’s “Lemonade,” is heavy on twang and was even covered by the Chicks (then known as the Dixie Chicks).
While the source did not say this, it also seems possible that Beyonce could drop a new song as soon as tonight in honor of Juneteenth, as she did with her “Black Parade” single in 2020.
A rep for Beyoncé did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for confirmation or further information.
Fans have already sleuthed information suggesting that the album will contain 16 tracks, and the fact that it is a multi-part release is clear from the face that it is billed as “Act 1.” Beyoncé’s website also featured pre-orders on four different boxed sets for the album, billed “Pose” 1-4 and including a CD, T-shirt and a box. However, since they all ship on the day of the album’s release, it seems likely that they’re just different packages for “Act 1.”
The only public information about the music on the album comes from British Vogue editor in chief Edward Enninful, who wrote with distinctively British enthusiasm in the magazine’s Beyoncé cover feature: “Instantly, a wall of sound hits me. Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I’m transported back to the clubs of my youth. I want to get up and start throwing moves. It’s music I love to my core. Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul. As ever with Beyoncé, it is all about the intent. I sit back, after the wave, absorbing it all.”
Beyoncé actually has released four albums since her blockbuster 2016 outing “Lemonade,” although none of them are full Beyoncé solo albums: In 2018, she dropped “Everything Is Love,” a tag-team with husband Jay-Z under the name The Carters; in April of 2019, she released “Homecoming,” an album of her galvanizing 2018 headlining performance at Coachella, for which she was accompanied by a full marching band (which was also released as a Netflix special as part of a $60 million deal ; and that summer she followed with “The Lion King: The Gift,” a companion album to the Disney film that featured several new songs from her — featuring contributions from Kendrick Lamar, Donald Glover and others — as well as songs featuring 070 Shake, Tierra Whack and African artists like Burna Boy, Mr. Eazi, Tiwa Savage and others; a deluxe edition of that album featuring three additional tracks was released a year later.