Is Beyoncé going country? Variety says yes – to an extent.
Beyoncé recently revealed her sixth solo album, “RENAISSANCE,” will be available July 29, and Variety reported they received some inside information on the album from a source familiar with the project.
The outlet reported the album would include dance and country-leaning tracks and that hit songwriter Ryan Tedder, who wrote Beyoncé’s “Halo” along with songs for Taylor Swift, Adele, and his band OneRepublic is a collaborator. Variety said Raphael Saadiq, a songwriter for Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, and Andra Day, is also in on the project.
This is not Beyoncé’s first foray into the genre. She turned heads – and enflamed opinions – in 2016 when she appeared on the CMA Awards with The Chicks to sing “Daddy Lessons.” While the performance went smoothly, fan reaction was divided, which prompted Sarah Trahern, the chief executive of the Country Music Association, to address the controversy with the New York Times.
Alan Jackson was so upset by the performance that multiple outlets reported he walked out during the lively collaboration.
“We stand by it,” Trahern said of the performance and noted the CMA had received both positive and negative reactions online and over the phone from viewers. “If a program moves people so much one way or another, I think we’ve had a successful show.”
She added: “We believe in free speech, and people can post what they’re going to post,” she added. “It’s about the music, not about politics.”
The Chicks later covered “Daddy Lessons” on stage.
Beyoncé’s social media account refers to “RENAISSANCE” as act 1. It is unknown if the country-flavored and dance songs will appear on the same or different sections of the album.
As for what’s next, fans will know for sure on July 29.