Beyoncé Shares the Painful Reason Why She Chose to Make ‘Act II: Cowboy Carter’

The best art, after all, is often born from the most uncomfortable places.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We are officially 10 days out from the March 29 release of Beyoncé’s latest album, Act II: Cowboy Carter, which takes us on a country music joyride if the first two tracks off of the offering, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” are any indication.

But, as Beyoncé revealed on Instagram today, making Cowboy Carter actually stemmed from a place of pain—from not feeling “welcomed” in country music. “I feel honored to be the first Black woman with the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart,” she wrote. “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.” 

She added that the album has been in the making for over five years and was born from an experience where she “did not feel welcomed” after she first tried to enter the country music space: “It was very clear that I wasn’t [welcomed],” Beyoncé wrote. “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.”

She continued “This genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me. act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

Beyonce at the 2024 Grammys

Beyoncé teased her next act at the 2024 Grammys last month

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Country music icon Dolly Parton recently defended Beyoncé—and even teased a possible “Jolene” cover on her new record, referencing one of Parton’s many hits. (Parton said she “heard” and “thinks” and “hopes” rumors of the “Jolene” cover are true.) “A lot of people don’t realize Beyoncé is a country girl,” Parton told Knox News. “She’s from Texas. I think we belong wherever we can do good, and her song is No. 1 across every chart in the whole world, I think. So, I mean, who can ignore that?”


Later in February, at the Super Bowl, she revealed the release date of "Act II," and dropped singles "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages"

(Image credit: Beyoncé)

Beyoncé said that she had the chance to collaborate with “brilliant” artists who she respects, and even teased a few surprises on Cowboy Carter. “I hope this music is an experience, creating another journey where you can close your eyes, start from the beginning and never stop,” she wrote. And make no mistake about it: “This ain’t a Country album,” she concluded. “This is a Beyoncé album.”

We’ll hear it all for ourselves on March 29. Ten days, people. Ten days!

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.