Beyoncé has confirmed the long-held fan theory that the follow-up to her massive 2022 release Renaissance: act i will be a Country album, with the surprise release of two new singles.
The megastar announced the arrival of Renaissance: act ii in a multi-layered reveal that started with a new Super Bowl ad for Verizon. In it, Beyoncé and the network’s now iconic “Can You Hear Me Now” tech try a number of different schemes to see if Queen Bey can “break the internet” once again.
The commercial ends with Beyoncé blasting off to space, as a fictional news anchor announces her plans to deliver the first live performance from space. In the last few seconds of the ad, Bey says, “Okay, they ready, drop the new music.”
The surprise Verizon ad had the intended effect of driving fans to her socials as they looked for additional hints as to how to access Beyoncé’s latest offering. And moments after the ad premiered, she delivered with a Texas-themed trailer for the new project, which is set to arrive on March 29.
Thirty minutes after sharing the trailer, she returned to Instagram to announce the release of two new singles, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages.” The artwork for the two singles seems to continue the silver theme she started with the first Renaissance album.
The surprise drop comes after fans began speculating that Beyoncé was hinting at a Country release, though they were mostly piecing together crumbs.
They’ve cited things like Bey’s country-inspired look at the 2024 Grammy Awards, as well a lyric on her 2019 single “Black Parade” where she sings, “I’m going back to the South, where my roots ain’t watered down” as potential proof that Act II would be a country LP.
One thing that has been confirmed in the past is the original Renaissance album was meant to start a trilogy. In November, New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan wrote in a since-deleted tweet that Act II would be an “acoustic album,” and that Act III would be a collaboration with JAY-Z. This was neither confirmed nor denied from Bey’s camp.
Check out both an extended version of the Verizon ad, titled “Can’t B Broke,” the Renaissance: act ii trailer and the two new singles below.