Beyoncé is back!
After teasing new music during her cover story for Harper's Bazaar in August 2021, the singer officially announced her seventh studio album, Renaissance, on June 16 — and the album dropped July 29.
"Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving," the Grammy-winning singer wrote on Instagram alongside the album's cover art.
"My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment," she continued. "A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are."
Beyoncé gave us glimpses of what's to come, including the album's lead single, "Break My Soul," which was released on June 20, but fans got to consume the whole thing — and learn a bit more about what's to come — on July 29.
From the release date to the collaborations, here's everything to know about Beyoncé's Renaissance.
Beyoncé/Instagram Renaissance Cover Art
What is the cover art for Beyoncé's Renaissance album?
On June 30, Beyoncé unveiled the cover art for her album on Instagram, which shows her sitting on top of a silver horse while draped in jewels. The singer seemingly teased the cover art when she appeared on the cover of British Vogue's July 2022 issue, which showed her sitting on top of a horse while wearing an intricate headpiece and matching black dress.
How many songs are on Beyoncé's Renaissance album?
On July 20, the singer released the official tracklist for the album, which includes 16 songs total. The songs include the previously-released "Break My Soul," plus tracks titled "I'm That Girl," "Alien Superstar," "Virgo's Groove," "Thique," and "America Has a Problem." There are also four unique box sets of the album which include a CD, T-shirt, mini-poster and a 28-page photo booklet.
Will there be any collaborations on Beyoncé's Renaissance album?
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Beyoncé's album features a handful of familiar names. Based on the songwriting credits revealed in Apple Music, collaborators include Drake, JAY-Z, Pharrell Williams, The-Dream, Raphael Saadiq, and many more.
The album also features samples of songs involving James Brown, Giorgio Moroder, and Donna Summer, per Variety. The singer's first single "Break My Soul" also samples Robin S's 1993 hit "Show Me Love" and Big Freedia's "Explode."
What is the genre of Beyoncé's Renaissance album?
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According to Variety, the album is a mix of various genres as it features "both dance and country-leaning tracks."
Beyoncé previously teased the album during her cover story for Harper's BAZAAR's September Icon issue in 2021, which notably included a photo of her wearing a black cape and cowboy hat.
"With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again," she told the publication. "I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible."
"Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare," she continued of the recording process. "One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies."
Will there be multiple parts to Beyoncé's Renaissance album?
Following the album's official announcement, fans have theorized that Renaissance would be released in multiple parts as Columbia Records' post featured "act i" beside the album's title.
It's worth noting that Beyoncé's 2021 Harper's BAZAAR issue, where she first teased the new album, included three different covers.
The album's drop on July 29 confirmed the theories. In fact, the night before the release, the singer uploaded a message to her website noting that Renaissance is a "three-act project." She also re-stated that the album's creative process took three years to complete during the pandemic.
When was 'act i' of Beyoncé's Renaissance album released?
The album being leaked approximately 36 hours prior to the official release, but Beyoncé's Renaissance "act i" dropped at midnight on July 29 — and she shared a note to fans thanking them for waiting until its official drop to listen.
"So, the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time so you can all enjoy it together," the singer wrote on Instagram in a handwritten note. "I appreciate you for calling out anyone who was trying to sneak into the club early." She added, "I will continue to give my all and do my best to bring you joy."