The album art for Beyoncé's new album, "Renaissance," is here. The dramatic image, which features the singer riding a glowing, synthetic-looking horse and wearing a barely-there spiked silver bikini, was shot by the artist Carlijn Jacobs.
On June 20, Beyoncé dropped the first single from the album, "Break My Soul" featuring bounce music icon Big Freedia — which became an instant dance-floor hit. With lines about quitting your job, falling in love, and letting go of stress atop an infectious beat, the track has already endeared itself to cash-strapped millennials and has become a major contender for song of the summer.
The release came just days after Beyoncé announced on June 16 that her new album, titled "Renaissance," would be released July 29. The album is subtitled "Act I," leading fans to speculate that there might be a sister album, "Act II," on the way sometime soon.
Beyoncé also appeared on the cover of British Vogue on the day the album was announced, and she previewed the new album for the magazine's editor in chief, Edward Enninful. Here's how he describes the new tracks: "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."
Beyoncé started dropping hints that something big was on the way earlier in June. On June 9, she deleted the profile images across all of her social media accounts, from Instagram to TikTok. Then on June 11, two mysterious pages appeared on her official website. If fans searched for June 10, June 11, or simply B7, they got a message that said, "What is a B7?" B7 is a reference to the fact that Beyoncé's next album will be her seventh solo album. It seems Beyoncé's team wanted to lovingly troll fans a little bit before the album announcement.
The website also contained another possible clue that "Renaissance" will be a double album. As first reported by Buzzing Pop, the site had a shell page for "B8" when fans searched "B8," too.
"Renaissance" will be Beyoncé's first solo album since 2016's "Lemonade." But she has been incredibly busy since then. In 2018, she headlined Coachella, and in 2019, she released her film "Homecoming," which chronicled that performance and the journey of its creation. She also released a live album of the performance along with the movie. In 2018, she and her husband JAY-Z also released a collaborative album, "Everything Is Love." And in 2019, she released "The Lion King: The Gift," for the "Lion King" movie. She followed that up with the visual album "Black Is King" in 2020, which she wrote, directed, and executive produced. In 2021, she released the song "Be Alive" for the movie "King Richard." She was nominated for an Oscar for the song and performed at the ceremony.
In an August 2021 interview with Harper's Bazaar, Beyoncé first discussed her new music. "With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again," she said. "I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. I've been in the studio for a year and a half. Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies. Still, there's nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old. Yes, the music is coming!"
Read on for everything we know about "Renaissance."
"Renaissance" Release Date
"Renaissance" will be released on July 29.
"Renaissance" Song List
"Renaissance" will have 16 tracks. Aside from the debut single, "Break My Soul," which was released on June 20, the song titles have not been released.
Beyoncé hasn't released details about whether she will be touring "Renaissance."
"Renaissance" Cover Art
Beyoncé shared the cover art on Instagram on June 30, along with the caption, "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. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. 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."
— Additional reporting by Victoria Edel