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Beyoncé announces new album ‘Act II’, releases two singles

The singer released the first two singles from the album, 'Texas Hold 'Em' and '16 Carriages'.

By Jodi Guglielmi

Beyoncé press shot, 2023
Beyoncé (Picture: Mason Poole)

Beyoncé may have just finished her Renaissance World Tour in October, but she isn’t interested in taking an extended break from music — the singer announced a new album during the Super Bowl on Sunday. The album was announced during a commercial with Verizon, where Beyoncé did her best to break the internet. After a string of humorously failed attempts, she ended the clip with “Drop the music.”

And just moments later on Instagram, Beyoncé confirmed her eighth studio album, Act II, is due out on March 29. The album serves as the second installment of her three-part Renaissance project.

Beyoncé also released the first two singles from what appears to be a country-inspired album on Sunday, ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ and ’16 Carriages’.

Act II marks a much quicker turnaround for new music compared to past years: Renaissance, which came out in July 2023, was Beyoncé’s first full-fledged studio album since 2016’s Lemonade.

Renaissance was met with critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone noting it found the singer “creating an upbeat collection of hits, boundary-expanding deep cuts, and dance staples, whose quaint grandeur feels starkly cutting-edge. And it happily suggests that the new wave for the iconic singer is to keep it kind of old school.”

“With Renaissance, Beyoncé is more relatable than ever, giving listeners all the anthems and sultry slaps we love and have come to expect from her, proving that inclusivity is the new black,” the review continued.

The album also became an instant fan favourite, with outrage following after Renaissance lost out on Album of Year at the 2023 Grammy Awards.

Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour kicked off in Sweden in May (the North American leg began in Toronto in July). The excellent show focused on material from her new album, interwoven with favorite gems from her earlier LPs. It was later turned into a concert film titled Renaissance: A Film and released in theatres.

From RollingStone.