The Super Bowl did not disappoint last night, with a hit-heavy half-time show starring Usher, the appearance of dozens of celebrities (including Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Leonardo DiCaprio) and a high-stakes match running into extra time.
But that wasn’t all the drama; Beyoncé arguably stole the show while advertising for US telecommunications network Verizon. As an extra surprise, she confirmed her new album, the second ‘act’ of Renaissance. Here’s everything there is to know about the upcoming record.
Wait, a second album was announced during an ad?
Yes. The Super Bowl’s adverts have become almost as important to the show as the sport itself. With around 100 million people tuning in to watch the game, massive brands tend to collaborate with the world’s most famous faces, producing some legendary TV moments.
This year didn’t disappoint, with the Beckhams, Scarlett Johansson, Snoop Dogg, Aubrey Plaza, Kris Jenner, and Christopher Walken all starring in various commercials. But nothing could have prepared music fans for Beyoncé’s slot, and towards the end of the short ad, she announced that a second Renaissance album would be dropping in just six weeks. See the announcement below.
When is Act ii coming out?
There’s really not long to wait: the star has confirmed that it will be released on March 29.
What do we know so far?
At once a little and a lot. While we don’t yet have a tracklist, Beyoncé did drop two singles from the upcoming album last night.
Titled Texas Hold ’Em and 16 Carriages, the tracks are both massively country-themed, indicating that Renaissance 2 is going to be a wildly different record compared to Bey’s club-focused 2022 album, Renaissance.
Not only do the lyrics of the new songs include reference to hoedowns (a type of American folk dance associated with country music) and “rugged whiskey” but the music itself has a strong country sound.
This also fits with the aesthetics that Beyoncé has shared for the second instalment. On the cover for Texas Hold ‘Em she is wearing a cowboy hat, while 16 Carriages sees her wearing both a cowboy hat and a studded classic Western shirt.
This theme continues into the Verizon trailer, where several cowboys stand in the middle of the desert staring up at a billboard, showing a pin up girl version of Beyoncé. Plus, film-buffs will have noticed that the man at the front of the group of men is wearing almost exactly the same outfit as Harry Dean Stanton’s Travis Henderson, a character in Wim Wenders’s celebrated 1984 drama, Paris Texas.
Beyoncé also published a photoshoot on her website where she pairs blonde hair with a saloon-ready outfit, consisting of a cowboy hat, boots with spurs and a bolo tie.
How have Beyoncé fans reacted?
Predictably, fans have been floored and thrilled by the announcement, sharing their excitement on X.
beyoncé basically proposed at usher’s wedding
— denver sean. (@dnvrsn) February 12, 2024
UGH IM SO EXCITED FOR ACT ii 😭 beyoncé you’ll always be famous pic.twitter.com/yEXbqsOHlQ
— charlie (@blueyedwhore) February 12, 2024
me trying to like the country genre because Beyoncé makes it listenable pic.twitter.com/g3uBWWmJrd
— ray⁷ﾒ𝟶💋? (@httpsseras) February 12, 2024
it’s been and will be beyoncé till I die
— RMJ (@reneerapp) February 12, 2024
This group reaction to Beyoncé announcing she’s dropping new music 😂😍 pic.twitter.com/mVgA6ltmVR
— B E Y N A T I O N 2.0 (@beynation444) February 12, 2024
Beyoncé: act ii 3.29
Me on 3.29: pic.twitter.com/BqWrl9y4yI
— Big Girl Slay 💋 (@Biggirlslay) February 12, 2024
Act ii will be released on March 29; beyonce.com