Beyoncé has been rumoured to be transitioning into country music, with fans believing that her next project is a country music album. Fans have speculated that Beyoncé’s 2024 Grammy outfit, which featured a white cowboy hat and rodeo-themed suit from Louis Vuitton’s Fall-Winter 2024 menswear collection, could be evidence of this transition. In September 2016, country singer Thomas Rhett met Beyoncé and Jay-Z backstage at the Made in America festival, and they all met again at the Country Music Awards.
Beyoncé made her Country Music Association debut in November of that year, performing Daddy Lessons with The Chicks for her album Lemonade (2016), her first Americana-country album. Some conservative audience members had mixed reactions to Beyoncé’s performance, and all traces of it were removed from the CMA’s website and social media platforms due to racist comments.
In 2021, Beyoncé wore a cowboy hat on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar The Icon Issue, teasing the title of her upcoming project, which was not yet known to be her Renaissance album. She discussed the inspiration for her Ivy Park rodeo collection, which stemmed from the underappreciated history of the American black cowboy. Many of them were originally known as cowhands, and they faced severe discrimination and were frequently forced to work with the most temperamental horses.
Beyoncé appears in a promotional image posing in a Madonna and Donna Summer-inspired Renaissance pose in front of hay bales while wearing cow print. She also teased the Renaissance album cover art during the Ivy Park Rodeo campaign. Country music artist Jimmie Allen told Billboard about his desire to work with Beyoncé and rumours that she was working on a country music project.
Rumours about Beyoncé’s move into country music spread quickly after she announced her seventh studio album, Renaissance, on June 16, 2022. According to Variety, “a source familiar with the project” may include “both dance and country-leaning tracks.” Beyoncé confirmed in July on her website that Renaissance would be a three-act project.
Es Devlin, the Renaissance tour’s stage designer, spoke with British Vogue in November about why the singer wanted to make rodeo-themed references. She stated that she became interested in country music after a negative experience at a country music awards show and wanted to learn more about its African-American roots. She wanted to reappropriate American and country music from a black perspective, which is why the cowboys wear red.