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Beyoncé Said Her New Album Was Inspired By Not Feeling "Welcomed" In Country Music, So Here’s A Reminder Of The Intense Backlash She Received For Her 2016 Country Song

Beyoncé Said Her New Album Was Inspired By Not Feeling "Welcomed" In Country Music, So Here’s A Reminder Of The Intense Backlash She Received For Her 2016 Country Song

Cowboy Carter will be released in less than two weeks on March 29, and on Tuesday, Beyoncé opened up in a lengthy statement about an unsavory experience that inspired her new album.

Beyoncé in a wide-brimmed cowboy hat and embellished jacket smiling at an event
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

On Cowboy Carter, the singer is expected to embrace country music following the release of two twangy lead singles last month: "16 Carriages" and "Texas Hold 'Em."

Beyoncé in an edgy open jacket with no shirt underneath and high heels holding  her fingers up as if they are a pistol in a shot from "Texas Hold 'Em"
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In particular, "Texas Hold 'Em" saw quick success, going No. 1 on the Hot 100 for two weeks. Notably, Beyoncé also became the first Black woman to top the Hot Country Songs chart, and she began her statement by acknowledging the historic feat.

Beyoncé in a jeweled silver ensemble with a wide-brimmed cowboy hat, posing while seated at an event

However, Beyoncé noted her new record came about after feeling excluded from the country genre.

Closeup of Beyoncé waving as she exits a business

"This album has been over five years in the making," she wrote. "It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t."

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While Beyoncé did not specify what experience inspired the new record, the singer notably faced backlash from some in 2016 following the release the country song "Daddy Lessons," which appeared on her album Lemonade. Beyoncé performed the song alongside the Chicks at the Country Music Association Awards in November of that year.

Beyoncé and the Chicks onstage
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However, as the New York Times reported at the time, some country fans were upset with her performing at a country awards show.

Beyoncé singing on stage, wearing a beaded dress
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The following month, the Associated Press reported the country music committee for the Recording Academy, which runs the Grammys, "rejected" having "Daddy Lessons" in country music categories at the awards ceremony after Beyoncé submitted the song for country consideration.

Beyoncé smiling, holding Grammy Awards, wearing a sequined dress with a v-neckline and long, straight hair

To be clear, Beyoncé did not mention the CMAs, "Daddy Lessons," or the Grammys in her statement about Cowboy Carter. However, she said that the unwelcoming experience from years ago not only prompted her to do a "deeper dive" on country music's history but also informed a desire to continue working in the genre.

Closeup of Beyoncé

"The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me," she wrote. "Act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work."

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She also noted that the record will feature a "few surprises" (including collaborations with unnamed artists that she "deeply" respects) and is "a continuation of Renaissance" (her multi-album project that began with her last album of the same name).

Beyoncé performing in a shimmering bodysuit, singing into a microphone on stage
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Parkwood

She ended her post writing, "This ain’t a Country album. This is a 'Beyoncé' album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!"

You can read Beyoncé's full statement here.