COWBOY CARTER GALLOPS INTO VIEW

Beyoncé's highly anticipated "act ii," COWBOY CARTER (Parkwood/Columbia), has arrived. And sure enough, the 27-track set features spoken-word interludes by Dolly Parton on "DOLLY P" and Willie Nelson on "SMOKE HOUR II." It also includes covers of Dolly's "JOLENE" and the Beatles' "BLACKBIRD" as well as an appearance by Beyoncé's youngest daughter, Rumi, on "PROTECTOR." Other contributors include Post Malone, Miley Cyrus and country pioneer Linda Martell.

Beyoncé's genre pivot didn't come without its challenges; earlier this month, Bey revealed via Instagram how COWBOY CARTER came to fruition.

"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. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of country music and studied our rich musical archive. It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history."

She added that the "criticisms" she faced forced her to "propel past the limitations" she felt were placed on her. As she explained, "act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work."

Listen to COWBOY CARTER below while we marvel at just how bad our line dancing is. And remember, this isn't a country album—it's a Beyoncé album.

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