Be ready, Beyhive: A revival is coming. Beyoncé will be experiencing a Renaissance with her seventh studio album — and Act I will be dropping extremely soon.
It’s been six years since Queen B released the universally acclaimed Lemonade, and four since Everything Is Love, her joint album released with her husband Jay-Z as The Carters. On Thursday (June 16), the Tidal streaming service and Columbia Records announced that she is finally returning for her new solo studio album, called Renaissance, this summer. Her social media bios have also changed to coincide with the announcement and list the date of the first release as July 29.
What Act I actually means has yet to be revealed, but fan accounts have begun parsing the metadata available across the web. For example, the Apple Music listing has unveiled the album to have a total of 16 tracks. On Beyonce’s website, four unique box sets with a physical CD, a T-shirt, a 28-page photo booklet, and a mini poster are available to pre-order.
The announcement of Renaissance arrives almost a week after Beyoncé erased all her social media profile pictures on Friday, June 10. Earlier this week, fans also spotted another hint of an upcoming album when the singer’s BeyGOOD Foundation Twitter account shared a collage of album covers to celebrate Black History Month, with an unknown image of a gloved hand pointing to Brandy’s album B7. As Renaissance would be Beyoncé’s seventh studio album, it would make sense to put two and two together.
Last year, Beyoncé did confirm in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar that she had been working on a new album for quite a while during the COVID-19 pandemic, even indirectly name-dropping the title.
“I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible,” she said to the magazine. “I’ve been in the studio for a year and a half. Sometimes it takes a year for me to personally search through thousands of sounds to find just the right kick or snare.”
In preparation for Renaissance, Queen Bey emanated magnificence and elegance for the July 2022 cover issue of British Vogue. The story also delved into some broad strokes of what we might be able to expect from the sound of Renaissance.
Since the tea-spilling of Lemonade in 2016, Beyoncé has worked on numerous projects. She starred as Nala in the 2019 musical remake of The Lion King and curated its soundtrack album called The Lion King: The Gift. On Juneteenth 2020, she released the surprise charity single “Black Parade,” and an online directory called "Black Parade Route" was launched alongside the song’s release to promote Black-owned small businesses.
Recently, Beyonce produced an original song “Be Alive” for the 2021 film King Richard, which in 2022 won a Hollywood Critics Association Award for Best Original Song and received several award nominations, including Best Original Song at the Academy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.