It will be Beyonce Knowles’ first drop of new solo music since 2016’s “Lemonade,” which was itself a surprise release and her sixth solo album. “Renaissance” will mark her seventh, though the secondary title, “act i,” suggests it’s part of a larger, or multi-part, project.
The “will she or won’t she” guessing had started less than two weeks prior when Knowles wiped clean her social media channels, signaling that an announcement of some kind was coming. Then on June 15, the singer’s BeyGOOd Foundation tweeted a message in honor of Black Music Month, posting an image of iconic albums and captioning the collage: “Celebrating the brilliance and creativity of Black Musicians who have influenced the world through their art.”
It appeared one of the albums pictured, on the bottom right, referenced Brandy’s “B7” album, released in 2020, but it took no time for members of the Beyhive to connect the dots and conclude that Bey’s seventh was coming.
Since 2011’s “4,” she has been releasing music through her own Parkwood label, in partnership with Columbia Records, the singer’s longtime home since the Destiny’s Child years. And being one of the biggest multi-hyphenate superstars on earth — with 28 Grammy Awards and 79 nominations to her name — she’s not exactly bound to a music company’s timeline.
According to data from Luminate, Beyonce’s album sales as a solo artist in the U.S. top 18 million; she’s sold more than 60 million digital tracks and boasts an airplay audience of more than 60 billion. “Lemonade” sold the equivalent of 3.6 million track- and song-equivalent albums in the U.S., per Luminate.