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‘Act III’ will be Beyoncé’s next album: Here are the 4 genres the Beyhive thinks it could be


beyonce cowboy carter press photo“Cowboy Carter” has already broken records as the most-streamed album in a single day in 2024 on Spotify.

Blair Caldwell/Parkwood

  • Following the release of “Cowboy Carter,” fans are speculating on the genre of Beyoncé’s next album.
  • Theories include a Latin-inspired or Spanish-language album, jazz, gospel, or rock.
  • Here are why these fan theories may be spot on or completely off.

Hold your horses, Beyhive: “Act II” just came out and you’re already thinking about “Act III?”

Following the Friday release of “Cowboy Carter,” Beyoncé’s genre-bending country album, fans of the award-winning singer are speculating on what she has up her sleeve for her next album.

After the “Renaissance” release in 2022, Beyoncé announced it would be a three-act project. It’s clear from her two releases — a house/disco album and a country album — that she’s wading into musical waters that she hasn’t showcased prominently in her work, leaving fans wondering: What could be next?

It’s unclear when “Act III” will drop, and Beyoncé could likely announce it in a surprise fashion as she did with “Act II” at the 2024 Super Bowl.

Here are some fan theories about “Act III”‘s genre and why they may be spot on or completely off.

A Latin-inspired or Spanish-language album

This one is probably being floated by Beyhive members desperate to get another Bey and Shakira collab (I get it). However, Bey has shown us that she can belt a tune in Spanish, thanks to her 2007 “Irreemplazable” album — Spanish recordings of songs from her “Irreplaceable” album.

She also references Latin, South American, and Spanish music in
“Cowboy Carter.” “Spaghettii” is believed to contain a sample from Brazilian funk artist DJ Dedé Mandrake, and “Flamenco” features the sultry sound of Spanish guitars and rhythmic clapping associated with the Spanish dance form.

Perhaps she’ll tap into the diaspora like she did with the African-inspired album “The Gift” and do one for the Afro-Latinos and Afro-Brazilians.

Jazz

Jazz’s roots begin in blues and ragtime music created by Black musicians in the early 1900s. This genre would make sense for “Act III” since one of Beyoncé’s goals is “honoring Black history” through her work, as a Friday press release from her company Parkwood Entertainment explained.

It also has a very sad history, with cities across the US banning the genre in the 1930s from being played due to its associations with impropriety — associations that were made due to the genre being a Black artistic form.

And although jazz isn’t as popular as it once was, the Beyhive wants to see it again. Beyoncé has never really delved into jazz in her previous work, although no one would say no if she decided to do it in “Act III.”

Gospel

Gospel would fit the theme of Beyoncé returning to her upbringing as she did in Cowboy Carter, which pays tribute to her family’s Southern roots. She grew up in the church tradition and attended St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston.

“Cowboy Carter” itself is also filled with religious references. On “American Requiiem” and “Amen,” her rich gospel vocals shine. In “Just For Fun,” her lyrics speak of prayer and healing (“Cause time heals everything/I don’t need anything/Hallelujah/I pray to her.”)

“Act I” also features “Church Girl” — a critique of the stifling, and sometimes hypocritical, standards imposed on women in Christian communities that samples gospel legends The Clark Sisters.

Rock

Rock is the most popular theory, with thousands of fans commenting on what collaborations Bey could add to this hypothetical record. Maybe alternative rock band Paramore should get a verse or two. Or perhaps she and Willow should duet.

A rock album would align with Beyoncé’s mission to reclaim art forms created by Black musicians, and “Cowboy Carter” is chock full of rock references. For example, Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline” plays amid radio static in the “Smoke Hour” interlude. Berry is considered by many to be the true father of Rock and Roll.

There is also the interpolation of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” on “American Requiem,” references to Nancy Sinatra and the Beach Boys in “Ya Ya,” a cover of “Blackbird” by The Beatles, and a supposed interpolation of Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” in “II Most wanted.”

Beyoncé has also dabbled in rock before — let’s not forget “Don’t Hurt Yourself” on her 2016 album “Lemonade,” featuring White Stripes guitarist Jack White

Regardless of what genre she decides to do, it’s obvious that the Beyhive will be seated. “Cowboy Carter” has already broken records as the most-streamed album in a single day in 2024 on Spotify, and Beyoncé became the first Black female artist to reach #1 on the Hot 100 chart for her song “Texas Hold Em.'”

Representatives for Beyoncé did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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