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MTV Europe Music Awards 2003 - Arrivals

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Late last night, Tidal revealed the release of Beyoncé new album, Renaissance and fans are overjoyed. Days before, Beyoncé generated buzz by removing her profile pictures form her social media accounts, causing fans to discuss what could be next for Queen Bey. Contrary to her last two solo albums, this seems to be a more thoughtful and strategic rollout.

It’s been 6 years since Lemonade and 9 years since her self-titled album Beyoncé were released. These two projects served as an innovative way for artists to rollout albums by simply surprising fans and dropping it out the blue. Subsequently, the release of Beyoncé in 2013 became one of the most transformative moments in music.

The promotional photo Tidal released last night suggests “Act I” of Renaissance will debut July 29. That’s a little over a month out, and far more time than Beyoncé releasing a visual album like Lemonade on a whim in 2016. Beyoncé’s social media profiles have since been updated to correspond with the release date. We are unsure of her plans, but there are only a few possibilities with this project. Either Beyoncé plans to release additional installments or “Acts” to Renaissance after this first drop or it will be divided into multiple parts with the first being released on the 29th. Only time will tell.

There are pre-orders for multiple editions of a box set for the album on her site now. No album art or trackless has been revealed yet.

Beyoncé did reveal that she was working on new music in an interview last summer, even mentioning the word renaissance: “With all the isolation and injustice over the past year, I think we are all ready to escape, travel, love, and laugh again. I feel a renaissance emerging, and I want to be part of nurturing that escape in any way possible. 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. One chorus can have up to 200 stacked harmonies. Still, there’s nothing like the amount of love, passion, and healing that I feel in the recording studio. After 31 years, it feels just as exciting as it did when I was nine years old. Yes, the music is coming!”

Renaissance is out 7/29. Pre-order it here.

Take a look at Beyoncé’s past album rollouts over the years:

1. The Lion King: The Gift – 2019


On July 9, 2019, it was revealed that Beyoncé produced and curated a soundtrack album titled The Lion King: The Gift, which features fresh songs inspired by the film. 

Beyoncé called the album “sonic cinema” and said that the film “is a new experience of storytelling”, and that the album “is influenced by everything from R&B, pop, hip hop and Afrobeat.” Beyoncé also said that “[she] wanted to put everyone on their own journey to link the storyline” and that the songs were inspired by the remake’s storyline, which “gives the listener a chance to imagine their own imagery, while listening to a new contemporary interpretation.” The songs were also produced by African producers, which Beyoncé said was because “authenticity and heart were important to [her]”, since the film is set in Africa.

The tracklist was revealed through Beyoncé’s official website on July 16, 2019.

2. Homecoming: The Live Album


The album was released on April 17, 2019, to coincide with the release of Homecoming, a documentary about her infamous BEYchella set that premiered on Netflix.

On January 4, 2017, Beyoncé was set to headline Coachella festival. However, on February 23, she postponed her performance until the following year, due to doctor’s concerns regarding her pregnancy with twins (born in June 2017). She performed her rescheduled dates in 2018, becoming the first Black woman to headline the festival.

The following year, some 100 dancers as well as her sister Solange, her husband Jay-Z, and her former girl group Destiny’s Child joined Beyoncé on stage. She played a 26-song set to 125,000 concert-goers in attendance as well as millions watching via the live-stream on YouTube and subsequent playback. The set sampled Malcolm X and Nina Simone among others. The performance has been credited as paying a strong tribute to the HBCU experience.

The rollout of Beychella was promotion in itself. 

3. Lemonade – 2016


It’s impossible to forget the impact that Lemonade had on Beyoncé fans around the world. Every fan can recall where they were when the 12-track album debuted alongside an hour-long visual album.

Unlike Beyoncé’s self-titled album, Lemonade’s release was significantly more strategic. The visual album was released on HBO, followed shortly by the release of  the award-winning singer’s sixth solo studio album. It was shocking, but not as surprising to fans who have been following every move of Beyoncé’s iconic career. 

Still, the world stopped when she laid it all out there with this album. A moment that only Beyoncé could create. 


4. Beyoncé – 2013


Beyoncé’s self-titled album is still one of the most impactful moments in music.  

Queen Bey surprised fans with the release of her legendary self-titled album, Beyoncé.  She single-handedly changed the game as there was absolutely no promotion. No warning or prelude. Just dropped a musical bomb on the world, altering the way artists release music.

The album was released on December 13, 2013, by Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. Similar to her next release Lemonade, it was developed as a “visual album,” with songs that were accompanied by non-linear short films that illustrate the musical concepts conceived during production.

While album releases traditionally had been followed by months of promotion and huge marketing rollouts, the singer’s eponymous 2013 album Beyoncé helped inspire the ongoing wave of sly, unannounced releases. Since her 2013 album dropped surprisingly on the Internet, an unprovoked release has become the A-list norm, with artists ranging from Drake to Rihanna and even U2 following suit thereafter.

5. 4 – 2011


4 debuted June 24, 2011. It was traditionally promoted in mid-2011 by a series of television performances and festival appearances, such as Beyoncé’s headlining Glastonbury Festival set. It was her fourth consecutive album to debut at number one on the US Billboard 200,

It was a huge moment in Beyoncé’s career where she severed professional ties with father and manager Mathew Knowles. 4‘s lyrics emphasize monogamy, female empowerment and self-reflection. In May 2011, Beyoncé submitted a whopping 72 songs to her label for consideration, 12 of which appeared on the standard edition.

6. B’Day – 2006


B’Day was released in the US through Columbia Records on September 5, 2006, the day after Beyoncé’s 25th birthday. 

Beyoncé appeared on various television and award shows from mid-2006 until mid-2007 to promote the album. She performed its lead single “Déjà Vu” with Jay-Z at the BET Awards 2006 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. At the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards on August 31, 2006, she performed “Ring the Alarm” wearing a flowing trench coat, a corset and hotpants.

On September 5, the day B’Day was released, Beyoncé made an appearance on TRL. In a classic episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show which aired on September 5, Beyoncé performed “Déjà Vu” and “Irreplaceable.”

She promoted the album in the UK, performing her hits “Irreplaceable”, “Ring the Alarm” and “Crazy in Love” on Popworld on October 27, 2006. Beyoncé also opened the 2006 World Music Awards on November 15, with the performance of “Déjà Vu” and “Ring the Alarm,” performing “Irreplaceable” later during the show.

7. Dangerously in Love – 2003


Dangerously in Love is the debut studio album by famed singer and songwriter Beyoncé. It was released on June 20, 2003, through Columbia Records and Music World Entertainment. During the recording of Destiny’s Child’s third studio album Survivor, the group announced that they would produce solo albums to be released. 

The struggle to release her debut album is most likely why she uses her notoriety to release new projects however the hell she wants.

Beyoncé said that she had trouble convincing executives at her label to release the album. The singer recounted that it almost was not released: “In 2003, I had my first solo album. But when I played it through for my record label, they told me I didn’t have one hit on my album. I guess they were kinda right, I had five. “Dangerously in Love”, “Naughty Girl”, “Me, Myself and I”, “Baby Boy” and “Crazy in Love.”


While Beyoncé was wrapping up the album, several of its songs had leaked online. In efforts to prevent more tracks in the album from being spread illegally, as well as being a victim of bootlegging,[19] Columbia Records, with high commercial expectations from the album,[11] pulled the release of Dangerously in Love to June 24, 2003, two weeks ahead of the planned July 8 release.

Buyers who pre-ordered the album online received links where they could download a song titled “I Can’t Take No More” and the promo lasted until the album’s release. On June 14, 2003, Beyoncé premiered songs from the album during her first solo concert and the pay-per-view television special, Ford Presents Beyoncé Knowles, Friends & Family, Live From Ford’s 100th Anniversary Celebration in Dearborn, Michigan. By the night of the album’s release, Beyoncé’s concert was broadcast in over twenty theaters across the US.

Beyoncé also traditionally promoted the album by performing on television shows such as Saturday Night Live, Late Show with David Letterman, Today, The Early Show, and The View.

Beyoncé further promoted it with her Dangerously in Love Tour in November 2003.

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