Beyoncé Unites Black Women Country Artists On “BLACKBIIRD”

On Friday (March 29), Beyoncé introduced the world to COWBOY CARTER and brought a group of talented musicians to the forefront. The 27-track album features top charting artists such as Post Malone and Miley Cyrus, living legends Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Linda Martell, and emerging genre bender Shaboozey. Her youngest daughter Rumi Carter even makes an appearance.

In addition to the aforementioned guest stars at the Houston singer’s rodeo, one of the most intentional moves comes in track two titled “BLACKBIIRD,” a cover of The Beatles’ track “Blackbird.” Written by Paul McCartney, the moving song was inspired by the plight of Black Americans during the Civil Rights Movement and featured on the group’s 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as The White Album).

“I was sitting around with my acoustic guitar, and I’d heard about the Civil Rights troubles that were happening in the ’[19]60s, in Alabama, Mississippi, [and] Little Rock, in particular, so that was in my mind, and I just thought it’d be really good if I could write something that if it ever reached any of the people going through those problems, it might give them a little bit of hope. So, I wrote ‘Blackbird,’” shared McCartney with GQ in 2018.

He continued, “And in England, a bird is a girl, so I was thinking of a Black girl… now is your time to arise, set yourself free, and take these broken wings. One of the nice things about music is that you know that a lot of people listening to you are going to take seriously what you are saying in the song. I’m very proud of the fact that The Beatles’ output is always really pretty positive.”

In 2016, McCartney met Thelma Mothershed Wair and Elizabeth Eckford, two members of the Little Rock 9, and credited them for their historic efforts.

This intention to center Black girls and women made by McCartney was echoed by Beyoncé as she lassoed together rising Black women to assist her vocally in the empowering song. Tanner Addell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy, and Reyna Roberts all join the global music icon for her take on “BLACKBIIRD.”

(L-R) Tanner Addell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts

Catherine Powell/Getty Images for Paramount+; Mike Coppola/Getty Images; Jason Kempin/Getty Images; Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Tanner Addell, with roots in Lexington, KY., and Manhattan Beach, Calif., has expanded her profile through social media with a growing audience on TikTok. Her debut album, Buckle Bunny, was released in 2023. She even references Mrs. Carter in the title track, singing, “Looking like Beyoncé with a lasso.”

Brittney Spencer has played multiple times at the Grand Ole Opry, and has earned cosigns from Maren Morris and Amanda Shires for her vocal talents and artistry. Tiera Kennedy is an Alabama native and according to her website is readying her debut album led by the single “I Ain’t A Cowgirl.”

Reyna Roberts is widely known for her July 2020 debut single, “Stompin’ Grounds,” and has an EP, an album, and multiple tracks under her belt. She grew up on the sounds of Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Gretchen Wilson, and The Chicks, per PEOPLE, the perfect combination for a COWBOY CARTER guest artist.

After all, this “ain’t a country album [but] is a ‘Beyoncé’ album,” as the mother of three noted ahead of COWBOY CARTER’s release.

In the same open letter, the Grammy Award-winning artist described the LP as “a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work,” adding, there are “a few surprises” and noting that she had “collaborated with some brilliant artists who I deeply respect.”

The one-hour-and-18-minute listening experience is heavily rooted in Country music and includes additional influences from Funk, Gospel, Folk/Americana, Blues, House, Hip-Hop, and R&B.

Check out COWBOY CARTER, and Beyoncé’s take on “BLACKBIIRD” above.