CATEGORY IS: BAD B*TCH!

Beyoncé pays homage to ballroom legends with her 7th studio album RENNESSAINCE ACT I…

For this highly anticipated album, Beyoncé says on her website, “Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you.” 

For this highly anticipated album, Beyoncé says on her website, “Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you.” 

The 16-track album is a groovy body of work that explores the melodies of House, Disco, and Afro-Tech genres and serves as a love letter to Black queer pioneers of dance music from the past and present. The song “Pure/Honey,” we hear the voices of two others: the Kevins. Kevin Aviance, drag legend and the nightlife staple, becomes the beat, sampled from his 1999 iconic classic, “Cunty.” Bounce music legend Big Freedia on the hit single “Break My Soul”; ballroom and drag soundbites from TS Madison, Moi Renee, MikeQ, Kevin Aviance, and Kevin JZ Prodigy on tracks like “Cozy” and “Pure/Honey”; and electronic DJ Honey Dijon having a hand in producing “Cozy” and “Alien Superstar,” these contributions are felt all throughout the album, and wouldn’t be what is without them. On a personal level, Beyoncé’s gay uncle and godmother, Jonny, was also an influence. Aside from highlighting him on the track “Heated,” she also acknowledged him in an open letter to fans before the album’s release.

“He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album,” she said of Jonny, who died of complications from AIDS when Beyoncé was 17. “Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you.”

They lead the way for the star to make her most direct reference to the ballroom scene yet on Renaissance, her iconic ode to safe spaces. House music has always been Black and was built off the backs of Black women and Black queer and gender non-conforming folks. So, it’s truly amazing to see an artist of Beyoncé’s caliber putting ballroom and drag scenes into mainstream pop music.

The wardrobe styling was led by two of her main stylists, Marni Senofonte and KJ Moody, and supported by a team of assistant stylists. 

Discover the full photo gallery on beyonce.com.


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