Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter Features List Is Absolutely Loaded

Linda Martell, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Post Malone, and Miley Cyrus?!
Published: 3 April 2024

Today’s the day. After months of anticipation, Beyoncé has finally released Cowboy Carter, the country-inspired follow-up to Renaissance. Cowboy Carter is the second entry in a planned trilogy of albums—though the artist just revealed that it was meant to be Act I. “I was initially going to put Cowboy Carter out first,” said Beyoncé in a press statement, “but with the pandemic, there was too much heaviness in the world. We wanted to dance. But I had to trust God’s timing.”

Like its predecessor, Cowboy Carter features plenty of stellar collaborators. First up are budding country stars Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, and Tiera Kennedy, who appear on a cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” In the Cowboy Carter version, Beyoncé trades the Beatles’ hum for a smoky, bluesy melody. Later on, her youngest daughter, Rumi, gets a brief cameo to request “the lullaby.” Cue “Protector,” Beyoncé’s touching ode to motherhood.

Then country legend Willie Nelson makes an appearance in a radio-show-inspired interlude. “Welcome to ‘The Smoke Hour’ on KNTRY Radio Texas,” he says. “You know my name, no need to know yours / Now, for this next tune, I want y’all to sit back, inhale / And go to the good place your mind likes to wander off to / And if you don’t wanna go, go find yourself a jukebox.” Nelson’s message is followed by the charts-topping single “Texas Hold ’Em,”

Then, just when you think Cowboy Carter can’t get any better, Dolly Parton (!) shows up. “Hey, Ms. Honeybee, it’s Dolly P,” she says. “You know that hussy with the good hair you sing about? Reminded me of someone I knew back when / Except she has flamin’ locks of auburn hair.” With Dolly’s stamp of approval, Beyoncé delivers a Sasha Fierce-coded cover of “Jolene.”

Later on, in “Spaghetti,” Beyoncé loops in Black country star Linda Martell to talk about the concept of legacies, before breaking into a rap duet with Shaboozey to remind us of their star power. (As if we could forget.) Afterwards, Nelson returns to announce “Smoke Hour II,” ushering in the second half of the album. “Sometimes you don’t know what you like until someone you trust turns you on to some real good shit,” he says.

The real good shit? It’s just beginning. Next up is country singer and former X Factor contestant Willie Jones, who is featured on the ballad “Just for Fun.” Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus (!!) shows up to sing her heart out in the unexpected (but perfect) duet “Most Wanted.” Moments later, Post Malone appears on “Levi’s Jeans,” followed by Linda Martell again in “The Linda Martell Show.” Before closing the album with a heartfelt reflection in “Amen,” Beyoncé reunites with Shaboozey for some well-deserved fun in “Sweet Honey Buckin.”

I don’t know if you’ve been counting along with us, but that’s a whopping 12 features. Like Renaissance, Cowboy Carter is a team effort—and the result is one of Beyoncé’s greatest records.

Originally published on Esquire US

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