Renaissance, the long-awaited seventh studio album by Beyoncé, is out officially — and fans are ready to release the wiggle.
“Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world,” Beyoncé wrote on her website, revealing that she created the album over the last three years of the pandemic.
“It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment,” she wrote. “A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking, a place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration.”
On Wednesday, the album leaked early on certain parts of the internet. Beyoncé thanked fans for waiting for the full release, saying she had never seen anything like it. “I appreciate you for calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early,” she wrote. “It means the world to me.”
She announced that this 16-track album is act one of three, so there will be so much more music to come.
The artist gave a special tribute to her Uncle Jonny, who died from complications caused by HIV. “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 wrote.
Beyoncé dedicated her Vanguard GLAAD Media Award in 2019 to Jonny, the nephew of her mother Tina, calling him “the most fabulous gay man I ever knew” in her speech at the time.
In the song “Heated,” she sings his name, and ends the track with the lyrics “Uncle Jonny made my dress / That cheap spandex, she looks a mess.”
“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,” she wrote in her Renaissance announcement. “This is a celebration for you.”
For her album, Beyoncé worked with a number of LGBTQ artists. The song “Pure/Honey” is a tribute to ballroom culture, and samples drag queen Moi Renee.
People have noticed that the transitions between songs are incredible.
In her song “Energy,” Beyoncé says, “'Cause them Karens just turned into terrorists," and people were shook.
“To all of my fans: I hope you find joy in this music, I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle ha!” she wrote. “And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are.”