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Beyoncé’s Rep Speaks Out After Erykah Badu Questions ‘Cowboy Carter’ Album Cover

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Beyoncé‘s longtime publicist, Yvette Schure, is defending the GRAMMY winner after Erykah Badu seemingly shaded the vinyl cover art for the 42-year-old singer’s upcoming album, Cowboy Carter

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On Wednesday, Schure posted an Instagram Reel that featured a montage of Beyoncé rocking braids and beads throughout her career. “She slays. She slays. Now. Then. Always. #criticswithoutcredentials,” Schure captioned the post.

“Wake it up!” one commenter replied to the montage while another wrote, “Let em know Ms. Yvette!!! Ma’am you didn’t invent tall hats and beads. 🫠”

The post was shared after Badu uploaded an Instagram Story that many believed to be criticizing Beyoncé’s recently shared vinyl cover for Act II: Cowboy Carter. In the recent artwork posted on Wednesday, Beyoncé poses nude with a strategically placed beauty pageant-style sash hanging across her chest and hips as she holds a lit marijuana cigarette. The sash reads, “Act II Beyincé,” a reference to her mother, Tina Knowles’, maiden name.

Badu reshared Beyoncé’s album art on her Instagram Stories on Wednesday afternoon and wrote, “Hmmm.”

Erykah Badu's Instagram Story featuring Beyoncé's 'Cowboy Carter' vinyl album cover. – Erykah Badu/Instagram

Fans surmised that Badu was in arms over the superstar’s hair, which was in braids with multi-colored beads, a look that the 53-year-old often sports. 

Erykah Badu performing at LA3C in November 2023 – Elyse Jankowski/Billboard via Getty Images

But Schure wasn’t the only person to respond to Badu’s post. The soul singer was bombarded by messages from fans of Beyoncé on both Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). 

As many fans were quick to point out, the hairstyle isn’t exclusive to Badu. Not only has the hairstyle always been popular within the Black community in general, but many other Black artists, athletes and creatives have been known to sport it. 

Stevie Wonder at the 1977 Billboard Awards – Chris Walter/WireImageRick James performing at Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois in July 1980 – Natkin/Getty Images

As the situation escalated, Badu turned to Beyoncé’s husband for help. Alongside a laughing emoji, she wrote on X, “To Jay Z . Say somethin Jay . You’re gone let this woman and these bees do this to me ??”

JAY-Z has not responded.

Wednesday’s cover art reveal followed the first peek at the upcoming album’s artwork, which Beyoncé shared on Tuesday.

The singer posted a lengthy post to her Instagram page to mark the 10 days left before the highly anticipated album’s release. She expressed her gratitude to her fans for their support of her recently dropped singles, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages.” 

“I feel honored to be the first Black woman with the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart. That would not have happened without the outpouring of support from each and every one of you,” she wrote. “My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.”

Last month, Billboard announced that the Renaissance singer became the first Black female artist to top the Hot Country Songs chart with her single, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” The singer’s other new offering, “16 Carriages,” also cracked the Top 10 at No. 9.

Beyoncé went on to explain the idea behind Cowboy Carter was born after an unnamed incident “years ago.”

“This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t,” she recalled. “But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history.”

She continued, “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me. act ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.”

Teasing the upcoming release, Beyoncé wrote that she has a few surprises in store for the album, including several collaborations with “some brilliant artists who I deeply respect.”

“I hope that you can hear my heart and soul, and all the love and passion that I poured into every detail and every sound,” she wrote. “I focused on this album as a continuation of RENAISSANCE…I hope this music is an experience, creating another journey where you can close your eyes, start from the beginning and never stop.”

In conclusion, Beyoncé declared that Cowboy Carter isn’t a country album, as many have referred to it. “This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!” 

Fans can dive into the full experience of Act II: Cowboy Carter when it drops on March 29. 

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