Beyoncé Earns Eighth No. 1 Album With Cowboy Carter


Beyoncé has topped the Billboard charts once again. Cowboy Carter debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking the biggest sales for an album so far in 2024, and No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart, making Beyoncé the first Black woman to ever debut at the summit, reports Billboard. This is the eighth time Beyoncé’s had a solo album reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, too, breaking the previous record for a female artist to do so – set by herself with Renaissance in August 2022.

Cowboy Carter debuted with 407,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending April 4, according to Luminate. Of that number, 232,000 units are from streaming (which Billboard notes was Beyoncé’s biggest streaming week ever), 168,000 are traditional album sales, and 7,000 are track equivalent albums. All of those helped Cowboy Carter scoop up the best sales week for a country album since last July, when Taylor Swift’s Speak Now landed at the top with 716,000 copies.

After teasing the album as Act II with a Verizon commercial following the Super Bowl LVIII game, Beyoncé shared just two songs from Cowboy Carter:Texas Hold ’Em” and “16 Carriages.” Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Linda Martell make guest appearances on the album, while Miley Cyrus, Post Malone, and Tanner Adell all sing on tracks. Beyoncé recently shared the full list of credits for Cowboy Carter, which notes additional collaborations with Pharrell Williams, Jon Batiste, Nile Rodgers, Raphael Saadiq, Jay-Z, The-Dream, and Ryan Tedder.

Beyoncé covers the Beatles’ “Blackbird” and Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” on Cowboy Carter. Paul McCartney praised her cover of the 1968 ballad, saying, “I am so happy with Beyoncé’s version of my song ‘Blackbird.’ I think she does a magnificent version of it and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place.”

Renaissance, the seventh studio album by Beyoncé, came out in July 2022. It was originally billed as Act I: Renaissance, implying future releases would follow suit. While the album never got traditional music videos, there was a “cliquebait” clip for “Break My Soul,” a “brand campaign anthem film” for Tiffany & Co. featuring “Summer Renaissance,” and a concert film that played in theaters worldwide. Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé was the No. 1 movie in the U.S. during its debut weekend and, as of January 11, raised over $44.4 million worldwide.

Last year, Beyoncé broke the record for the most Grammys won by an artist in the award show’s history after taking home four trophies that night. “Break My Soul” was nominated for Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Dance/Electronic Recording at the 2023 Grammy Awards, but Beyoncé only won the latter, causing some controversy. On the Cowboy Carter track “Sweet ★ Honey ★ Buckiin,’” she references her storied history with the Grammy Awards, singing, “A-O-T-Y, I ain’t win/I ain’t stuntin’ ‘bout them/Take that shit on the chin.”