Beyoncé at the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards held at the Dolby Theatre on April 1, 2024 in Los Angel...


5 Predictions For Beyoncé's 'Act III' Album

Rock, jazz, and gospel are all on the table.

With Renaissance and Cowboy Carter, Beyoncé has offered a keen look at what genre reinvention at the highest level looks like. Her ongoing album trilogy — in which she’s already reworked electronic music — and her latest country release have both broken records and boundaries alike. But where does she go from here?

Now that the yeehaw excitement around Cowboy Carter has started to die down, it’s time to look ahead and ask what’s in store for Act III. Below, we offer our best predictions for the project, drummed up from fan theories online, chatter we’ve seen in the Twittersphere, and more — in order from most likely to least likely.

A rock album

As many many fans have already theorized, if we’re following the logic of Renaissance and Cowboy Carters — albums that explored genres with Black roots that are nowadays more associated with white performers — then rock is the most natural answer for Act III. There’s a well of Black musical history to draw from — like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who combined her gospel music with electric guitar — and plenty of white rock canon Beyoncé could easily flip and offer her take on, like she did with country on Cowboy Carter.

The only potential problem with this is, well, Cowboy Carter sorta already leans a little rockish. She covers The Beatles and the Beach Boys, and there are multiple moments where the electric guitar supersedes the acoustic (“Ya Ya,” for example). (The album was also allegedly inspired by rocker Jack White.) So maybe she can take this two ways: go heavy-metal rock or pop-punk rock.

Jazz or Gospel

Two other genres that align with the logic of Renaissance and Cowboy Carter are jazz and gospel. The former was an offshoot of blues and ragtime music invented by Black musicians in the 1900s, while the latter was brought out of the church and onto the charts by huge names like Mahalia Jackson. Notably, Beyoncé hasn’t dabbled much in either sound, which means Act III could be ripe for her to offer her vision of those genres.

A back-to-basics R&B album

It’s true an R&B album would deviate from the logic of Renaissance and Cowboy Carter, but we’re bringing this into consideration simply due to the fact that it’s been a while since Beyoncé has put out a real R&B record. Plus, with success from artists like Coco Jones and Victoria Monét, the sound is experiencing a massive resurgence right now — and, if timed right, a Beyoncé R&B record could be a massive turning point for the genre.

A collaboration with Jay-Z

While the least exciting option on this list, this is something we’re putting on the table because of who said it. In 2022, New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan claimed (in a since-deleted tweet) that he heard Act II would be an “acoustic album” and Act III would be a “collaboration with Jay-Z.”

Now we know that Act II isn’t exactly an acoustic album, but it’s also not not an acoustic album, which means there may still be some truth to his statement. And a collaboration with Jay-Z could still mean anything in terms of genre, so while an Everything Is Love part 2 isn’t exactly the most appealing, a proper Beyoncé rap album — which would meet the initial criteria — could be.

A Destiny’s Child reunion album

Would this be random? Yes. Could it happen? Theoretically, yes. Do people actually think this could happen? Yes — so much so they’re asking Kelly Rowland, who very firmly avoided the question. There are some solid reasons behind this train of thinking, mostly that the former girl group members have been spotted together a lot in recent months. Rowland, Michelle Williams, and former members LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson all attended the premiere of Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé. And, more recently, Williams and Beyoncé helped ring in Rowland’s husband’s birthday in Las Vegas. These could be signs, or just evidence of healthy friendships. Still, we wouldn’t be mad about it.