Did The 2016 CMA Awards Inspire Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter?’

We’re now less than two weeks away from Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter. While fans wait for the project to drop, they have a new question to ponder:

Did The 2016 CMA Awards Inspire Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter?

When Beyoncé revealed the Cowboy Carter album cover art on March 19, it was accompanied by a lengthy post telling some of the story behind the project. She wrote that the album was “born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed,” an experience that prompted her to educate herself more about the history of country music. A common fan theory is that Beyoncé is referring to the 2016 CMA Awards, where she and the Dixie Chicks (now The Chicks) performed “Daddy Lessons” together.

Read Beyoncé’s message in full below.

“Today marks the 10-day countdown until the release of act ii. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the supporters of 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. 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.

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. 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.

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.

I have a few surprises on the album, and have collaborated 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.

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.

This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album. This is act ii COWBOY CARTER, and I am proud to share it with y’all!”

Check out some tweets about Beyoncé and the CMAs below.

Cowboy Carter is out 3/29 via Parkwood Entertainment/Columbia Records. Find more information here.