Beyoncé's 'Cowboy Carter' comes 'round, 'round, 'round this week. Here's what we know

Howdy, “Cowboy Carter.”

Almost two years after Beyoncé ushered fans into her glitzy disco “Renaissance,” the countdown for her latest album is finally on. “Cowboy Carter,” the second act of the pop diva’s promised “Renaissance” trilogy, lands later this week — and with it, a bounty of material for the Beyhive.

Beyoncé enters her “Cowboy Carter” era months after revealing the new album, and dropping two singles, during Super Bowl LVIII in February. Since then, the 32-time Grammy winner has shared several album images, topped Billboard’s country-music chart, dropped “Cowboy Carter” merchandise and more.

In a rare post directly addressing fans, Beyoncé revealed that “Cowboy Carter” has been in the works for more than five years.

“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,” she wrote.

With mere days to go before “Cowboy Carter” arrives, here’s what we know so far about Beyoncé’s newest release — from its track list to the merchandise drop.

When does ‘Cowboy Carter’ come out?

“Cowboy Carter,” Beyoncé’s eighth studio album, is set to drop at 9 p.m. Pacific on Thursday.

The superstar, 42, announced her album’s release date on Super Bowl Sunday with a video promoting the single “Texas Hold ‘Em.” The clip briefly read, “act ii 3.29.” Beyoncé’s big game announcement was met with shock on social media. Celebrity fans, including Issa Rae, Queen Latifah, Lil Nas X, Ziwe and Brandi Carlile, voiced their excitement in the Instagram comments.

“Herstory!!!!!!,” Ziwe wrote.

“WHAT,” Rae commented.

Country music star Carlile said, “Omg she’s swimming out to save country.”

Is ‘Cowboy Carter’ a country album?

No. Take it from Beyoncé herself.

Upon revealing the album’s name and sharing the album art, the singer declared: “This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album.” She wrote in an Instagram missive that “Cowboy Carter” originated from an experience “where I did not feel welcomed … and it was very clear that I wasn’t.”

The “Break My Soul” singer did not share more details about her experience but said it prompted her to take “a deeper dive into the history of Country music,” where she “studied our rich musical archive.”

“It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world,” she wrote, “while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history.”

Despite her message, Beyoncé’s twangy “Cowboy Carter” singles “Texas Hold ’Em” and “16 Carriages” climbed up Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart upon release. “Texas Hold ’Em” has secured the No. 1 spot since its release, while the slower “16 Carriages” cracked the Top 10 in February.

How many songs on ‘Cowboy Carter?’ Any guest artists?

Beyoncé has kept “Cowboy Carter” details — including the track list and featured artists — under tight lock and key, much to some fans’ frustration.

“Beyoncé drop the tracklist and shift the conversation,” one fan on X (formerly Twitter) captioned a .GIF of reality TV star Nene Leakes taking a deep exhale.

“so…where’s the tracklist? @Beyoncé,” another fan tweeted.

Additionally, the Beyhive speculated that the absence of a track list days before the album drop could mean there are features from other major pop artists.

Beyoncé teased on Instagram that she has a “few surprises” in store for “Cowboy Carter” listeners and “collaborated with some brilliant artists who I deeply respect,” but didn’t list any names.

“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 added.

Any word about potential “Cowboy Carter” music hasn’t come from Beyoncé but rather from other celebrities, including Dolly Parton.

The country music darling said in an interview earlier this month that she thinks Beyoncé recorded a cover of her beloved song “Jolene.” Parton, 78, told the Knox News Sentinel, “it’s probably gonna be on her country music album.”

A representative for Beyoncé did not respond to The Times’ request for confirmation at the time.

Is there ‘Cowboy Carter’ merchandise?

Yes, and it all can be found in Beyoncé’s online shop.

Currently, the Beyhive can shop for limited-edition CDs, vinyls (in red, white, blue and black) and box sets that include a white T-shirt with a red or black photo of Beyoncé, a CD with a limited-edition cover and a “unique back image” from her various “Cowboy Carter” shoots.

Most items in the current merch drop tout an image of the “Hustler” singer adding her own twist to the Statue of Liberty and its signature raised-arm pose. With long, beaded braids, Beyoncé holds a smoky cigar in her right hand, covers her chest with her left hand and poses in the nude, with a sash reading “act ii Beyincé” the only thing covering her body.

ICYMI: The sash’s “Beyincé” is not a typo, but rather a nod to an alternate spelling of Beyoncé’s mother‘s family name.

How can I listen to the new album?

“Cowboy Carter” won’t drop until Thursday evening for West Coast listeners, but in the meantime, Beyoncé fans can take steps to ensure they won’t miss a beat.

Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal users can pre-save “Cowboy Carter” via Beyoncé’s website. After that, they’ll just need patience until Thursday night, when they can finally get down, down, down.

Times staff writer Nardine Saad contributed to this report.

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