Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Collaborators Speak Out (Exclusive)

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    Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Collaborators Speak Out (Exclusive)


    Beyoncé‘s Cowboy Carter was the talk of Texas during Sunday’s CMT Music Awards, with several of her collaborators floating down the red carpet on cloud nine. 

    “Literally, this is a dream come true,” Reyna Roberts gushed to ET’s Cassie DiLaura at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas. “Beyoncé is my favorite artist and to be here tonight at the CMT Awards, I’m just grateful that all these things are happening in my life.” 

    Cowboy Carter debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 chart, as well as the Top Country Albums chart, after dropping on March 29. The 27-track album includes features from country icons Willie Nelson and Dolly Parton, as well as Post Malone and Miley Cyrus. The GRAMMY-winning artist also made sure to include a host of Black rising stars in country music, including Roberts, Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy, Brittney Spencer, Willie Jones and Shaboozey.

    But, to be clear: Beyoncé has declared that Cowboy Carter “isn’t a country album, it’s a Beyoncé album.” 

    Beyoncé's 'Cowboy Carter' album cover. – Beyonce

    For Jones, who lends his vocals to the track “Just for Fun,” the project is an all-American piece of art. 

    “It’s really a history lesson about music and, really, about America,” he shared with ET. “I love how she really dug her roots deep for this one and brought out all the stops.” 

    He’s also been deeply moved by the support of the BeyHive, offering a playful nod to Beyoncé’s loyal and vocal fandom. 

    “All I got to say is, shout-out to the Bey Hive,” he quipped on the red carpet. “Shout-out to the cocoon, critters, all the caterpillars, all the bees. The Bees be spreading the good news on Twitter.” 

    As for how the partnership came to be, Jones shared that he was away at a retreat at the time he was approached for the project. 

    “I got the call and I dropped everything,” he said. “I was really excited.” 

    Willie Jones at the 2024 CMT Music Awards held at the Moody Center on April 7, 2024 in Austin, Texas. – Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty Images

    Amid the thrill of working on Beyoncé’s highly anticipated album, keeping the details under wraps was no small feat for these collaborators. 

    “It was hard, but it also wasn’t hard,” Kennedy told ET with a laugh. “‘Cause I was like, ‘I’m not telling anybody because I want to stay on this album!'” 

    Roberts echoed the sentiment, joking, “I’m not about about get in trouble. I’m saying nothing.” 

    Spencer called it “the most overstimulating experience of my life” to keep her involvement close hold. 

    “Nothing can prepare you for the Beyoncé effect,” she admitted. “So I’m glad that I had some time to myself to kinda, like, you know, just sit in my little solitude in my memory bank.” 

    She also offered heartfelt thanks to the 42-year-old “Texas Hold ‘Em” singer. 

    “Beyoncé, you are the artist of your generation,” she remarked. “I love you, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of his incredible masterpiece.” 

    Roberts, Adell, Kennedy and Spencer’s vocals are included in Bey’s stunning “BLACKBIIRD” cover, and came together in person to serve as presenters during Sunday’s awards ceremony. 

    Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts and Brittney Spencer speak onstage at the 2024 CMT Music Awards held at the Moody Center on April 7, 2024 in Austin, Texas. – Gilbert Flores/Billboard via Getty Images

    Backstage, Adell joked with ET that she’s never felt more rested since Cowboy Carter dropped. 

    “I haven’t been able to sleep and since the album came out, I’ve been sleeping like a baby,” she cracked. “I have been celebrating with nine to 10 hours of sleep every night.” 

    She added, “I feel great. No worries. Not a worry in the world.” 

    ET also spoke with Mickey Guyton, who is not included on the album but did — literally — get her flowers from Bey, receiving a sweet floral arrangement from the star on release day. The kind gesture included a note thanking Guyton — who made history as the first Black artist to earn a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Album — for making country music more accessible to fellow Black artists. 

    “There were waterworks, there were knees buckling,” Guyton said of the gift. “There was an audible gasp. Yes, yes. it was really, really awesome. To even be acknowledged for what I’ve done, and it just means a lot.”

    Hosted by Kelsea Ballerini, the 2024 CMT Music Awards took place at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas on Sunday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The show aired on CBS and is available to stream on demand via Paramount+.

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