So, it’s been almost a week since new album RENAISSANCE dropped. The hit album is projected to have the biggest opening week of the year. So far, Beyoncé has sold over 25,000 copies on vinyl. And in its first day of release, Renaissance amassed over 50.6 million on-demand official streams in the U.S. Then on its second and third days of release, the tracks garnered 30.9 million and 21.7 million hits. Even better, at the center of this new hit album is the spirit of queer Black man who bettered Beyoncé ‘s life.
As the album dropped last week, fans found that Beyoncé included an open letter with the album. In it, the singing sensation dedicated her album to her children, her husband, her family, LGBTQ pioneers, and, specifically, her uncle Johnny.
Here is a special message from Beyoncé. #RENAISSANCE
Dedicated to her children, her husband, her family, her Godmother Uncle Johnny, and to the LGBTQ+ community and all of the pioneers who originated the culture and the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized. pic.twitter.com/hm6Om9fi52
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) July 28, 2022
“A big thank you to my Uncle Jonny,” the letter reads. “He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album. Thank you to all of the pioneers who originate culture, to all of the fallen angels whose contributions have gone unrecognized for far too long. This is a celebration for you.”
And now, and older tribute from, Solange Knowles, Beyoncé’s sister who also boasters her own successful singing career, has resurfaced. Solange shared her tribute from 2020 through her secondary Instagram profile, @cancersznisforever.
“This is my uncle [Jonny]. I miss him a whole lot today. He was my nanny from 2 until 7, my caretaker, my best friend, my partner in crime (insert cocktail, and Barbie’s ass face down on probably a regular Tuesday afternoon while my parents were at work lol). I loved him and he made me feel safe and accepted my lil bad weird ass for who I was because he was just like meeee.”
“He died pretty suddenly, (so did my childhood therapist who was there to help me cope with loss), and my very best friend Marsai,” she continued. “There’s something that happens to a child who experiences this kind of loss to people they feel the most safe and seen by. [You] prime yourself to expect if/when they get close to someone, the person will most likely leave them. [I’ve] been an expert at leaving people first, cutting peeps off, and going on about my day no tears shed… but now experiences in my life are stretching me and teaching me how to step into faith and the things I know to be true. what I am deserving of. I miss [Jonny] and [Jonny] would be proud of meeeee.”
Beyoncé didn’t just describe the Pride pride flag on “Cozy” – she specifically described Daniel Quasar’s “Progress” pride flag to bring to the forefront marginalized LGBTQ+ people of color, trans people, and those living with / lost to HIV/AIDS 👑 #RENAISSANCE pic.twitter.com/hg5mTevnAM
— #1 RENAISSANCE STAN (@BIacklsKing) July 29, 2022
So it seems that at the core of this year’s biggest album is one that celebrates Queer Black people. This includes having MANY samples of queer Black artists and referencing the QPOC and trans inclusive Pride flag. And at the heart of that, is the love and appreciation of a Queer Black man who raised two fantastic artists.