Beyoncé dedicates Renaissance to her gay uncle and 'fallen angels' of club culture
Beyoncé kicked off her new, club-inspired album's era with a proper tribute to the gay man who helped raise her.
In an emotional note posted Thursday to her website, Beyoncé indicated that Renaissance is a "three-act" project she devised over the course of three years, with help from her "husband and muse," rapper Jay-Z, though she also revealed that the album wouldn't have been possible without her uncle's influence.
"A big thank you to my Uncle Jonny. 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," she wrote. "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."
Beyoncé previously honored Uncle Jonny during her 2019 GLAAD Media Awards acceptance speech, when she called him "the most fabulous gay man I've ever known" and highlighted his life with HIV.
"He was brave and unapologetic during a time when this country wasn't as accepting," she said at the queer-centric event, where she received the group's Vanguard Award. "Witnessing his battle with HIV was one of the most painful experiences I've ever lived. I'm hopeful that his struggles serve to open pathways for other young people to live more freely. LGBTQI rights are human rights."
The global superstar preceded Renaissance's release with the house-inspired, Robin S.-sampling single "Break My Soul," which marked a sonic departure from Beyoncé's most recent solo album, 2016's Lemonade, in favor of sounds popularized by Black artists and club culture throughout the '80s and '90s.
"Break My Soul" later debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Beyoncé's highest-charting solo song in six years.
Renaissance drops Friday in full. Read Beyoncé's dedication note above.
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