Beyoncé's New Album 'Renaissance' Reportedly Leaks Early

The album officially drops at 9 p.m. PT Thursday.

Meara Isenberg Writer
Meara covers streaming service news for CNET. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, where she wrote for her college newspaper, The Daily Texan, as well as for state and local magazines. When she's not writing, she likes to dote over her cat, sip black coffee and try out new horror movies.
Meara Isenberg
3 min read
Beyonce at a performance in 2018.

Here's what you need to know about Bey's solo album, Renaissance.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for City of Hope

After the release of her single Break My Soul and the reveal of her stunning album cover, Beyoncé's seventh solo album Renaissance officially drops at 9 p.m. PT Thursday/midnight ET Friday. However, it appears the pop queen's project has leaked early. 

On Wednesday, Variety reported easily finding "high-quality flac files that certainly sound like the album." The leak occurred about 36 hours before Beyoncé's scheduled album drop, according to the entertainment publication. Some Beyoncé fans on Twitter are holding off on listening to leaked versions of the album, and advocating for others to do the same. 

"I'm calling all BeyHive. From now on we don't tweet or discuss the leak!" wrote Beyoncé fan account @theyoncehub. "We just need to be positive and wait for Beyoncé's planned release date."

It doesn't look like Beyoncé has responded to the news, but this is what she had to say in 2011 when her solo album 4 was leaked: "My music was leaked and while this is not how I wanted to present my new songs, I appreciate the positive response from my fans," the pop queen wrote on Facebook

Renaissance will be the first Beyoncé solo release since 2016's Lemonade. We've gotten our hands on some other Beyoncé music in the years since Lemonade -- she's been busy with The Lion King: The Gift, a companion album to a 2019 remake of the animated film; Disney Plus visual album Black Is King; Netflix concert film Homecoming; and Everything Is Love, a collaboration with Jay-Z. She scooped up an Oscar nomination (her first) for Be Alive, and won a Grammy Award for best R&B performance for her single Black Parade. But there's nothing quite like a Beyoncé solo album. Here's a reminder of the five we've had in addition to Lemonade: Dangerously in Love, B'day, I Am... Sasha Fierce, 4, Beyoncé.

A tweet posted the day before Beyoncé's album announcement by her nonprofit BeyGood seemed to suggest it was a solo album. The tweet includes a collage of album covers, and some eagle-eyed Twitter users noticed that one is not like the others. "This album with the red glove isn't a real album and the hand is pointing at brandy's album... brandy's album is titled B7 omggggg!!!! BEYONCÉ!!!," one Twitter user wrote. Basically, it appears the gloved hand is an easter egg teasing Beyoncé's seventh solo album.

When is the new album arriving?

We can expect Renaissance at midnight ET Friday /9 p.m. PT Thursday. It'll be available on streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon MusicYouTube Music and Tidal.

Here's an Instagram post with the release date, from Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles.

How many songs are on the album?

Renaissance will include 16 songs, including her first single, Break My Soul, which is track No. 6. 

This tweet from Beyoncé fan account @BeyLegion has the track list:

What has Beyoncé said about the album?

Here's what Beyoncé had to say about the new album in an Instagram post from June 30

"Creating this album allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world," Bey wrote. "It allowed me to feel free and adventurous in a time when little else was moving. My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom. It was a beautiful journey of exploration. I hope you find joy in this music. I hope it inspires you to release the wiggle. Ha! And to feel as unique, strong, and sexy as you are."

What will Beyoncé's new album sound like?

In June, British Vogue published a story from its Beyoncé-featuring July issue, written by Editor-in-Chief Edward Enninful. 

"Instantly, a wall of sound hits me. Soaring vocals and fierce beats combine and in a split second I'm transported back to the clubs of my youth... It's music I love to my core," Enninful wrote of hearing the album for the first time at Beyoncé's home recording studio. "Music that makes you rise, that turns your mind to cultures and subcultures, to our people past and present, music that will unite so many on the dance floor, music that touches your soul."

On Apple Music, Renaissance is listed as a "pop" album. The same genre is listed for her previous solo releases.