Original Beatles Session Confirmed As Beyoncé Backing Track on 'Cowboy Carter'

4 April 2024 | 9:19 am | Mary Varvaris

Beyoncé sampled McCartney’s original acoustic guitar melody and foot-tapping for her version of 'Blackbird'.

The Beatles, Beyoncé

The Beatles, Beyoncé (Source: Supplied)

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Beyoncé used the backing track for The Beatles’ iconic 1968 tune Blackbird for her cover of the song on her new album, Cowboy Carter—with the blessing of Paul McCartney.

A new Variety report states that representatives for Beyoncé and McCartney and additional sources confirmed the use of the backing track on her version of Blackbird. As for the elements of the backing track she used, Beyoncé sampled McCartney’s original acoustic guitar melody and foot tapping.

The credits for Cowboy Carter continue to be reported—not all credits were published when the album landed on streaming services last Friday—but now, McCartney is listed as playing the guitar and credited as one of the song’s producers. The album’s credits still appear incomplete but continue to be uncovered.

At the time of writing, McCartney hasn’t yet shared a public reaction to Beyoncé’s sample, but as he seems as kind as Dolly Parton, who praised Beyoncé’s version of Jolene, we think he’ll be pretty happy.

McCartney previously revealed that he was influenced by the civil rights protests in the US while writing Blackbird, finding inspiration in Black women at the time. Beyoncé’s version of Blackbird features Black women making waves in country music: special guests Brittney Spencer, Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy, and Reyna Roberts.

You can check out Beyoncé’s Blackbird and revisit the original song below.

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In February, the singer released two country singles, 16 CARRIAGES and TEXAS HOLD ‘EM. The latter received widespread radio acclaim and caused a flurry of conversation on social media about the history of black women in country music. 

She then announced the tracklist for Cowboy Carter, released on Friday, 29 March. The album features 27 songs—including interludes, and honours country music icons Dolly Parton, Linda Martell, Willie Jones, and Willie Nelson, to name a few. Other duets on the album include appearances by Miley Cyrus and Post Malone.

This week, Countrytown published an op-ed by the Gamilaraay woman and burgeoning country star Loren Ryan, who discussed Beyoncé’s history-making pivot to country music and how Cowboy Carter has sparked “long-overdue conversations about genres, acceptance, racism in country music, and more.” You can read that here.