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Paul McCartney Praises Beyoncé’s 'Blackbird' Cover

Queen B has the approval of a Beatle.

"BLACKBIIRD" is the second track on Beyoncé’s new album COWBOY CARTER and is one of three cover songs on the record. (The other two are Dolly Parton's "Jolene" and Chuck Berry's "Oh Louisiana.") We already knew Dolly Parton approved of "Jolene" – since she introduced the song on the LP. And Chuck Berry, well...isn't around to comment on Beyoncé’s version of his tune. But much to everyone's surprise, Paul McCartney has spoken up about "Blackbird." His verdict? It's “a magnificent version” that “reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place.”

“I think Beyoncé has done a fab version and would urge anyone who has not heard it yet to check it out. You are going to love it!” McCartney wrote in an Instagram post on Thursday.

“I spoke to her on FaceTime and she thanked me for writing it and letting her do it. I told her the pleasure was all mine and I thought she had done a killer version of the song. When I saw the footage on the television in the early 60s of the Black girls being turned away from school, I found it shocking and I can’t believe that still in these days there are places where this kind of thing is happening right now. Anything my song and Beyoncé’s fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

McCartney wrote “Blackbird” in 1968, inspired by Little Rock Nine, the group of Black students who were at the forefront of America’s desegregation movement. The song was later released on The Beatles’ The White Album.

Beyoncé’s rendition features backing vocals from Tanner Adell, Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy, and Reyna Roberts. Melba Pattillo Beals, a member of Little Rock Nine, told NPR that she hopes Beyoncé’s version will lead to a renewed focus on civil rights.

“People ignored the song’s meaning for a long time,” Beals said. “But when the Queen B speaks, people will listen. And when people listen, they may open their minds to compassion about differences.”

Listen to Beyoncé’s "BLACKBIIRD" below.

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Article Image: Close-up of Paul McCartney in 2022, Beyonce performing during her "Renaissance World Tour" in June 2023. (Raph_PH and Raph_PH [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons)

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About Kathryn Milewski

  • New Jersey