Ahead of Beyonce’s concert Thursday in Arlington, sample the sounds of “Renaissance”

Beyonce sits atop a translucent horse

The album cover for Beyonce’s Renaissance. Photo: Carlijn Jacobs/Columbia Records.

Beyonce will sweep into Arlington and AT&T Stadium on Thursday for her first appearance in the space in more than five years.

The Houston-born superstar has been on the road since early summer in support of last year’s blockbuster album Renaissance, her seventh studio effort and one steeped in the rich history of dance music.

While much of the focus has been on Beyonce’s masterful synthesis of 50-odd years of dance and house music into a cohesive, mixtape-like whole, it’s also worth noting the foundation upon which her songs were constructed.

Big Freedia

Sampled on: “Energy,” “Break My Soul”

New Orleans rapper Big Freedia got a dramatic boost in exposure thanks to her contributions to Renaissance, but those in the know understood Big Freedia to be a singular force all her own long before the Beyhive’s blessing. Her live shows are a sight to behold — it’s impossible to watch Big Freedia perform and leave unhappy. Get more of Big Freedia’s irresistible style on her sophomore album, Central City, released in June.

Grace Jones

Contributes to: “Move”

Jamaican singer Grace Jones was a pivotal figure in the disco and New Wave eras, cutting a dramatic figure — Jones also works as a model — as she racked up Top 40 hits like “Slave to the Rhythm” and “Pull Up to the Bumper.” On working with Beyonce, Jones told Vogue magazine in Sept. 2022, “She was very, very sweet, so I said okay. I’ve met her a few times actually — through my brother’s church in Los Angeles. So we had that church connection outside of being singers as well.”

Robin S.

Sampled on: “Break My Soul”

Robin Stone, a New York native who performed as Robin S., was the voice on the 1990 single “Show Me Love” that serves as a key piece of Beyonce’s “Break My Soul.” It’s a track that had plenty of life before Beyonce dusted it off — “Show Me Love” was remixed and re-released by various artists in 1997, 1999, 2002, 2006 and 2008.

Donna Summer

Sampled on: “Summer Renaissance”

The ”Queen of Disco” Donna Summer likely needs little introduction, and it stands to reason Renaissance wouldn’t be what it is without Summer’s considerable influence. Summer’s sensual, sophisticated approach to dance, disco and pop music pervades every track on Renaissance, reaching its apex on the album’s closing song, which samples Summer’s indelible collaboration with Giorgio Moroder, “I Feel Love.”

Beyonce at AT&T Stadium, Arlington. 8 p.m. Sept. 21. Sold out, but resale tickets are available.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.