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Who was Moi Renee, the late, drag queen sampled on Beyoncé’s new album?

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Renaissance, yesterday. The general verdict seems to be that it’s a club and house-influenced selection of bangers. The 16-track collection showcases the iconic superstar letting her hair down.Music-wise, the album has several queer references, first indicated by Big Freedia guesting on the introductory single, ‘Break My Soul’.Beyoncé herself has also thanked her late gay, uncle Jonny on the liner notes of the vinyl version.

She calls him her “godmother” and “the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album.”A writing credit on another track has also shone a light on a lesser-known figure from drag history.‘Pure/Honey’ lists Moi Renee in its songwriting credits, delighting fans of this late, cult figure and her underground classic, ‘Miss Honey.’Renee was born in Jamaica but moved to Philadelphia as a child.

One person who grew to know him well was Beau McCall, now a respected visual artist and designer in his own right.“We grew up in the same southwest Philadelphia neighborhood as teenagers,” he tells Queerty over the phone. “I was actually introduced to him through a few of my friends in the neighborhood and we developed a friendship from there.”They met around 1978-79, when McCall was 19.After High School, Renee had his heart set on moving to New York City.“He came to New York in the early 80s,” recalls McCall. “When we got out of High School, he came up with the idea that we should both move to New York together.

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