Willie Nelson appears on Beyonce's new country album, Cowboy Carter, not once, but multiple times — but their collaboration is not remotely what fans expected. The 90-year-old country icon appears on several tracks, not as a singer, but as a narrator of sorts, providing voiceovers that draw from his own roots as a Texas DJ.

Nelson originally broke into country music as a disc jockey in Texas before he made his way to Nashville to become a top songwriter and, eventually, an artist in his own right. He appears on Beyonce's much-anticipated Cowboy Carter on a track titled "Smoke Hour," which, given its title and his widely documented love of marijuana, fans had speculated might be a duet about the joys of weed.

Instead, "Smoke Hour" turns out to be a fictional radio show on the small-town Texas radio station KNTRY, with Nelson serving as its DJ as he introduces other tracks on Cowboy Carter.

"Welcome to the Smoke Hour on KNTRY Radio Texas," Nelson begins after what sounds like him lighting up and taking a hit. "You know my name, no need to know yours. Now, for this next tune, I want you all to sit back, inhale and go to that good place your mind likes to wander off to. And if you don't wanna go, go find yourself a jukebox. Thank you."

That intro leads into "Texas Hold 'Em," which Beyonce released to country radio as the first single from Cowboy Carter after she announced the album by surprise during the Super Bowl on Feb 11.

Nelson appears again on "Smoke Hour II," voicing, "You're tuned into KNTRY Radio Texas, home of the real deal. If there's one thing you can take away from my set today, let it be this: Sometimes you don't know what you like until someone you trust turns you on to some real good sh-t. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I'm here. Up next on the Smoke Hour is 'Just for Fun,' by Beyonce. You're welcome."

That intro leads into "Just for Fun," a collaboration between Beyonce and Willie Jones.

Beyonce first teased Nelson's participation in Cowboy Carter when she posted the song titles and some of the credits in a deliberately vague way on Wednesday (March 27). The album also includes Beyonce's cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene," as well as a voiceover from Parton titled "Dolly P." Miley Cyrus and Post Malone also appear on various tracks, and Black female country music pioneer Linda Martell also provides several voiceovers.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes

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