'Black Parade': Beyonce releases surprise new song to benefit black-owned businesses

The singer is shining a light on small companies owned by African-Americans with her latest drop

(FILES) In this file photo US singer/songwriter Beyonce arrives for the world premiere of Disney's "The Lion King" at the Dolby theatre on July 9, 2019 in Hollywood. Beyonce on June 7 delivered a message to the graduating Class of 2020, marking their achievement with a speech amplifying messages of the Black Lives Matter movement and praising change-makers. / AFP / Robyn Beck
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She's long been touted as the queen of the music industry, and now Beyonce has urged fans to follow her "on her throne" for a powerful new cause.

The singer-songwriter unexpectedly released a new single, Black Parade, on Friday, June 19, to celebrate Juneteenth.

The tune, which was unveiled exclusively on Tidal before rolling out to other platforms, comes with a stirring message, echoing the weekend's holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US.

"I'm goin' back to the South / Where my roots ain't watered down," the star sings in the track, her first solo release since 2019's The Gift. " Here I come on my throne, sittin' high / Follow my parade, oh, my parade."

The single isn't just an anthem for those championing racial equality as part of ongoing protests around the world, either.

Proceeds from the song will "benefit black-owned small businesses" as part of a new initiative, Beyonce revealed on Instagram

"Happy Juneteenth Weekend! I hope we continue to share joy and celebrate each other, even in the midst of struggle. Please continue to remember our beauty, strength and power," the 38-year-old wrote on Instagram, as she shared a link to a Black Parade Route page on her website.

"Black Parade celebrates you, your voice and your joy."

The webpage contains a directory of black-owned businesses in the US, from beauty brands and homewares to restaurants and cafes, as well as a link to a Tidal playlist that comprises black artists.

The list has been compiled with the help of Zerina Akers, Beyonce's long-time stylist.

"Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right," the page adds.

Money raised by Black Parade will benefit BeyGOOD's Black Business Impact Fund, which supports struggling black-owned companies.

In recent weeks, Beyonce has also penned open letter demanding justice in the deaths of both George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.