Beyoncé becomes first Black woman to top country charts

February 22, 2024 12:23 pm

[Source: CBS Entertainment]

Beyoncé on Wednesday became the first Black woman to score a No. 1 hit in the history of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs, after “Texas Hold ‘Em” debuted at the top of the chart.

The new album, which appears to be country, will be released on March 29 and was described as “act ii” of the three-act project that began with Beyoncé’s critically acclaimed “Renaissance” album, which she released in 2022.

Wednesday’s milestone marked a cultural shift for country music, a genre often seen as exclusive and that for decades has had a fraught relationship with artists of color. With “Texas Hold ‘Em,” Beyoncé finally trumped the record set by Linda Martell more than 50 years ago, when her song “Color Him Father,” which peaked at No. 22, became the highest-ranking single by a Black woman on the country charts, according to Billboard.

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Beyoncé also became the first woman to have topped both the country and R&B/hip-hop charts since the genre song charts were launched in 1958, Billboard reported, adding that she joins Morgan Wallen, Justin Bieber, Billy Ray Cyrus and Ray Charles as the only acts to have led both charts.

Beyoncé’s bold foray into country almost immediately sparked controversy, after KYKC-FM, a country radio radio station in Oklahoma, initially declined to play the artist. The station manager later told CBS News he hadn’t known Beyoncé had released two country songs and confirmed he had added “Texas Hold ‘Em” to the station’s playlist.