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Beyoncé Makes History as First Black Female Artist to Top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart

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Beyoncé’s surprise music drop during Super Bowl LVIII has not only broken the internet — it’s shocked the Billboard charts!

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During the big game, Queen Bey was featured in a Verizon commercial in which she attempted to “break the internet” with increasingly epic stunts. Fans went wild, however, when the ad ended with a voiceover from Bey teasing, “OK, they ready. Drop the new music.”

A few frantic minutes ensued before fans were able to confirm that yes, there was new Beyoncé music out. The singer announced her upcoming album, Act II, the second part of a planned trilogy of albums that started with 2022’s Renaissance.

But while Renaissance was Bey’s tribute to house and disco music, it seems like Act II will be a tip of the cowboy hat to country music. The two Super Bowl singles, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” both have a serious country feel, and fans were quick to praise their queen for crossing over. 

The new songs are far from Bey’s first foray into the county music scene, however. (She did grow up in Houston, after all.)

On her 2016 magnum opus, Lemonade, the singer reached into her country roots for “Daddy Lessons,” which she later performed alongside The Chicks at the the 50th annual Country Music Association Awards. 

But “Texas Hold ‘Em” did help Bey make Billboard history this week, as she became the first Black female artist to top the Hot Country Songs chart.

The No. 1 also gives the singer her seventh unique top spot on one of Billboard’s multimetric song charts as a solo artist: the Hot 100, Hot Country Songs, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Hot Gospel Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot R&B Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. Only Justin Bieber has more, at eight.

Bey’s latest foray into country music has certainly caused a stir. A radio station in Oklahoma recently faced the wrath of the BeyHive last week after they refused a fan’s email request to play “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

“After requesting, I received an email from the radio station stating, “We do not play Beyoncé on KYKC as we are a country music station,” wrote user @jussatto on X (formerly Twitter).

After their phone lines and social media channels were swarmed with irate Beyoncé fans, Roger Harris, the general manager at South Central Oklahoma Radio Enterprises, told ET, “At the time that the original email came in requesting KYKC to play Beyoncé, we didn’t play her on our country station because she wasn’t a country artist and sent a generic reply. It would have been the same situation if someone had asked the station to play The Rolling Stones.”

“We didn’t know that after the Super Bowl she was going to drop these country songs and we did not have access to these songs until the next day since we are a small market station,” he added. “As soon as we saw the momentum and Beyoncé’s fans inundating us with requests, we finally got the song and we played it. We are a minority owned station, we have supported Beyoncé for as long as she’s been around. We are playing it now, have nothing against Beyoncé, and we love Beyoncé.”

Amid the controversy, Bey’s own mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, defended her daughter on Instagram, sharing a fan-created video that featured the singer in cowboy-themed attire and photo shoots throughout the years.

“We have always celebrated Cowboy Culture growing up in Texas,” Tina wrote. “We also always understood that it was not just about it belonging to White culture only. In Texas there is a huge Black cowboy culture. Why do you think that my kids have integrated it into their fashion and art since the beginning.”

“When people ask why is Beyonce wearing cowboy hats? It’s really funny, I actually laugh because it’s been there since she was a kid, we went to rodeos every year and my whole family dressed in western fashion,” the proud mama added. “Solange did a whole brilliant Album and Project based on Black Cowboy Culture. It definitely was a part of our culture growing up.❤️❤️.”

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