Beyoncé Is The First Black Woman With A No. 1 Country Song — And It’s About Time

"Texas Hold 'Em," the 32-time Grammy winner's first foray into country music, is a certified smash — despite vocal pushback from conservatives.

Beyoncé’s first-ever foray into country music is making history.

On Tuesday, Billboard confirmed that “Texas Hold ’Em,” one of two new songs that dropped Feb. 11 during the Super Bowl telecast, will appear atop this week’s edition of its Hot Country Songs chart.

By securing the top spot, Beyoncé becomes the first Black female artist to land a No. 1 on the chart, which measures the 50 most popular country songs in the U.S. Her second new track, “16 Carriages,” will come in at No. 9.

“Texas Hold ’Em” and “16 Carriages” are set to be featured on Beyoncé’s “Renaissance: Act II,” the second installment of a three-act project that began with her 2022 album, “Renaissance.”

Though details of “Act II” are scarce, the album appears to embrace a country-rock sound, as evidenced by the first two tracks and Beyoncé’s cowgirl-inspired look at the Grammy Awards earlier this month.

While “Act II” may be a nod to Beyoncé’s own Texas roots, her decision to forgo pop and hip-hop beats and delve into new sonic territory has incensed conservatives and garnered a mixed response from country radio.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the 2024 Grammy Awards.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z at the 2024 Grammy Awards.
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

Last week, the Oklahoma country station KYKC-FM announced it had added “Texas Hold ’Em” to its playlists after drawing online criticism for initially refusing to do so.

Discussing the KYKC-FM news on the conservative news channel, One America News Network, actor John Schneider likened Beyoncé to a dog marking its territory.

“You know, every dog has to mark every tree, right?” he said, while comparing the 32-time Grammy winner unfavorably to Shania Twain and Carrie Underwood, who have enjoyed success on both the country and pop charts.

The discourse is, perhaps, sadly predictable given the perception of country as a conservative genre that has been slow to include artists of color. Among those who came to Beyoncé’s defense was her mother, Tina Knowles, who reminded fans that country music “definitely was a part of our culture growing up.”

“In Texas there is a huge black cowboy culture,” she wrote on Instagram Saturday. “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.”

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