Music

Beyoncé Officially Charts on Country Radio with ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’

The performer’s latest single lands her on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart for the first time in her career

Beyoncé and her latest single “Texas Hold ‘Em” have made their country chart debut on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, the publication announced on Friday. The track marks Beyoncé’s debut on that chart more than two decades into her career. The Country Airplay chart accounts exclusively for radio play.

As soon as Beyoncé released the country-influenced “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” on Super Bowl Sunday, a significant question became how the country music industry would embrace the tracks, particularly given the genre’s own history of ignoring Black artists in the past, and that Beyoncé isn’t a longtime country act. Streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music quickly placed “Texas Hold ‘Em” at the top of their country playlists, though it wasn’t as clear how the older guard of country radio would respond.

Beyoncé’s label Columbia Records officially promoted “Texas Hold ‘Em” to country radio earlier this week, and the song opens on the Airplay chart at Number 54 with about 1.1 million impressions, Billboard reported.

As Rolling Stone reported this week, Queen Bey’s country pivot isn’t all that unexpected. While she’s known primarily as a pop and R&B icon, she’s had notable country influence as well, most prominently displayed on her 2016 Lemonade track “Daddy Lessons.” Meanwhile Nashville stars have been covering Beyoncé songs for the past 10 years.

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With Beyoncé charting on a few days of radio play, the question now becomes how “Texas Hold ‘Em” performs on the chart next week. And then of course, there’s the other charts that also take into account streams and sales along with radio airplay, including the Hot 100 and Hot Country Songs charts. Fans have readily compared Bey’s situation to Lil Nas X and “Old Town Road” in 2019, when Billboard removed the song from the Hot Country Songs chart. Where the song lands will become clear when Billboard’s charts are updated next Tuesday. If Beyoncé tops the Hot Country Songs chart, she’d become the first Black woman artist with a country Number One.

Four different versions of the song currently occupy the top-five on the iTunes chart as fans are pushing to earn the song a Number One distinction. As of publication, “Texas Hold ‘Em” is also the Number Two track on both Apple Music and Spotify’s Top US charts, only behind Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s “Carnival.”

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