Music

Beyoncé Just Became the First Black Woman Artist With a Number One Country Song

Beyoncé has become the first Black woman artist ever to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart in the modern history of country music, thanks to her country debut “Texas Hold ‘Em,” which also opened at Number Two on the Hot 100, the publication announced on Tuesday.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” dethroned Zach Bryan and Kacey Musgraves’ “I Remember Everything,” which has spent 20 weeks at Number One on the country chart and topped the Hot 100 last year. Beyoncé was buoyed mainly by strong streams and sales, with “Texas Hold ‘Em” getting 19.2 million streams last week along with 39,000 traditional sales (per Luminate), as the Beyhive looked to push the song up the charts. The song also got 4.8 million audience impressions from radio.

“16 Carriages,” Beyoncé’s other country song, hit Number Nine on Hot Country Songs. It has 10.3 million streams, 14,000 sales and 90,000 radio impressions.

After Beyoncé surprise released “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” last week during the Super Bowl, fans and industry insiders speculated if the music would be embraced by the traditional country industry. Beyoncé’s record label Columbia announced last week that it officially promoted “Texas Hold ‘Em” to country radio, and the song became the singer’s first-ever entry on the Country Airplay chart, debuting at 54.

Beyoncé isn’t the first woman of color in country music, as other artists like Mickey Guyton and Brittney Spencer have found success in recent years, while Linda Martell blazed the trail as the first Black female solo artist to find success in the genre 50 years ago. But as chart history shows, country remains overwhelmingly white and prominently male. Despite a handful of songwriters like Alice Randall and Tayla Parx with Number One co-writes, no Black woman songwriter had ever solely written a Number One country song until last year, when Luke Combs had a hit with Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.”

The fact that the first Black woman to top the country chart is not a traditional country act likely isn’t lost on the industry, but Beyoncé’s success could lend more attention to the other Black country artists who’ve paved away at the genre for years. Still, Beyoncé going deeper into country isn’t totally out of left field. The Texas native has shown country influence early in her career with Destiny’s Child and later as a solo artist on tracks like “Daddy Lessons.”

Beyoncé’s country pivot comes at a time where pop is embracing country more than ever, as the likes of Morgan Wallen, Bryan, Combs, and Jelly Roll are topping the charts with major streaming numbers.

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Aside from Beyoncé, over on the Top 200 albums chart, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s Vultures 1 topped the chart despite a messy album rollout that included multiple allegations of unauthorized samples, and a brief removal from Apple Music and a change in music distributors after the original distributor FUGA said on Friday that they were seeking to take the album down. The duo’s “Carnival” debuted at Number Three on the Hot 100 as well.

With “Texas Hold ‘Em” now on the charts, the question becomes how the song fares on the charts next week. Will country radio continue to push the song? Will it rise on the Hot 100? Stay tuned.

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