Music

Linda Martell on Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’: ‘What She Is Doing Is Beautiful’

The Black country singer, a pioneer of the genre, thanked Beyoncé for including her on the album

On Cowboy Carter, Beyoncé shines a spotlight on country pioneer Linda Martell, whose 1970 LP, Color Me Country, was the first major country album released by a Black woman. Martell speaks the intro to “Spaghettii,” talking about the confining nature of the word “genre,” and she gets her own track, “The Linda Martell Show,” a segue track introducing “Ya Ya” as a “tune [that] stretches across a range of genres, and that’s what makes it a unique listening experience.”

Martell, 82, released a statement on Instagram on Friday thanking Beyoncé for the recognition. “I am proud that Beyoncé is exploring her country music roots,” Martell wrote, next to a screenshot of “The Linda Martell Show” streaming on Spotify. “What she is doing is beautiful, and I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s Beyoncé, after all!”

Trending

A few years ago, Martell reflected on her career and role as a country music trend-setter in a Rolling Stone profile. The artist, who was born Thelma Bynem and previously sang in girl groups, recalled a 1969 meeting with Nashville label owner Shelby Singleton Jr. who asked her what she wanted out of a career. When she said she just wanted to sing, he suggested she try country. “I looked at him, like, ‘Really?’” she said. “I was a little bit shocked! I was mostly doing pop. But he said, ‘You gotta go country.’”

Color Me Country made it to Number 40 on the country chart, but Martell never recorded a follow-up album, instead singing in clubs. Eventually she settled in South Carolina and worked as a bus driver to be closer to her family. When Rolling Stone asked her if she takes pride in her status as a Black country pioneer, she responded mysteriously, “Sometimes.”

Articles You May Like

J. Cole Apologizes to Kendrick Lamar for ‘Lamest and Goofiest’ Diss
Tara Jane O’Neil Unveils New Single ‘Glass Island’
Poetic Memoirs, Collections, and Nonfiction Books for Your Book Club
A Big Bold Beautiful Journey: Everything We Know About The Margot Robbie And Colin Farrell Movie
Days of Our Lives Spoilers: Maggie Is About to Make a Bold But Stupid Move