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US singer Beyonce becomes first black woman to top Billboard country chart

NEW YORK – American pop star Beyonce’s new country single, Texas Hold ’Em, reached No. 1 on the Billboard country airplay chart this week, making her the first black female artiste to hold the top spot.

Her other single, 16 Carriages, also released on Feb 11, debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard country chart. The songs reached No. 2 and No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Texas Hold ’Em has already drawn more than 19 million streams, and 16 Carriages has 10.3 million streams.

Historically, black artistes have struggled to gain recognition in the genre of country music, a field often dominated by white male singers. But the sudden success of Beyonce’s country singles comes at a time when black women have started to receive acclaim within that realm.

At the Country Music Association Awards in November 2023, Tracy Chapman won Song of the Year for Fast Car (1988), which topped country charts more than three decades after it was released, thanks to a cover by American country singer Luke Combs.

Black female country artistes like Mickey Guyton and Brittney Spencer have also gained popularity in recent years.

Beyonce, 42, is the first woman to top both the Hot Country Songs chart and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart since they were established in 1958, according to Billboard.

Both singles are part of her upcoming album, a country-themed follow-up to Renaissance (2022), which she referred to as Act II. The full album, announced during a Verizon advertisement that aired during the Super Bowl, is expected to be released on March 29. NYTIMES



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