Music

Beyoncé makes history as the first Black woman artist to top country charts

'Texas Hold 'Em' debuted in the No. 1 spot on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, with '16 Carriages' also cracking the top 10.

Beyonce performs on NBC's Today Show, Dec. 4, 2006
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In a month dedicated to honoring and celebrating Black history and excellence, Beyoncé just made some history of her own by becoming the first-ever Black female artist with a No. 1 country song. “Texas Hold ‘Em” debuted in the top spot on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.

She also made history as the first woman to have topped both the Hot Country and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop charts at the same time.

The superstar announced new music in a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl on Feb. 11, sending the internet into a frenzy as fans searched for the tracks. Two songs, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” became available that night as Beyoncé announced an upcoming album, "Act II," due out March 29. 

“16 Carriages” also cracked the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, coming in at No. 9.

Billboard is considered the standard-bearer when it comes to music charting and is responsible for the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 as well — on which “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” rank No. 2 and No. 38, respectively.

Beyoncé releases 2 new songs after clues in Super Bowl commercial
Beyoncé releases 2 new songs after clues in Super Bowl commercial

Beyoncé releases 2 new songs after clues in Super Bowl commercial

After a string of social media teasers and clues in Verizon ads, Beyoncé dropped two new songs and announced a new album during the big game.

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Beyoncé is no stranger to topping the charts, nor is she a stranger to expertly hopping genres. As a solo artist alone, she’s claimed the top spot on the Hot 100, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Hot Gospel Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot R&B Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. 

She’s also the only artist to have achieved No. 1s in that combination of rankings, reported Billboard.

But this latest jewel in Queen Bey’s crown is especially meaningful for some, as she’s excelling in a genre in which Black people — and Black women particularly — haven’t been celebrated or elevated. 

Despite country’s roots originating in Black culture, the genre has long been co-opted and dominated by White men and marketed to White audiences.

In a recent story from Popsugar, Prana Supreme Diggs was one of several Black female country musicians profiled in the piece. She and others weighed in on what Beyoncé’s country tracks mean for the genre and for Black women’s place in it.

“Black Americans, so much of our history is rooted in the South,” Diggs told Popsugar reporter Lena Felton. “Country is just as much a part of the fabric of Black culture as hip-hop is.”

Diggs performs with her mother Tekitha under the name O.N.E. the Duo. “In the Black and country community, we’ve really been needing a champion,” Tekitha Diggs told Felton in the same interview. “We’ve been needing someone who can kind of blow the door open and to recognize our voice is important in this genre.”

Congratulations to Beyoncé on this history-making moment, one that will hopefully usher in an era of more inclusion in the country genre — particularly for Black women.

 This story was originally published by Taylor Kuether at Simplemost.com