Beyoncé's Number One in Country

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Beyoncé very explicitly announced her latest album to be a country album, calling it "Cowboy Carter", and her single "Texas Hold 'Em" made her the first Black woman to top Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts.

It is good that Beyoncé made it so glaringly obvious that her song is a country song. The number of Black artists to have topped the Hot Country Song charts is surprisingly small: Charley Pride in the 70s, Ray Charles in a duet with Willie Nelson for one week in 1984, and then Darius Rucker and Kane Brown in the last decade or two.

Maybe one reason to understand why it is so hard to chart for Black artists in this particular genre: "Old Town Road", the debut single by Lil Nas X, first was listed on the Hot Country Song chart, but then Billboard decided that this was a mistake and instead recategorized the song, taking it off the Country charts in March 2019 before it would have become the Number One hit on April 6, 2019 were it not removed.

Billboard released a long explanation explaining that this decision had nothing to do with racism.

Cowboy Carter was released exactly in the same week five years after Old Town Road would have hit Number One.

I guess Beyoncé really wanted to make sure that everyone knows that her album and single are country.


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