Beyoncé becomes first Black woman with No. 1 country song for 'Texas Hold 'Em'

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Come take it to the floor now.

After conquering the world with Renaissance, Beyoncé is continuing to make history with Act II.

Billboard announced Tuesday that the Grammy winner hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart with her new song “Texas Hold ‘Em.” Rolling Stone reports that this achievement makes her the first Black woman to top that chart since its inception in 1958. The song is also No. 2 on the Hot 100 behind Jack Harlow’s “Lovin on Me.”

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty</p> Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Kevin Mazur/Getty

Beyoncé Knowles-Carter

Beyoncé announced her next album on Feb. 11 after teasing new music during a Super Bowl commercial for Verizon. Shortly after the ad premiered, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” hit streaming services to immediate success. The former song had 19.2 million official streams, while the latter had 10.3 million streams, which placed it at No. 9 on the country chart.

Following fan outcry, Columbia Nashville announced that it would officially promote “Texas Hold ‘Em” to country radio stations on Feb. 14. Though it wasn’t immediately clear whether either song would officially hit country radio, station managers told EW that they were playing “Texas Hold ‘Em” anyway, and that the response had been overwhelmingly positive. “I added the song because it's a great song, and I'm excited because it just sounds so freaking good on the radio,” 93Q Country’s Travis Moon told EW. “And if there are some of her fans who listen to the song on my radio station that like some other songs, that's actually good for my station.”

Beyoncé had previously adopted country elements for the song “Daddy Lessons” on 2016’s Lemonade, but the instrumentation of her new singles and her recent adoption of cowboy visual aesthetics leads fans to believe that Act II will be the singer’s first full-blown country album.

Many Black women have made waves in country music for decades — as noted by former American Idol mentor Bobby Bones, the genre’s origins are partially indebted to African music. “Country music is based on the music from Africa brought over on the slave ships. And from Europe. With the fiddle and banjo," Bones previously wrote on social media. "So all these dudes yelling ‘that ain’t country’… unless you’re European or African, you ain’t really ‘country.’”

The success of Beyoncé’s songs is especially significant in the wake of repeated criticism of the country music industry’s treatment of Black artists. In 2019, Billboard removed Lil Nas X’s "Old Town Road" from the Hot Country Charts, arguing that the song didn’t have enough country elements to be included on the charts. Before that, Beyoncé herself generated controversy after performing "Daddy Lessons" at the 50th Country Music Awards, as some audiences disliked the inclusion of a non-country artist in the ceremony, while others called such opinions racist.

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