Dolly Parton praises Beyoncé's country debut: 'Can't wait to hear the full album'

Dolly Parton, left, in red and Beyoncé, in gold speaking into microphone
Dolly Parton gave Beyoncé's country singles her seal of approval in an Instagram post set to "Texas Hold 'Em." (Andres Kudacki / Associated Press, left; Chris Pizzello / Invision / Associated Press, right)
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Dolly Parton has confirmed her Beyhive membership.

The “Jolene” singer took to Instagram Thursday to congratulate Beyoncé on her country debut, which consisted of a surprise dual release announced during the 2024 Super Bowl. The livelier of the singles, “Texas Hold ‘Em,” made Beyoncé the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, while the softer ballad “16 Carriages” followed close behind at No. 9.

“I’m a big fan of Beyoncé and very excited that she’s done a country album. So congratulations on your Billboard Hot Country number one single,” Parton wrote about the 32-time Grammy winner. “Can’t wait to hear the full album!”

“Act II,” the second album in the Renaissance trilogy, will be released March 29.

Read more: Beyoncé announces her new album is on the way: Hear two songs now

Parton’s post comes as a weighty endorsement amid contention surrounding Beyoncé’s place in the country genre.

KYKC-FM, a country radio station in Oklahoma, initially declined to play the artist on Feb. 13, two days after the double release. Roger Harris, general manager for Chickasaw Nation-Radio Stations, which owns and operates KYKC, later told CBS News he had been unaware Beyoncé had released two country songs and confirmed he had added “Texas Hold ‘Em” to the station’s playlist after fans had flooded the station with hundreds of emails and phone calls.

Opposite Beyoncé’s fans is a sector of country music fans resisting her movement into the genre. In a poll conducted by the major country music Instagram account and publication Country Central, approximately 84% of respondents agreed with the statement “Beyoncé shouldn’t be considered a country artist.”

Read more: Maren Morris is getting the hell out of country music: 'I've said everything I can say'

Some are calling such uproar hypocritical and even feigned.

Defending the singer, talk radio host Bobby Bones said, “It’s a little bit of fake outrage by people, like, 'I can't believe she's doing country.' Listen, I'm not a massive Beyoncé fan, [but] the song's pretty good.”

Beyoncé isn’t the only one attempting a country crossover this year. During a pre-Grammy event in early February, Lana Del Rey announced her next LP, “Lasso,” which she said has southern undertones and will be released in September. Post Malone also has a country record in the making.

Read more: A Utah man with cancer will always love Dolly Parton, who fulfilled one of his final wishes

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.