Beyoncé becomes first Black woman to top Billboard’s Country songs chart with Texas Hold ‘Em

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Beyoncé has made history as the first African American woman to reach the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart with her song “Texas Hold ‘Em” debuting at number one.

The track, in a genre that has often sparked controversy regarding its connection to Black artists, achieved one of several significant milestones when the weekly chart rankings were updated on Tuesday.

Beyoncé’s first time topping the country charts was with Texas Hold ‘Em, which was released unexpectedly alongside her single 16 Carriages during the Super Bowl.

She has become the second solo female artist to debut at No. 1 without any featured artists, following Taylor Swift’s accomplishment in 2021 with her re-recordings of Love Story and All Too Well.

Beyoncé is the first female artist to reach number one on both the Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts since their creation in 1958. The only other artists to achieve this feat are Justin Bieber, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ray Charles, and Morgan Wallen.

The Hot Country Songs chart is a composite chart that takes into account US sales, streams, and radio airplay, similar to Billboard’s main Hot 100 chart.

The charts on Tuesday showed data from the previous seven days leading up to February 15th. This means that the game Texas Hold ‘Em, which was released on February 11th, gained its ranking in just four days of being monitored.

During that period, the entertainment data company Luminate reported that the song was streamed 19.2 million times and downloaded 39,000 times in the US. It entered the Hot 100 chart at No. 2, while the artist’s other new song, 16 Carriages, debuted at No. 38 on the Hot 100 and No. 9 on Hot Country Songs.

Both songs will be featured on Beyoncé’s second release of her Renaissance trilogy, scheduled for 29 March.

The accomplishments on the country chart were sparked by a heated online debate last week regarding the classification of Texas Hold ‘Em as a country song.

A radio station in Oklahoma originally refused to play a listener’s request for Beyoncé’s latest song. However, they eventually changed their decision after a successful viral campaign on the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter).

The radio station stated that they had not yet received the track from Beyoncé’s label when they received the request. According to Billboard, Texas Hold ‘Em is now being officially promoted on country radio.

Beyoncé has made her debut on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with her song entering at No. 54. Unlike the Hot Country Songs chart, Country Airplay solely tracks radio airplay.

There has been much discussion surrounding the connection between Black artists and country music. In a notable incident in 2019, rapper Lil Nas X’s country-trap hit Old Town Road was taken off Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart despite its success.

The creators of the chart argued that it lacked a country feel, even though it featured banjo music and lyrics about horseback riding.

At the time, Billboard stated that although Old Town Road includes elements of country and cowboy themes, it does not fully incorporate enough components of modern country music to be successful in its current form.

The country-influenced song “Daddy Lessons” by Beyoncé was deemed ineligible for country Grammy nominations in 2016 after being rejected by the Recording Academy’s country music committee.

She surprised the audience by performing the song with the Dixie Chicks at the Country Music Association awards. This sparked a new conversation about the political and unclear categorization of country music.


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