Beyoncé Becomes First Black Woman to Top Billboard Country Chart

Beyoncé’s new country single “Texas Hold ’Em” reached No. 1 on the Billboard country airplay chart this week, making her the first Black female artist to hold the top spot.

Beyoncé’s other single, “16 Carriages,” released simultaneously on Feb. 11, also debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard country chart. The songs reached No. 2 and No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Texas Hold ’Em” has already drawn more than 19 million streams, and “16 Carriages” has 10.3 million streams.

Historically, Black artists have struggled to gain recognition in the genre of country music, a field often dominated by white male singers. But the sudden success of Beyoncé’s country singles comes at a time when Black women have started to receive acclaim within that realm. At last year’s Country Music Awards, Tracy Chapman won song of the year for “Fast Car,” which topped country charts three decades after it was released, thanks to a cover by Luke Combs. Black female country artists like Mickey Guyton and Brittney Spencer have also gained popularity in recent years.

Beyoncé is the first woman to top both the Hot Country Songs chart and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart since they were established in 1958, according to Billboard. Both Beyoncé singles are part of her upcoming album, a country-themed follow-up to “Renaissance,” which she referred to as “Act II.” The full album, announced during a Verizon ad that aired during the Super Bowl, is expected to be released March 29.

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