Beyoncé gone full country with “Texas Hold ‘Em”

Beyoncé released “Texas Hold ‘Em” as the first single from her upcoming Act II album on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 18). The song opens the conversation of black artistes in country music. Black artistes have always been a part of country music, but have historically been marginalized from the industry.

Black artistes who have found success in country music include: Bobby Womack, Candi Staton, The Pointer Sisters, Linda Martell, Cleve Francis and lately, Mickey Guyton. Nevertheless, Beyoncé is the first black mega artiste to bridge the gap between pop and country.

Billboard announced Beyoncé’s “Texas Hold ‘Em” scored a No. 2 debut on the Billboard Hot 100 with just four days of tracking activity. That was impressive enough — but in its second week, “ Texas Hold ‘Em” maintains and then some, climbing to No. 1 on the chart.

The song makes for Beyoncé’s second Hot 100 No. 1 of the 2020s as a lead artistes, following Renaissance leader “Break My Soul,” and the ninth of her solo career (following four notched at the turn of the ’00s as part of Destiny’s Child). While the song continues to excel in sales and streams in its second week, it also grows rapidly at radio — including on country radio, whose approval has been historically hard to come by for artists from outside of the Nashville community (as well as for Black women artistes in general).

Beyoncé is also using the moment to shine the spotlight on Black Cowboys.

Black cowboys were among the first cowboys in the United States, and made up an estimated 25% of cowboys from the 1860s to the 1880s. However, pop culture has often erased Black cowboys from the Western image. And though African-American cowboys don’t play a part in the popular narrative, historians estimate that one in four cowboys were black~ Smithsonian

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