Beyoncé has become the first Black woman to reach the US No 1 spot with a country song with her new single Texas Hold ’Em, after debuting last week at No 2.

The lighthearted country song is the musician’s ninth solo No 1 (after four as a member of Destiny’s Child), and the first of two tracks to be released from Act II, the second in a rumoured trilogy following the release of Renaissance: Act I in 2022.

It’s the latest record-breaking accolade for the song: last week, Texas Hold ’Em made Beyoncé the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, despite some country radio programmers pushing back against the song’s inclusion. It makes Beyoncé the first woman to top both that list and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list since the rundowns began in 1958.

Earlier this month, one Oklahoma station that had originally refused to play the song added it to rotation after Beyoncé fans petitioned the station online. Their success led to the song being officially promoted to country radio.

Amid the controversy over whether the song belongs on notoriously conservative country radio, where women have long struggled for representation – and Black artists face even more discrimination – Dolly Parton endorsed Beyoncé’s country phase: “I’m a big fan of Beyoncé and very excited that she’s done a country album,” she posted on Instagram. “So congratulations on your Billboard Hot Country No 1 single. Can’t wait to hear the full album!”

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Beyoncé’s mother, Tina Knowles, affirmed the Houston family’s links to “cowboy culture” after some questioned the singer’s connection to country. “We always understood that it was not just about it belonging to white culture only. When people ask why is Beyoncé wearing cowboy hats? It’s really funny, I actually laugh because it’s been there since she was a kid, we went to rodeos every year and my whole family dressed in western fashion.”


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