Human Interest

Love Beyonce’s New Song? Here Are Other Black Women in Country Music

Beyoncé is the first Black female artist to hold the number-one spot on Billboard's country airplay chart with "Texas Hold 'Em." Her other single "16 Carriages," also released on February 11 debuted at number 9 on the Billboard country chart. The songs reached No. 2 and No. 38 on the Billboard Hot 100. Billboard reported that "Texas Hold 'Em" drew 19.2 million official streams and 4.8 million in all-format airplay audience and sold 39,000 in the U.S. through Feb. 15. "16 Carriages" currently has around 10.3 million streams, 90,000 in radio reach and 14,000 sold. Sure, Beyoncé has been a part of a lot of headlines and news stories lately but she’s not the first well-known or mainstream artist to explore the country genre. Lil Nas X, whose single "Old Town Road" spent a record 19 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 2019. K. Michelle, the former cast member of VH1's Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta has been releasing country music for a couple of years with songs titled "Country Love Song" and "Tennessee." Of course, there's Darius Rucker who has claimed his spot in the country industry. In recent years, Black female country artists like Mickey Guyton and Brittney Spencer have also gained popularity. Many Black artists have struggled to be recognized within the country music genre. It’s been a genre often dominated by white male singers. Recently, Black women are starting to be acknowledged. For instance, last year at the Country Music Awards, Tracy Chapman won Song of the Year for "Fast Car," which topped the country charts three decades after it was released. The song gained popularity because of a cover by Luke Combs. Black Roots and Influences in Country Music Some of country music’s earliest instruments were the fiddle and the banjo. PBS reported that early immigrants brought the fiddle to America, while the banjo was brought by enslaved Africans. In filmmaker Ken Burns' 16-hour documentary series, Country Music, he covers how country music has always been home to African American artists. While many people are busting out their cowboy hats and breaking out line dances to Queen Bey's hits, some people are hoping that the singer will bring more recognition to Black female artists within the country genre. Take a look at some of the Black female country artists making a splash in the music industry.

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