Posted on February 21, 2024

Beyoncé’s New Country Song Highlights Genre’s Racist ‘Exclusion’ of Black Artists, Media Argue

Lindsay Kornick, Fox News, February 16, 2024

Can Beyoncé’s upcoming country-tinged album overcome the genre’s “racialized past”? Many mainstream outlets began asking that question this week.

Superstar Beyoncé Knowles-Carter surprised the world Sunday night after the Super Bowl by dropping the new singles “Texas Hold Em” and “16 Carriages” to preview her upcoming album “Renaissance Act II,” which is set to debut March 29. In contrast to her previous “Renaissance” album, the upcoming “Act II” appears to have more of a country music influence.


“Whatever happens, or doesn’t, is likely to create waves, given the star’s status as certainly one of the two or three biggest music luminaries in the world, moving toward a format that has proven famously resistant to making its homegrown Black women into stars,” a Variety article read.

It continued, “If Beyoncé doesn’t get big (or any) play at country, will it be a sign of entrenched racism? Or just a sign of country radio doing what country radio always does — move slowly and cautiously, that is, while waiting for cues from a powerful record company? Nervousness about how these questions might play out amid nearly all-White-male playlists is understandable.”

The article noted that regardless of how Beyoncé’s songs are received, race, along with “the near-complete lack of success of Black women in the format providing a historical backdrop,” will “inevitably be at the fore.”

Speaking with The New York Times, Charles Hughes, the director of the Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Center at Rhodes College, also claimed “country radio has systematically excluded artists of color” and that Beyoncé may be no exception.

“Maybe that power will create an expanded space for all these great Black women making country music,” Hughes said, “to make it more in line with the people who love country music and the country it’s supposed to represent.”

Time magazine went even further to insist “Beyoncé Has Always Been Country” because “the truth is that country music has never been White.”


Much of the discussion was stirred up when an X post went viral on Tuesday of a man claiming an Oklahoma country music station was racist for rejecting a request to play Beyoncé’s new single. {snip}