Beyoncé has once again rewritten the music history books by becoming the first Black female artist to claim the top spot-on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, as announced by Billboard on Tuesday. 

 Her latest tracks, “Texas Hold ‘Em” seizing the No. 1 position and “16 Carriages” securing No. 9, surged to prominence just over a week after their release. The R&B and hip-hop luminary, hailing from Texas, is reshaping a genre deeply rooted in Black musical heritage yet historically marked by exclusion, particularly of Black women, according to scholars. 

Released on February 11th and unveiled during a Super Bowl commercial in anticipation of her forthcoming album, a sequel to the 2022 “Renaissance,” Beyoncé’s singles mark a significant moment in music history. 

 Billboard also noted her unprecedented achievement of topping both the Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts since their inception in 1958. 

While acknowledging that Beyoncé isn’t the initial Black female country singer, her recent triumph in the country music realm underscores a genre traditionally dominated by white male artists. Over the years, women of color have endeavored to carve out space for artists who reflect their backgrounds in a genre deeply intertwined with Black musical traditions. 

“Black people and brown people have always had an interest in country music — they’ve always played it and always enjoyed it,” Amanda Marie Martinez, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told NBC News in 2020. 

Prominent country instruments, such as the fiddle and the banjo, were played mostly by enslaved African people and eventually incorporated into music driven by white Southern artists, according to Martinez, who has written extensively on country and race. Nonetheless, country radio stations in the early 20th century primarily featured white artists who have come to dominate the country music scene. 

As the genre and its audience have diversified over recent decades, artists such as Rissi Palmer and Mickey Guyton are advocating for more visibility for Black country musicians. Many hope that Beyoncé’s new country album will redefine in the cultural consciousness what it means to be a country artist. 

“Texas Hold ‘Em” gives Beyoncé her seventh unique No. 1 spot on an array of song charts, according to Billboard. (Currently, only Justin Bieber beats out Beyoncé with eight unique No. 1 songs across charts.) 

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