Creating history is no biggie for pop sensation Beyoncé. And the goddess has done it yet again. The singer became the first Black woman to top Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart after her track Texas Hold ‘Em debuted at No. 1. This win proved to be monumental as no Black woman, or female known to be biracial, had previously topped Hot Country Songs.

With this, the “Break My Soul” singer empirically put to rest the debate about her inclusion in the ‘country‘ genre. Beyoncé’s hot new singles “Texas Hold ’Em” and “16 Carriages” released simultaneously in a surprise album announcement during the Super Bowl. As per the streaming, airplay, and sales data, “Texas Hold ’Em” held up the No. 1 position, and “16 Carriages” rode onto the No. 9 spot.

As per Billboard, Taylor Swift has been the only solo woman to clinch that achievement with no accompanying artists. But Queen Bey made history as the first woman to top both Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. Justin Bieber, Billy Ray Cyrus, Ray Charles, and Morgan Wallen are the only other artists who have led both charts.

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The Renaissance Trilogy

The superstar released the new songs after her Verizon commercial aired during Super Bowl LVIII earlier this month. Both singles will appear in Beyoncé’s second installment of her Renaissance trilogy, set for release on 29 March.

Renaissance’s” initial act was influenced by disco and club music, transitioning into the EDM genre in 2022. Similarly, the singer is incorporating her Houston country music background into “Act II,” the second album in her anticipated trilogy, scheduled for release on March 29th.

The Billboards History With Black Artists

In a genre whose relationship to Black artists has often proved controversial, Beyoncé’s track marked one of several historical achievements. The country chart achievements come after an online firestorm last week around Texas Hold ‘Em’s categorisation as a country track. A country radio station in Oklahoma initially declined to play a request for Beyoncé’s new single, though they later changed their tune after a viral campaign on X.

In a high-profile example from 2019, rapper Lil Nas X’s viral country-trap fusion Old Town Road was removed from Billboard’s Hot Country Songs after it topped the chart. Chart compilers claimed it wasn’t country enough – despite its banjo instrumentation and lyrical content about horse riding. “While Old Town Road incorporates references to country and cowboy imagery, it does not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version,” Billboard wrote at the time.

Beyoncé Texas Hold 'Em Billboard Hot Country Music Chart topper 16 Carriages Renaissance trilogy country pop singer

In 2016, Beyoncé’s heavily country-inspired track Daddy Lessons was rejected by the Recording Academy’s country music committee, making it ineligible for country Grammys. She later played the song at the Country Music Association awards with the Dixie Chicks in a surprise performance that sparked a fresh round of discourse around country music’s politics and ambiguous classifications.

The Song’s Performance Metrics

The Hot Country Songs chart is a “multi-metric” chart that combines US sales, streams, and radio airplay, much like Billboard’s primary Hot 100 chart. The chart that released this Tuesday, reflected the seven days leading up to 15 February. Texas Hold ‘Em released on 11 February, which means that the song achieved its slots after just four days of tracking.

In that duration, it was streamed 19.2 million times, reached 4.8 million listeners in all-format airplay, and downloaded 39,000 times in the US, according to entertainment data company Luminate. It debuted at No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart, whereas the superstar’s other new track 16 Carriages debuted at No. 38. This track rode in with 10.3 million streams, and 90,000 in radio reach with 14,000 copies sold.

The reign of Queen Bey continues and we’re here for it!