Home Entertainment The moment that inspired Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’

The moment that inspired Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’

The moment that inspired Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’


And the category is … Beyoncé.

On Tuesday, the superstar set the record straight about the upcoming release of her album “Cowboy Carter” — thanking her fans for the success of its first singles, teasing a few surprises and collaborations, sharing how she plans to contribute to the country music sound and addressing the moment that challenged her to dive deeper into the genre in the first place.

“Because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of country music and studied our rich musical archive.” Beyoncé wrote in a post shared to her Instagram on Tuesday. “The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me.”

Those remarks are widely speculated to refer to the reception of her debut country song “Daddy Lessons” and her performance of it at the 2016 Country Music Association Awards with the Chicks. The performance was met with swift backlash and exposed the deep divides that still persist in the country music industry.

Many viewers argued that the superstar didn’t belong in the genre — or on the stage of “country music’s biggest night, “as the show’s tagline says. Much of the criticism was seen as racially and politically charged in the wake of liberal-leaning political statements in Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” album.

“Daddy Lessons,” which many music critics praised at the time, was also snubbed from consideration in the country music categories at the Grammys.

Like other controversies the star has faced in her career, Beyoncé has always used her music to address the headlines. But in this instance, it also inspired a deeper foray into the country music genre, she wrote.

“Cowboy Carter,” which debuts March 29, is a continuation of her culture shifting Act I project “Renaissance,” and has been more than five years in the making, Beyoncé said. For many fans, it confirms long-held speculations that the follow-up project would introduce a new era in the singer’s extensive music catalogue.

“[A]ct ii is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work,” Beyoncé shared in her Instagram post — and already it’s making history.

“Texas Hold ’Em,” one of two releases teased to “Cowboy Carter” became the first song by a Black woman to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. And according to Billboard magazine, its success has also given other Black women in country music a boost — including Tanner Adell, Reyna Roberts and Rhiannon Giddens, who plays the banjo and viola on “Texas Hold ’Em.”

Giddens’s feature on the song points to a tradition Beyoncé has long upheld: Just as she honored the artists who blazed a trail for house, disco and bounce music with her “Renaissance” album, “Cowboy Carter” is likely to bring recognition to unsung Black country artists.

“My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant,” Beyoncé wrote.

“This ain’t a Country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album,” she concluded.


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