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"Not a country album, a Beyoncé album"

Updated: Apr 17

By Winston Chu April 3 2024


Following its surprise release during Super Bowl LVIII, Beyoncé’s single “Texas Hold ‘Em” has ascended to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. As the name suggests, “Texas Hold ‘Em” is a country song, marking a pivotal change from Beyoncé’s usual style of music—and sparking mixed reactions from fans over Beyoncé’s authenticity in representing the country genre.


Dana Lim Art

At the young age of nine, Beyoncé formed the Rhythm and Blues (R&B) group Destiny’s Child, kickstarting her acclaimed career in the music industry as the group quickly rose to fame. Their album The Writing’s on the Wall (1999) earned the group two Grammy awards and sold more than eight million copies in the United States. In 2003, Beyoncé left the group to go solo, and Destiny’s Child disbanded in 2006.


Since then, Beyoncé has released a myriad of record breaking albums, garnering a diverse fanbase fans of different ages and origins. While she is recognized as one of the biggest pop stars of her time, many believe her music also pulls elements from R&B, hip-hop and rock to create a unique, energetic genre. For example, her studio album Renaissance (2022) received praise for integrating aspects of many different genres of music to portray self-expression. Beyoncé’s versatility represents her distinctive talent as a music artist, making it very difficult to categorize her music.


Dana Lim Art

Yet, when Beyoncé ventured into the country genre with “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “Carriages,” the response was not as well-received. Many fans did not appreciate her exploration of country, believing the songs were too different from her traditional style of music. Radio stations like , because country artists are predominantly white, some critics saw Beyoncé’s song as cultural appropriation. Consequently  As a result, some radio stations banned the song from airing from their country stations.

“The purpose of music is to communicate emotions. This makes it illogical to restrict an artist’s genre, since genre directly relates to the emotion of a song,” Freshman Aliza Quareshi said.

Despite the backlash, this is not Beyoncé’s first appearance in the country genre. In the past, she has nodded to her Houston roots by performing at the Houston Rodeos in 2004. Experts see Beyoncé’s work as paving the way for more representation for Black artists in country music—who have historically been disregarded and have faced massive barriers toat succeeding in the genre, even though their contributions are prevalent. For example, the banjo is an African instrument, and many cowboys were people of color.


“It is our constitutional right to freely express ourselves. Thus, artists should be able to explore any genre of music. Preventing artists from exploring a specific genre would be like saying Bob Ross is restricted to using only oil pastels—expression cannot be restricted by a single category,” Sophomore Shivani Kini said.

For now, Beyoncé is the first Black woman to hit the US No. 1 spot with a country song. Her success may be integral in inspiring other artists of color to not only explore country, but other genres of music where they are overlooked.


 

About the Contributors



Winston Chu

staff writer


Winston Chu is a sophomore at Leland High. He enjoys writing, debating, and sleeping.








Dana Lim

artist


Dana Lim is a junior at Leland High School and is an artist for The Charger Account. During her free time, she loves watching movies, listening to music, and taking 5hr naps


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