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'This Ain't a Country Album, This Is a Beyoncé Album': Beyoncé Addresses Feeling 'Unwelcome' in Country Music

'This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t,' the Houston native said in a statement.

beyonce cowboy
Source: Parkwood Entertianment


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Continuing the promotional slow-drip that has been ongoing ever since she announced the March 29 release date for her upcoming eighth solo album, Beyoncé unveiled another image from Cowboy Carter on March 19. Yet more interesting was the statement she released alongside it, in which she discusses her burgeoning interest in country music.

In particular, the singer mentions that her country-themed album had in its genesis in "an experience" she had years ago where she "did not feel welcome" in the genre. Presumably, the experience in question involved the release of "Daddy Lessons," a song off her 2016 album Lemonade. Though the track was clearly country in style -- enough so that she performed it with the Chicks on that year's Country Music Association Awards -- the song was reportedly rejected by committee from consideration for the Grammy Awards in the country categories, and some veteran country stars like Travis Tritt spoke out against Beyoncé's inclusion on the show.

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beyonce cowboy statement
Source: Parkwood Entertainment

Beyoncé released a statement discussing her interest in country music.

That incident helped provoke a long-delayed conversation about the role of race in country music, along with the emergence of several Black country stars like Mickey Guyton, Kane Brown and Allison Russell in roughly the same period. And that conversation returned with force earlier this year, when Beyoncé's single "Texas Hold 'Em" became the first song by a Black woman to top Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart, in spite of early reticence from some country stations to play it.

The singer's statement began: "Today marks the 10-day countdown until the release of Act II. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of the supporters of 'Texas Hold 'Em' and '16 Carriages.' I feel honored to be the first Black woman with the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart. That would not have happened without the outpouring of support from each and every one of you. 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.

"This album has been over five years in the making. It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t. But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history."

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beyonce singles
Source: Parkwood Entertainment

Beyoncé released the singles 'Texas Hold 'Em' and '16 Carriages' earlier this year.

The Houston native continued: "The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me. Act II is a result of challenging myself, and taking my time to bend and blend genres together to create this body of work.

"I have a few surprises on the album, and have collaborated with some brilliant artists who I deeply respect. I hope that you can hear my heart and soul, and all the love and passion that I poured into every detail and every sound.

"I focused on this album as a continuation of Renaissance…I hope this music is an experience, creating another journey where you can close your eyes, start from the beginning and never stop."

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Source: MEGA

Beyoncé first dabbled in country music on her 2016 single 'Daddy Lessons.'

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She then closed with a statement of purpose: "This ain’t a Country album. This is a 'Beyoncé' album. This is Act II Cowboy Carter, and I am proud to share it with y’all!"

The star's new statement is very much in line with an earlier quote from Renaissance tour stage designer Es Devlin, who discussed her interest in country music and Western iconography in a British Vogue article prior to the new album announcement. "She discovered that 50 percent of cowboys were black, in the 19th and early 20th century, and country music, of course, has been largely appropriated," Devlin said. "She wanted to reappropriate American and country music from a Black perspective."


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