Beyoncé wearing a bolo and sunglasses and cowboy hat

Beyoncé is Officially Sending Her New Song, ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’, to Country Radio

February 15, 2024 11:21 am GMT

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Beyoncé has confirmed she'll be sending ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ to Country Radio on February 20th.

The announcement follows criticism levelled at radio stations for refusing to play either of Beyoncé's new country tracks, which form part of her upcoming Renaissance Act II album.

The ‘Halo’ megastar dropped the first two songs from the hotly anticipated second instalment in her three-part Renaissance series following the 2024 Super Bowl, during which Beyoncé appeared in a hilarious half-time Verizon commercial.

Beyoncé's foray into the genre has been celebrated by many fans as another sign of country music's explosion in popularity, with Post Malone and Lana Del Rey having previously revealed they'll also be releasing their debut country albums in 2024.

However, ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ has already faced some challenges when it comes to getting radio play, with Billboard sharing that, from the song's release on Sunday evening until Monday night (February 12th), eight stations that report to Billboard's Country Airplay chart played the track. A solitary station played it more than once.

A particular station in Oklahoma, KYKC, caused a stir when it responded to a fan's call for them to play ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ with a blunt email, “Hi, we do not play Beyonce on KYKC as we are a country music station”. However, a source at the station later told Billboard this message came from the General Manager who was not yet aware Beyoncé had released a country song, with the station generally only playing songs once they enter the Top 30 on the Mediabase Country chart.

It comes after Beyoncé's previous flirtation with country music, when the Texas singer-songwriter performed her Lemonade stand-out ‘Daddy Lessons’ at the 2016 CMA Awards alongside The Chicks, was met with complaints from a number of commentators.

High-profile Radio personality, Bobby Bones, highlighted the contrast between the reaction to Post Malone's entry into country and the response Beyoncé has been met with. He explained, “You have Post Malone, where everybody’s going ‘We can’t wait’!...I think Post Malone’s country album is gonna be awesome, [but] you’re hypocritical if you’re like, ‘I like Post Malone coming but not Beyoncé’”.

He went on to stress, “Beyoncé’s been on the CMAs, Beyoncé did Sugarland…it’s crazy to me how people get upset about it...Remember Morgan Wallen wasn’t a country artist when he started. He went on The Voice as a soul singer, a pop singer”.

Country Radio is perceived by many as operating within a highly traditional - and perhaps somewhat inflexible - framework, with many stations refusing to play new releases that are not being officially serviced to them by the labels and artists.

Regardless of the stipulations and structure around Radio, it certainly feels as though there is resistance from some camps within the genre to Beyoncé's crossover attempts.

Many are pointing to this apparent reluctance to play Beyoncé's ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ as another example of why ‘Country Radio’ is increasingly viewed as an outdated and inaccurate mechanism of showing what's popular among today's listeners.

It seems the picture will become clearer when ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ is officially sent to Country Radio on February 20th, with this arguably presenting a prime opportunity for stations to show they remain relevant and on-the-pulse when it comes to new releases.

Their approach will no doubt serve as a helpful indicator of how they'll act when Lana Del Rey and Post Malone release their forthcoming country singles, with the latter already having scored his first Billboard Country Airplay hit with ‘Pick-Up Man’.

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Written by Maxim Mower
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