Reactions As Country Radio Has Been Slow To Play Beyoncé’s New Music

During the Super Bowl event on Sunday night, Beyoncé released two new country-style songs, but despite being one of the most popular singers of our time, country radio stations have been slow to add her tracks to their playlists. In the first 24 hours since the release of the songs, only eight reporters on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart played “Texas Hold ‘Em,” and only one station, KBAY San Francisco, played it more than once. During this period, no stations on the country chart’s panel, which includes nearly 150 stations, played “16 Carriages.” Although “Texas Hold ‘Em” did receive over 200 all-format plays, mainly on pop radio, “16 Carriages” drew only a handful of plays. It’s worth noting that neither song received enough plays through Monday to feature on Billboard’s budding 60-position country airplay chart.

On Tuesday, however, a news article published by the Austin American-Stateman was based on a social media post stating that the country station KYKC in Ada, Oklahoma, had flatly refused a request to play “Texas Hold ‘Em.” A screenshot from a Twitter user’s tweet was featured in the story. The person claimed to have asked the station to play the song and received a response saying, “Hey, we don’t play Beyoncé on KYKC because we’re a country music station.” KYKC then responded with a post from a different fan, stating that it will “happily play the song when it gets high enough on the chart.”

Despite these setbacks, there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon. On Tuesday afternoon, Columbia officially serviced “Texas Hold ‘Em” to country radio, whereas it had previously been sent to other formats. Country radio has traditionally been slow to play songs that aren’t serviced to them or then actively promoted by the label. Beyoncé’s two new songs are part of Renaissance Act II, which is set to release on March 29.

Beyoncé has previously experimented with country music, collaborating with the Dixie Chicks on the song “Daddy Lessons” from Lemonade (2016), which she performed at the 2016 CMA Awards. That song peaked at No. 41 on the Hot 100; however, it did not make the country radio charts. It’s noteworthy to remember that Post Malone and Lana Del Rey are two other pop artists who intend to make country albums, in addition to Beyoncé. Ed Sheeran has even voiced a desire to record a country album.

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