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Beyoncé Makes History as First Black Woman Atop Hot Country Songs Chart

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Beyoncé Makes History as First Black Woman Atop Hot Country Songs Chart 3

“Texas Hold ‘Em” launches at No. 1. Plus, her “16 Carriages” rolls in at No. 9.

Pop and R&B/hip-hop superstar Beyoncé makes her debut on Billboard’s streaming-, airplay- and sales-based Hot Country Songs chart (dated Feb. 24) with her first two entries on the survey: “Texas Hold ‘Em” at No. 1 and “16 Carriages” at No. 9.

Prior to the triumph for “Texas Hold ‘Em,” no Black woman, or female known to be biracial, had previously topped Hot Country Songs. Meanwhile, the song’s reign follows Tracy Chapman having become the first Black woman to solely write a Country Airplay No. 1, as Luke Combs’ cover of her 1988 classic “Fast Car” reached the top spot last July.

As previously reported, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” start at Nos. 2 and 38, respectively, on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100.

Both tracks were released Feb. 11, as announced in a Verizon commercial that aired during CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl LVIII, ahead of the March 29 arrival of Beyoncé’s album expected to be titled Act II, which follows her 2022 Renaissance LP.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” drew 19.2 million official streams and 4.8 million in all-format airplay audience and sold 39,000 in the U.S. through Feb. 15, according to Luminate. “16 Carriages” rides in with 10.3 million streams, 90,000 in radio reach and 14,000 sold.

Notably, the Hot Country Songs coronation of “Texas Hold ‘Em” grants Beyoncé No. 1s on seven of Billboard’s multimetric song charts as a solo artist: the Hot 100, Hot Country Songs, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, Hot Gospel Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot R&B Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. She’s the only act to have notched No. 1s on that combination of rankings.

Only Justin Bieber has led more hybrid song charts – eight, among Billboard’s menu of 14 such surveys – having ruled the Hot 100, Hot Country Songs, Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, the Holiday 100, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Rap Songs, Hot R&B Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.

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Plus, Beyoncé makes history as the first woman to have topped both Hot Country Songs and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs since the lists began as all-encompassing genre song charts in October 1958. Overall, she joins Morgan Wallen, Bieber, Billy Ray Cyrus and Ray Charles as the only acts to have led both charts.

Beyoncé first appeared on Billboard’s rankings in 1997 as a member of Destiny’s Child. The group notched four No. 1s on the Hot 100 and two on the Billboard 200, beginning in 1999. As a soloist, she has scored eight and seven leaders on the respective charts, starting in 2003.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” is officially being promoted to country radio, as announced in a Columbia Nashville email to stations Feb. 14 at 11 a.m. ET, among other formats, and bows as Beyoncé’s first entry on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart (dated Feb. 24), at No. 54 with 1.1 million audience impressions at the format.

“We put the Beyoncé directly into a strong rotation so it can be heard. I want the station to sound as interesting as possible, because the opposite is boring,” says Dave Parker, program director of Sinclair’s WUSH Norfolk, Va. “This song is sounding great and doesn’t sound like anything else. Plus, the feedback from listeners has been very positive.”

“Texas Hold ‘Em” also begins at No. 38 on the Pop Airplay chart, while additionally drawing play at adult pop, rhythmic, adult R&B and mainstream R&B/hip-hop formats.

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The track concurrently begins at No. 1 on Country Digital Song Sales, where it’s Beyoncé’s first leader. It also crowns the all-genre Digital Song Sales survey, becoming her 11th chart-topper.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” is the 16th song to open in the Hot Country Songs penthouse and the first since Zach Bryan’s “I Remember Everything,” featuring Kacey Musgraves, in September. The latter cedes the summit after 20 weeks at No. 1. Among solo women with no accompanying artists, only Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have launched atop the chart, with Swift having achieved the feat with “Love Story (Taylor’s Version)” and “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” in 2021.

Meanwhile, “Texas Hold ‘Em” is the first Hot Country Songs leader to name-check a state in its title since Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey,” which led for two weeks in 2015. Among women, before Houston-born Beyoncé, Jamie O’Neal last shouted out a state in the title of a No. 1 song when “There Is No Arizona” led in 2001. As for the biggest state in the continental U.S., until this week it last appeared in the name of a leader on the list thanks to “Texas Tornado” by Tracy Lawrence in 1995.

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