Beyonce's new music is sparking conversations in the country music world

The singer is in her country music era.

ByGood Morning America via logo
February 15, 2024, 1:41 PM

Beyoncé is going country -- a move that has sparked a lot of conversation in the country music world.

The 32-time Grammy winner and Texas native dropped two new country-themed songs Sunday night during the Super Bowl -- "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages" -- while announcing a new album, "Act II."

On Monday, controversy was stirred up when a Beyoncé fan shared on social media that KYKC - 100.1 FM based in Ada, Oklahoma, had replied to their request to play Beyoncé's new music that they don't play her on their country station.

Roger Harris, general manager for Chickasaw Nation-Radio Stations (S.C.O.R.E.), which owns and operates KYKC, told "Good Morning America" in an email that he wishes they would have elaborated and told the fan that they play Beyoncé on two of their other stations.

"Truth be told, we had no idea that she was releasing country music," Harris said, adding that "on top of that, we didn't even have the song ... we are just a small station that isn't serviced by the big record labels" and that they "really do love Beyoncé."

PHOTO: Beyonce and Jay-Z attend the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles.
Beyonce and Jay-Z attend the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on Feb. 4, 2024 in Los Angeles.
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Harris said the station received "literally thousands of emails and non-stop phone calls" for them to play Beyoncé's new music and, after getting their hands on the song, estimated they've played the song seven or eight times this week, which he says "is a little higher than normal."

Harris added that there has "been some backlash" from some of the station's more "traditional" country music listeners "who don't think the song deserves airplay."

"But to us it's all about good music," Harris said.

During a recent episode of "The Bobby Bones Show," radio personality Bobby Bones also responded to critics who have an issue with Beyoncé dipping into the country music genre or saying her songs aren't country enough.

The radio host brought up a few non-country artists from years past who have crossed over into the genre -- notably Kenny Rogers, Conway Twitty and Darius Rucker -- and said "it wasn't that controversial" for them.

Bones said it would be "hypocritical" to be excited for Post Malone's forthcoming country album but have an issue with Beyoncé's -- especially considering she performed her song "Daddy Lessons" with The Chicks at the 2016 CMA Awards and, nearly a decade later, she performed a country version of her song "Irreplaceable" with Sugarland at the 2007 American Music Awards.

"It's crazy to me how people get upset about it," the "Dancing with the Stars" winner said, going on to address people saying "that's not country."

PHOTO: Beyonce attends the Luar fashion show during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 13, 2024 in New York City.
Beyonce attends the Luar fashion show during New York Fashion Week on Feb. 13, 2024 in New York City.
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

He added, "And what's considered traditional country now at one point was like 'that's not country.'"

Bones called the outcry of some fans "fake outrage" and reminded everyone "you can also be multiple things at once."

Over on X, formerly Twitter, Bones also addressed the "historical" reason why Beyoncé and other Black artists have a claim to country music.

"So let’s get historical. Country music is based on the music from Africa brought over on the slave ships. And from Europe. With the fiddle and banjo. So all these dudes yelling 'that ain't country'... unless you're European or African, you ain't really 'country.' As far as music goes."

Mike Muse, an ABC News contributor and SiriusXM host, backed up Bones' comments Thursday on "Good Morning America."

"Country music is very much rooted in Black culture and Black history," he said. "And even stemming from the banjo, which was derived from circular instruments coming out of West Africa."

"The mere fact that Beyonce is releasing new music and the mere fact that she's doing country, it is now going to give society as a whole the opportunity to have social discourse on country music," Muse added. "And so I think from there, from that aspect, by her creating a global conversation, we will have more eyeballs on country music, and it will be really great."

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