Fan Backlash Puts Beyonce on Country Station

New songs crack playlist after complaints
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 15, 2024 6:30 PM CST
Fan Backlash Puts Beyonce on Country Station
Fantasia Barrino performs a tribute to Tina Turner alongside Beyonce, in her new cowboy hat, during the Grammy Awards on Feb. 4 in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

"We do not play Beyonce on KYLC as we are a country music station." That explanation for why the new song "Texas Hold 'Em" wasn't airing on the Oklahoma radio station did not go over well when a fan who had requested the song posted it on X. Beyhive members raised the roof on social media, CBS News reports. The manager of the small station said he didn't realize Beyonce had released a couple of country songs and changed his mind. So now KYLC is playing Beyonce as it's a country music station.

Her fans swamped the Ada station with hundreds of emails and calls asking that it play "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages," per the New York Times, with some fans posting that the initial decision was racist. Roger Harris, who has managed KYLC for 48 years, said he's never seen such an outpouring of support for a song. Stations across the country felt the same pressure, per the Hill. The singer had announced the songs' release in a Super Bowl commercial on Sunday, foreshadowing that the furor would "break the internet." The songs are in the station's playlist now. If Beyonce wants to make country music, Harris said, "We're all for it."

A Washington Post review finds the songs to indeed be country, just not up to Beyonce's standards. A review in the Guardian, on the other hand, says Beyonce has bent country music to her will. Variety points out that her crossover echoes the one Ray Charles made in 1962 and that the effort is legitimate—Beyonce is from Houston. (More Beyonce stories.)

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