Why Beyonce is taking a stand against country music amid Taylor Swift’s dominance of the genre

The Nightly
3 Min Read
Beyonce’s cover for ‘Cowboy Carter’.
Beyonce’s cover for ‘Cowboy Carter’. Credit: Instagram/Instagram

Beyonce says it “ain’t a country album” . . . that’s because it’s actually an all-out attack on Taylor Swift’s current monopoly on pop culture and the inherent racism of the genre.

The former Destiny’s Child megastar has released the official album artwork for “Cowboy Carter”.

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For something that isn’t meant to be a country album, the first single “Texas Hold ‘Em” went all the way to number one . . . on the country charts.

The second track “16 Carriages” is a country ballad that tracks the pitfalls of fame at an early age.

Her decision to lean into the incredibly popular but white-dominated country music scene sets her up to clash with the so-called Swifties.

Taylor started her career in country music and is its biggest superstar.

Beyonce’s move also comes after her husband, rap mogul Jay Z, used the Grammys platform recently to call out the institute’s lack of recognition for Beyonce in the Album of the Year category.

“She has more Grammys than everyone and never won album of the year,” he said at the recent awards ceremony.

Later that night Taylor Swift would win her record-breaking fourth Album of the Year. She is the first person to do so and at just 34.

Beyonce’s full album note for “Cowboy Carter” is an emotional statement about her sudden genre departure.

Beyoncé stripped down to her origins for her new album cover, donning her maiden name and her birthday suit. The 28-time Grammy winner, 42, went naked under another pageant sash in the second promo image for Cowboy Carter, her eighth studio album and country music debut. In the photo, Bey serves a Venus pose, rocking long beaded braids and holding a lit cigarette billowing with smoke. Her body is concealed by a sash that reads 'act ii BEYINCÉ', which is her family's name.
Beyonce says it ‘ain’t a country album’. Credit: Instagram/Instagram

It alludes to what many fans suspect was racism directed towards her from the country music scene.

“This album has been over five years in the making,” Beyonce says in the note.

“It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed . . . and it was very clear that I wasn’t.

“But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive.

“It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history.”

She goes on to say she feels “honoured” to be “the first Black woman with the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart”.

“That would not have happened without the outpouring of support from each and every one of you,” she says.

“My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.”

It’s not the first time the two have been on different sides of the pop debate.

Rapper Kanye West infamously stormed the stage at the MTV Video Music awards more than a decade ago when Swift won the award for Best Female Video.

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13:   Kanye West (L) jumps onstage after Taylor Swift (C) won the "Best Female Video" award during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on September 13, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Kanye West jumps onstage after Taylor Swift won the "Best Female Video" award during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Kanye was outraged the gong didn’t go to Beyonce for her seminal “All The Single Ladies” track, which he said “had one of the best videos of all time”.


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