New Twist In Beyonce Country Music Controversy

A radio station in Oklahoma has found itself at the center of controversy after receiving criticism for refusing to play Beyoncé’s new country song, “Texas Hold ‘Em.” KYKC-FM, a country music station, initially responded to a fan request for the song by stating that they do not play Beyoncé’s music. The response sparked accusations of racism from the singer’s fanbase, known as the Beyhive. However, the station has since added the song to its playlist, along with two other stations under the same management.

The controversy began when a fan requested “Texas Hold ‘Em,” a country song about Beyoncé’s home state of Texas. The fan’s request was met with a reply stating that the station does not play Beyoncé’s music.

This response quickly went viral on social media, with many accusing the station of racism for not playing a song by a black artist on a country music station. The criticism caught the attention of KYKC’s general manager, Roger Harris, who explained that the station was simply following its programming guidelines at the time.

Harris told CBS News that KYKC was not aware that Beyoncé had released two country songs, including “Texas Hold ‘Em,” following her performance at Super Bowl LVIII. Additionally, the station did not have the song in its playlist as it does not receive music from big labels like larger stations do.

While the response to the fan’s request was a standard reply, Harris acknowledged that the situation could have been handled differently. He also clarified that the station does play Beyoncé’s music on two other stations under the same management.

The station made an effort to track down the song and listen to it. Harris stated that upon hearing the song, they agreed that it had a country sound and added it to the playlist. The station even addressed the controversy on social media, stating that they have nothing against Beyoncé and wishing her the best in her foray into country music. Harris also emphasized that artists should not be confined to specific genres or formats and that good music should be recognized regardless.

The incident with KYKC is not the first time that race has been brought into the conversation regarding genre classification in the music industry. The controversy surrounding Beyoncé’s song mirrors a similar situation with Lil Nas X’s hit song “Old Town Road” in 2019. The song was initially removed from the Billboard Hot Country chart, with Billboard stating that it did not “embrace enough elements of today’s country music.” However, after a remix with country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, the song returned to the charts.

This is not the first time Beyoncé has faced criticism in the country music world. In 2016, she performed her song “Daddy’s Lessons” with country trio The Chicks at the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Awards.

The performance received mixed reactions from country music fans, with some embracing the crossover and others expressing disapproval. However, Beyoncé has continued to push the boundaries and explore different genres in her music, showcasing her versatility and breaking down barriers in the industry.

The addition of Beyoncé’s song “Texas Hold ‘Em” to KYKC’s playlist has sparked a much-needed conversation about representation and diversity in the country music world. While the incident may have started with a controversial response, it ultimately led to the recognition and acceptance of a talented artist and her contribution to the music industry.

CBS News