Beyoncé Fan’s Radio Request

Debate Over Country Music is Reinvigorated by Beyoncé’s Radio Request!

A local Oklahoman country music station that had at first turned down a listener’s request to play a new Beyoncé song was compelled to change its tune following a backlash from supporters who claim that Black musicians are far too frequently left out of the genre.

Justin McGowan asked the D.J.s at Ada’s KYKC country music radio station on Tuesday morning to play “Texas Hold ‘Em,” one of Beyoncé’s two new songs that were revealed in a Sunday Super Bowl advertisement.

Houston native Beyoncé sings about hoedowns in the twangy ballad, which also incorporates viola and banjo played by fellow Black Grammy winner Rhiannon Giddens.

Mr. McGowan received a brief email rejection from Roger Harris, the station manager, stating that KYKC is a country music station and that Beyoncé is not played there. By sending the email, Mr. Harris inadvertently stoked a fresh argument in the long-running argument about how Black musicians belong in a genre that has their origins in Black music.

Beyoncé teased that her upcoming album would “break the internet” in the Super Bowl commercial. She was serious. Mr. McGowan shared a screenshot of the rejection on social media, identifying a Beyoncé fan club in a post that generated discussions on Reddit and TikTok and garnered 3.4 million views on X.

Mr. McGowan commented, “This is absolutely ridiculous and racist,” and he urged listeners to email the station to request the song. Mr. Harris, the station manager for 48 years, said that fans blasted KYKC with hundreds of letters and phone calls, criticising the station for not playing the song.

Beyoncé Fan’s Radio Request

In an interview, he remarked, “I’ve never experienced anything like the amount of communications that we received in support of the song.” Mr. Harris said the station hurried to get a high-quality copy of “Texas Hold ‘Em,” which D.J.s played three times in Tuesday night’s rotation, in between taking calls and emails from irate Beyoncé fans.

The new tracks by Beyoncé are included in an upcoming album she called “Act II.” This is one of three volumes in a project that music critics have stated is about recovering Black origins in contemporary music. Mr. Harris stated that project was unknown to him. He claimed that Beyoncé is frequently played on the Chickasaw Nation-owned radio network’s Top 40 and adult hit stations.

He stated, “She’s not a country artist, so we haven’t played her on our country station.” “Well, I guess she wants to be now, and that’s fine with us.”According to Mr. Harris, the songs that are played on larger stations and where a song ranks on the charts influence their rotation.

Beyoncé’s qualifications in the field of country music have been questioned by experts on the genre on previous occasions. The Recording Academy’s country music committee rejected the star’s 2016 Grammy entry for “Daddy Lessons,” which is off the album “Lemonade.”

The Associated Press reported at the time of the submission. (Beyoncé wore a leather Louis Vuitton outfit and a white cowgirl hat to the Grammy Awards this year, exuding rodeo chic.) When she performed “Daddy Lessons” live with the Chicks at the Country Music Awards, several fans ridiculed her and said she wasn’t supposed to be there.

The hip-hop singer Lil Nas X’s song “Old Town Road” was taken off the country chart by Billboard in 2019, sparking a discussion about what defines country music and how race influences the genre.

The Black Opry, a social media hub for Black musicians and fans of country, blues, folk, and Americana music, utilised the Beyoncé radio station issue to point her internet admirers towards its Spotify playlists that highlight other Black musicians in the country music genre.

The original rejection of Beyoncé by the Oklahoma radio station, according to Charles Hughes, the director of the Lynne and Henry Turley Memphis Centre at Rhodes College, was symbolic of the way in which “country radio has systematically excluded artists of colour,” particularly women.

But according to Dr. Hughes, Beyoncé and her BeyHive devotees are the ones who have the ability to tear down barriers within the nation.”Perhaps that influence will open up new opportunities for all these amazing Black women who are producing country music, so it can better reflect the nation and its fans,” he stated.

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