Beyoncé praised for new country album after racist backlash to her CMAs performance

19 March 2024, 16:30

Beyoncé announces Act II with visual teaser

Sam  Prance

By Sam Prance

Beyoncé's performance of 'Daddy Lessons' at the CMAs was met with a torrent of online hate. Her new album Cowboy Carter is a direct response to that experience.

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Beyoncé making a country album after racists had a meltdown over her CMAs performance? Pretty legendary if you ask me.

Beyoncé is no stranger to country music. From performing at the Houston Rodeo multiple times, to singing a country version of 'Irreplaceable' with Sugarland, Beyoncé has long expressed her love for country music as a genre. Beyoncé took things even further in 2016 by releasing 'Daddy Lessons' - a country song on her critically acclaimed sixth album Lemonade.

On Sunday (Feb 11), Beyoncé revealed that she is releasing an entire country album. Announced at the Super Bowl, Act II will serve as a country follow up to Renaissance and it contains the new singles 'Texas Hold 'Em' and '16 Carriages'.

Now, people are praising Beyoncé for releasing a full-length country project, titled Cowboy Carter, and the decision is even more poignant considering the backlash to her performance of 'Daddy Lessons' at the Country Music Awards in 2016.

READ MORE: The deeper meaning behind Beyoncé's Texas Hold 'Em lyrics explained

Beyoncé praised for new country album after racist backlash to her CMAs performance
Beyoncé praised for new country album after racist backlash to her CMAs performance. Picture: Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Group LA/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

Back in 2016, Beyoncé made her CMAs debut, where she performed 'Daddy Lessons' with The Chicks at the ceremony. While fans in general were excited to see Beyoncé perform her own country song during the award show, the performance was met with huge backlash online and it no longer exists on the internet in any official capacity outside of fan rips.

Before Beyoncé even performed, country singers spoke out against her performing at the show. On Twitter, Travis Twitt wrote: "I love honest to God country music and feel the need to stand up for it at all costs. We don’t need pop or rap artists to validate us." In contrast, Brad Paisley, Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini all defended Beyoncé.

Meanwhile, the reception at the show was mixed with some artists refusing to engage with Beyoncé's performance at all. There was also racist backlash from viewers. In a piece for Vox, writer Alex Abad-Santos said it was "downright racist."

In the wake of the backlash, the CMAs also appeared to scrub all references to the performance from their website and social media leading fans to think they were trying to appease viewers who complained. They have since denied this.

Now, fans are living for Beyoncé's decision to record more country music despite the uproar that it previously caused.

One fan tweeted: "Beyoncé said she’s got a point to prove with the CMAs after the way they TRIED her."

READ MORE: Is country radio refusing to play Beyoncé's Texas Hold 'Em? The controversy explained

Beyoncé is yet to open up about the inspiration behind Act II. However, like Renaissance before it, it appears that Beyoncé's aim is to help reclaim a genre that was originally pioneered by Black people. On 'Texas Hold 'Em' and '16 Carriages', she uses traditional country sounds and works with Black country musicians.

Whether or not Beyoncé performs at the Country Music Awards again is yet to be seen. However, they'd be fools not to ask or nominate her. Yesterday (Feb 12), Beyoncé made history as the first Black woman to top the Country music charts on Apple Music with 'Texas Hold 'Em'.

Something tell us Act II is going to be pretty special!

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