Beyoncé Is Officially Going To Country Radio With ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’

As of Tuesday afternoon, “Texas Hold ‘Em” has officially been serviced to country radio.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

February 14, 2024

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Photo Courtesy Of Beyoncé

Beyoncé has become a popular topic of conversation in the country music world as of Sunday (Feb. 11) when she released two new country-leaning songs – “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” – immediately following her appearance in a Verizon Super Bowl ad. Due to the fact that this is a relatively new approach for Beyoncé, Country radio appears to be hesitant to add the new tunes to the airwaves. However, the large volume of fan requests that are coming into stations could change that. 

Will Country Radio Play Beyoncé?

On Tuesday, a Twitter user under the name @jussatto sparked a conversation on X (formally Twitter) when he claimed to request “Texas Hold ‘Em” at his local country station, KYKC in Ada, Oklahoma. According to the screenshot of the email response he attached to the post, the station explained that they are strictly a country station and as a result, do not play Beyoncé, a widely known pop artist. The response then blew up on the platform as fans debated whether or not the new tunes belong on country radio. 

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A representative from S.C.O.R.E., the station’s parent company, later explained to Entertainment Weekly that KYKC’s general manager Roger Harris “was removed and didn’t know otherwise” that Beyoncé had stepped into the country realm with the release of these new songs. 

Harris continued to clarify his response in an email to EW saying, “up until now, she hasn’t been a ‘country artist.’  So..we responded to the email in the same way we would have responded to someone requesting a Rolling Stones song on our country station.”

KYKC’s sister Top 40 station had already added the song to their system despite the fact the station will generally wait until the single makes its way into the top 30 on Mediabase. The same rep also revealed that another problem the station faced in the first few days of the songs’ release was Sony Music had initially withheld the songs from country radio stations. The same dilemma arose in 2016 when Beyoncé dropped her first country-laced song, “Daddy Lessons” from her album Lemonade.

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The Oklahoma station later shared on its own X account that since they had “lots of calls coming in” requesting the song be played, they decided to spin “Texas Hold ‘Em” as well as “16 Carriages.”

“We literally just learned about the new song…but we didn’t have the actual song in our possession,” Harris explains. “Normally we would watch a new song to see how it does on the charts before we added it. But…we apparently were targeted in a big campaign to add the song.  As soon as we received the file, we did add it to the playlist of our country station.” A rep for the station confirms that “16 Carriages” is also now in its system.

Billboard also shared that from Sunday evening through the end of Monday (Feb. 12), eight reporters to Billboard’s Country Airplay chart played “Texas Hold ‘Em,” while KBAY San Francisco was the only station to play it twice. As a result, the songs have earned a total of nine early plays at country radio, according to Mediabase. 

Beyonce Texas Hold 'Em, 16 Carriages Single Art
Beyonce Texas Hold ‘Em, 16 Carriages Single Art

“No stations on the country chart’s panel, which includes nearly 150 stations, played ‘16 Carriages’ in that span,” the outlet reported. “Overall, ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ received over 200 all-format plays, largely on pop radio, in that stretch, while ‘16 Carriages’ drew just a handful of plays. Neither song registered enough plays through Monday to appear on Billboard’s building 60-position Country Airplay chart.”

While many fans appear to have positive feelings surrounding Queen Bey’s new sound, others are unsure about her place in the genre. 

Bo Matthews, programming director of Alpha Media’s KBAY, which has officially added “Texas Hold ‘Em” to its airwaves, says that the response from listeners has been “split.” He told Billboard, “I think it’s different to hear Beyoncé on a country radio station. We’re going to play it more and see if it the audience likes it and let them allow to be the decider as to whether or not it continues to be on the playlist.”   

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“It’s one of the biggest celebrities in the world doing a country song and I think that’s exciting for the format,” he added.

As of Tuesday, “Texas Hold ‘Em” is currently on Spotify’s Hot Country playlist and it is No. 1 on iTunes’ Top 100 Songs chart, with “16 Carriages” at No. 2. Neither song appears on iTunes Top 100 Country Song chart.

“Texas Hold ‘Em” Officially Sent To Country Radio

The global music icon may soon garner additional radio airplay as Billboard reports that “Texas Hold ‘Em” was officially serviced to country radio on Tuesday afternoon. It officially goes for adds on February 20, according to Country radio insider Chris Owen.

Both songs are expected to appear on Beyoncé’s next album titled Act II, which she announced will be dropping on March 29. Many fans anticipate that Act II  will be a country-themed follow-up to her Renaissance album, which dropped in 2022 as part one of what she revealed at the time to be a “three-act project.”

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.