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Friday, July 26, 2024

‘Cowboy Carter’ breaks Spotify 2024 record, fans celebrate album at Roller Rink party

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In Beyoncé’s hometown of Houston, fans turned out in full force at a roller rink listening party celebrating the megastar’s new country album, ‘Cowboy Carter.’ The album smashed records on Spotify, becoming the most-streamed album in a single day for 2024 so far.

The jubilant scene on Friday night was a display of support for the 42-year-old Texan, who faced bigoted criticism when she announced the project. ‘Cowboy Carter’ was released on March 29.

Despite the long lineage of Black artists in country music, overwhelmingly white and male gatekeepers of the genre have long vied to rigidly dictate its boundaries.

But they were no match for Beyonce, who pressed on and dropped a 27-track epic to great fanfare.

“I think Beyonce’s new album is awesome simply because in my opinion she’s bringing back awareness as to where country music started – a lot of people don’t know that country music started with us as Black Americans,” said Lashria Hadley, a nurse.

“I think it’s a beautiful thing. A lot of things were appropriated from us and taken from us,” she continued. “So she’s just bringing back that awareness as to where it all started, and she’s doing it so effortlessly because she’s Beyonce.”

Cowboy Carter is the second installment of her Renaissance trilogy, a rollicking, history-rich honky tonk of an album that quickly soared to the top of the streaming rankings.

It’s rife with country elements but also draws across genres, including rap, dance, soul, rock, gospel and funk.

And for anyone who says Beyonce isn’t country enough to sing country?

“She’s from the south, she’s from Texas,” said Valeria Pasquel, who works in marketing. “She’s always been a country girl, but it was just a matter of time before she actually did a whole country album.”

Teacher Candice Williams said that “being from Houston and from Texas, we’ve always sung country music.”

“Black women have always sung country music, this is nothing new, it’s just the fact that she’s such a worldwide known artist,” Williams said. “So she’s bringing country music like out there to pop artists and people who don’t know the background.” AFP

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