Beyoncé Becomes First Black Woman to Nab Number One Country Album With ‘Cowboy Carter
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Beyoncé Becomes First Black Woman to Nab Number One Country Album With ‘Cowboy Carter

Beyoncé has made history with Cowboy Carter as she’s become the first Black woman to ever top Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart. Cowboy Carter also debuted as the Number One album — her eighth to top the Billboard 200 — in the country overall, Billboard announced on Sunday.

Beyoncé dethroned Morgan Wallen’s One Thing At a Time for the Country crown, while beating out Future and Metro Boomin’s We Don’t Trust You on the Top Album list. With more than 407,000 units earned in the U.S., Cowboy Carter is by far the biggest album debut of 2024, besting We Don’t Trust You, which earned 131,000 in its second week. Along with the equivalent of more than 300 million on-demand streams, the album was buoyed by an additional 168,000 traditional album sales.

Cowboy Carter marks Beyoncé’s biggest opening debut since 2016’s Lemonade, which opened with more than 650,000 units at the time, when streaming was still just coming into dominance as the primary listening format.

While several Black artists such as Charlie Pride, Darius Rucker, and Kane Brown have topped the Country Albums chart over the decades, until now, no Black woman had ever achieved the feat, speaking both to Beyoncé’s range as a superstar artist as well as to the diversity issues that remain within the genre.

The accomplishment comes more than a month after Beyoncé set a similar record with “Texas Hold ‘Em,” which became the first song by a Black woman to top the Hot Country Songs chart. “Texas Hold ‘Em” has stood atop the Country Songs chart for about seven weeks, and Apple Music and Spotify placed it at the top of their country playlists upon release. (When Cowboy Carter came out, Apple Music promoted Beyoncé’s “Jolene” at the top of the country playlist.)

Cowboy Carter features country legends Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson, along with collaborations with Miley Cyrus and Post Malone. Cowboy Carter brought renewed intrigue around trailblazer Linda Martell, who contributed to the LP and whom Beyoncé shouts out on the album.

With the full album out, attention turns toward how much country radio attention any of the music will garner. “Texas Hold ‘Em” was among the most-added songs in the country market when it first debuted but never got higher than Number 33 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. As of Sunday, “Jolene” landed at Number 56 on the chart.

With Cowboy Carter’s album placing solidified, the question becomes where the album tracks land on the Hot 100 tomorrow, and if it can fend off Future and Metro’s upcoming We Still Don’t Trust You to spend a second week at the top. Stay tuned.

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