Beyonce's country album tops Billboard chart, her eighth #1

Agence France-Presse - Agence France-Presse
Beyonce's country album tops Billboard chart, her eighth #1
Beyoncé: ‘My hope is that years from now, the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.’
Photo from Beyoncé’s Facebook page

NEW YORK, United States — Beyonce's blockbuster country album "Cowboy Carter" has debuted atop the Billboard 200 chart — the eighth number one album of her storied career.

She also became the first Black woman to top Billboard's Top Country Albums chart with the 27-track second act in her "Renaissance" trilogy.

"Cowboy Carter," which dropped on March 29, debuted with 407,000 equivalent album units earned in the United States in the week ending April 4, according to Billboard and music industry data provider Luminate.

It is the best debut of 2024 so far and also the biggest since Taylor Swift dropped "1989 (Taylor's Version)" in November 2023, Billboard said.

"Cowboy Carter" is a rowdy, wide-ranging homage to Beyonce's southern heritage and features a constellation of music stars, from country legends Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson to current hitmakers Miley Cyrus and Post Malone.

Parton introduces the album's take on "Jolene," drawing parallels between her own original tale of a lover fearing betrayal with Beyonce's personalized version, and appears with Nelson as radio hosts of a fictional broadcast.

The album, which has been lauded by critics, was already the "most-streamed album in a single day in 2024 so far" on Spotify.

Related: Beyonce goes country, unveils upcoming album 'Cowboy Carter'

Nashville's gatekeepers have long tried to promote a rigid view of country music that is overwhelmingly white and male.

But Beyonce shatters that notion, taking listeners through country's evolution from African American spirituals and fiddle tunes.

She dropped the album's first two singles, "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages" during the Super Bowl in February and announced the full album's release date.

She also Paul McCartney's Beatles song "Blackbiird," stylized with the double-i spelling to match "Act II."

"I think she does a magnificent version of it and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place," McCartney said in a statement when the album debuted.

Beyonce previously topped the Billboard charts with "Dangerously in Love" (2003), "B'Day" (2006), "I Am... Sasha Fierce" (2008), "4" (2011), "Beyonce" (2013), "Lemonade" (2016), and "Renaissance" (2022).

The only women with more number ones are Swift, Barbra Streisand, and Madonna, according to Billboard.

RELATED: 'Magnificent, killer, fabulous': Paul McCartney praises Beyonce's 'Blackbird' cover

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