Beyoncé Makes History as the First Black Woman to Top the Country Billboard Album Chart with Cowboy Carter

The cowgirl also made history by securing the number one country hit with the lead single from the album, “Texas Hold ‘Em.”

Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter continues to make history as the queen of KNTRY becomes the first black woman to reach the top spot on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart.

Released on March 29, Bey’s eighth solo studio album also topped the Billboard 200, Americana/Folk Album, and Top Album Sales charts, with 407,000 equivalent album units sold in its first eligible charting week.

With collaborations featuring country pioneers Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Linda Martell, contemporary country crossover star Miley Cyrus and Post Malone, as well as several emerging black country artists, Beyoncé’s expansive Cowboy Carter has been met with both praise and criticism.

Although in the artist’s own words, Cowboy Carter isn’t a country album but “a Beyoncé album,” the country establishment has been cautious in embracing this project, with figures like Parton and Carlene Carter supporting the superstar’s venture into the genre.

“I’ve heard some negative responses to Beyoncé’s new country album Cowboy Carter,” said Carter, daughter of June Carter Cash, in a statement upon the album’s release. “As a Carter Girl and from the line of Carter Girls, I’m moved to ask why anyone would treat a Carter this way? She’s an extremely talented and creative woman who clearly wanted to do this because she loves country music. To me, she’s one of us, a Carter woman, and we’ve always pushed boundaries by trying any music we felt in our hearts and taking risks driven by spirit.”

Nevertheless, such divisive reactions are par for the course as the album itself stemmed from experiences where the 42-year-old singer didn’t feel “welcomed” in the country world — a performance in 2016 with The (then Dixie) Chicks at the CMA Awards.

However, Cowboy Carter has proven to be a record-breaking hit. Prior to topping the Country Album chart, the lead single “Texas Hold ‘Em” immediately soared to number one on Billboard’s Country Songs chart, another historic achievement for a black woman.