Oklahoma Country Radio Station Adds Beyoncé Songs After Initially Refusing

16 February 2024 | 12:46 pm | Mary Varvaris

"Up until now, [Beyoncé] hasn't been a 'country artist'..."

Beyoncé's '16 Carriages' artwork

Beyoncé's '16 Carriages' artwork (Source: Supplied)

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Oklahoma country radio station KYKC has added Queen Bey to its rotation after initially refusing to play her new songs, Texas Hold ‘Em and 16 Carriages.

KYKC went viral on X (formerly known as Twitter) this week after a Beyoncé fan emailed and asked them to play her music. The radio station responded and said they wouldn’t play Beyoncé songs as KYKC is a country music station, and she hasn’t previously been known as a country music artist.

“We do not play Beyonce' [sic] on KYKC as we are a country music station,” the email read. That response was screenshotted and subsequently posted on X, which led to backlash. The reply picked up more attention after the popular X account Pop Base retweeted the story.

Upon posting the response from the station, the original poster wrote, “This station needs to be held accountable for their blatant racism and discrimination against Beyoncé”, prompting backlash amongst the singer’s fans who believe her new songs should be played on country radio (namely Texas Hold ‘Em).

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The social media reception led the radio station’s general manager, Roger Harris, to give an interview with Entertainment Weekly and explain KYKC’s position on the matter – and why they eventually ended up adding Texas Hold ‘Em to rotation.

“Up until now, [Beyoncé] 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,” Harris said.

“We literally just learned about the new song... but we didn't have the actual song in our possession. Normally, we would watch a new song to see how it does on the charts before we added [sic] 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.”

Australian radio has reacted interestingly to the release of Beyoncé’s new country songs, with Texas Hold ‘Em landing at #33 on the mainstream music Radio Monitor chart. However, it hasn’t yet made a dent in the Countrytown Hot 50.

Earlier this week, Beyoncé confirmed the release of her new country album, Act II, the follow-up to last year’s Renaissance. She previously explored country music on her Lemonade track, Daddy Lessons, which she later performed with The Chicks at the CMA Awards in December 2016.

Beyoncé will release Act II on Friday, 29 March.