Beyoncé says her motivation for dipping into the country music genre goes beyond sales figures and chart numbers. She is driven by breaking barriers.
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Beyoncé says her motivation for excelling in the country music genre goes beyond sales figures and chart numbers. She is driven by “breaking barriers.”

Beyoncé made history with her latest album release, the country music-inspired Cowboy Carter. The album hit number one on the Billboard Top Country Album chart and the Billboard 200 for music overall.

The first track release, “Texas Hold Em”, reached the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. Shaboozey released “A Bar Song (Typsy)” shortly thereafter which hit number one leaving “Texas Hold Em” at number two.

The combo was the first time two Black artists held the top spot consecutively on that chart.

It’s clear Beyoncé views herself as a massive trailblazer and part of the reason for that new historic milestone.

“When you are breaking down barriers, not everyone is ready and open for a shift. But when I see Shaboozey tearing the charts up and all the beautiful female country singers flying to new heights, inspiring the world, that is exactly what motivates me,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.

RELATED: Beyoncé Makes History, Scoring Number One Country Album

Beyoncé Breaking Down Country Barriers

The all-time Grammy Award winner said the whole ‘breaking down barriers’ thing is now her motivation.

“There was a time in my life when charts and sales excited and motivated me,” she said.

“Once you have challenged yourself and poured every ounce of your life, your pain, your growth and your dreams into your art, it’s impossible to go backward.”

Added Beyoncé, “I’m very grateful and humbled for the extraordinary success of the new album.”

It’s a concept she’s mentioned before as motivation for her leap into country music. She previously noted that the Cowboy Carter project “was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed … and it was very clear that I wasn’t.”

Axios reported that Beyoncé’s comments were “widely interpreted as a reference to her 2016 performance at the CMA Awards, which was met with a racist backlash on social media.”

She performed with the Dixie Chicks at the time, who were disliked by traditional country music fans due to their past political stances. But Beyoncé seemingly took it as a personal sleight.

RELATED: Beyoncé Says Her Country Music Album Inspired By Time She ‘Did Not Feel Welcomed’

The Original Country Barrier Breakers

While Beyoncé’s foray into country music is certainly producing historic success, there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what a barrier breaker is.

There have been many black country music artists who achieved firsts in the industry before “Queen Bae”.

Known as the “first black superstar of country music,” Charley Pride broke barriers in the 1960s and ’70s. His hits like “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” and “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone” are still beloved.

He was the first black artist to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Darius Rucker, originally the lead singer of the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish, successfully transitioned to country music in the 2000s. He has had multiple number-one hits on the country charts, including “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” and his cover of “Wagon Wheel.”

Need female country barrier breakers?

Rissi Palmer, a black female country artist, broke barriers with her single “Country Girl”. It made her the first African-American woman to chart a country song since Kathy Bee in 1988.

Allison Russell has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

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