Revolt: Beyoncé Knowle returns to her roots to change the perception of country music as the preserve of white, male artists


Country music is a typically American musical style with African influences: The banjo, an instrument brought to the Americas and the Caribbean by slaves in the 17th century, occupies a prominent place.

With the advent of song charts in the early 20th century, music companies created separate classifications for popular genres: Country music for whites and R&B for blacks.

Except that after releasing a new album, her first foray into country music, Beyoncé fans in Houston celebrated with cowboy hats and smiles, showing pride in the country’s foray. singer in a musical genre that, in recent decades, has been dominated by white male artists.

An outdoor party was held in Houston, Texas, the hometown of the ‘Queen B’ singer, to mark the release of her album ‘Cowboy Carter’, which is the global superstar’s tribute to the culture black American country music.

With this new album of 27 tracks, the 42-year-old singer returns to her roots to change the perception of country music as being the prerogative of white and male artists.

Charles Hughes, author of a book entitled “The Soul of Country: The Making of Music and the Making of Race in the American South”, Charles Hughes, author of a book which translates as “The Soul of Country: the making of music and the making of race in the American South,” notes that the debate over the marginalization of black country artists gained new momentum following the announcement of Beyoncé’s new album.

The Black Opry’s Holly Gee believes Beyoncé can remain the exception because of her exceptional status, noting that “it’s because the industry is afraid of Beyoncé, not because she’s willing to support women black”.

This initial segregation was based solely on skin color, not music,” says Mr. Gee, adding that “it’s because the industry is afraid of Beyoncé and is unwilling to support women black”.

Beyoncé’s foray into country music, which she describes as “rebellious”, will allow African-American artists and their fans to regain control of the genre, believes singer Branna Supreme. “Southern culture is black culture,” she says.

Julie Williams, a 26-year-old biracial artist, is one of the first black women to break into the scene in Nashville, the capital of country music, where a predominantly white and male-dominated industry sets the rules of the game.

Ms. Williams is one of about 200 artists who perform as part of the Black Opry, a group launched three years ago to elevate the voices of black artists in all genres, including country, Americana and folk. .

At first glance, the organization’s name is a direct reference to the Grand Ole Opry, a nearly century-old country music venue with a complex history marked by the presence of black artists, but which also highlighted figures associated with racist ideologies.

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