Let's discuss Beyoncé's country roots.
Beyoncé Has Always Been Country

This isn’t her first rodeo.

As Beyoncé coos on “Texas Hold ’Em,” there’s no room to be frigid in her southern saloon. Her bar is a safe space to let loose and be fearless in the eyes of judgement — ironically, two emotions that’ve defined her decades-long career. Beyoncé has always been unafraid to take creative risks in her music, including exploring different genres with awing precision. She’s damn near done it all, from adding a rock-infused sway to her mostly R&B debut or rapping like a born emcee. Now, on her upcoming Act II album, she’s embracing a genre that’s always been in her roots: a country star.

Beyoncé (and her sister Solange) don’t have to look far to ace this sound. The singer hails from Houston, where trail rides, zydeco music, and the livestock rodeo are the heart of its charm. Beyoncé is clearly aware of the rodeo tradition, as she revealed to Harper’s Bazaar in 2021 that she grew up going to the rustic event “every year.” In the beginnings of her career, she headlined the rodeo as a member of Destiny’s Child and later as a solo star.

Though Beyoncé hasn’t lived in her hometown in years, she still proudly wears her Texan badge. That honor glistens the most in her discography, especially in Lemonade, where every meticulous note and sleek soundscape mirrors her reality as a woman from the South.

Despite the recent hearsay and micro-aggressions about her shift to country music, her presence in the genre is stunning. Not only does her deep drawl fuse well with banjos and blaring horns, but she’s bringing fresh eyes to the Black titans who’ve been creating magic in the genre for decades.

In honor of Act II, here are a few moments that prove Beyoncé has always been a country star.

Beyoncé Has Never Been A Stranger To A Stetson And Denim
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Before Beyoncé flaunted a white Stetson at the 2024 Grammys, the singer wore different variations of the cowboy hat throughout her career. Her most notable couture appeared in her Renaissance era, where she made the diamond-studded hat a signature to her tour wardrobe. Yes, I’m still daydreaming about this cowgirl-inspired costume.

Her soft spot for Western gear travels back to other periods, including her time with Destiny’s Child in the late ‘90s. However, compared to the luxe sheen of her newer costumes, her attire back then had an “everyday apparel” touch to it. In a way, she seemed to be a walking ode to the Black cowboys and cowgirls of the South.

Beyoncé Launched A Rodeo Collection In Her Ivy Park Brand

Speaking of the Black cowboys and cowgirls of the South, Beyoncé had them in mind in 2021. That year, the Lemonade singer released a collection under her Ivy Park brand called “Rodeo,” which blends denim cuts that were inspired by the western icons. She also debuted some of the line in a Harper’s Bazaar interview, where she shone a light on their history.

“Many of them were originally called cowhands, who experienced great discrimination and were often forced to work with the worst, most temperamental horses,” she said at the time. “They took their talents and formed the Soul Circuit. Through time, these Black rodeos showcased incredible performers and helped us reclaim our place in western history and culture.”

Beyoncé Performed At The Houston Rodeo Three Times
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As mentioned, the ultimate flex of Beyoncé’s Houston roots was performing at the annual rodeo. Specifically, the singer graced the western stage with Destiny’s Child in 2001, and later in 2004 and 2007 as a solo powerhouse.

Now, with her fully leaning into her roots, it’ll be interesting to see if she makes a surprise appearance at the event — more so as an attendee, as the performer lineup for this year’s rodeo has already been announced.

Beyoncé Has Shown Her Songs Have Country Crossover Potential Before

Beyoncé’s discography transcends genre. That can be seen in the history of artists who’ve covered her music, especially in the country whelm. At the 2007 American Music Awards, she teamed up with country duo Sugarland to perform her single “Irreplaceable.” Then, nearly three years later, Reba McEntire added a folksy touch to Beyoncé’s “If I Were A Boy” on CMT’s Unplugged series.

Country singer Mickey Guyton also saw the gorgeous potential of covering “If I Were A Boy.” In February 2021, she released a rendition of the track in honor of Black History Month. Icons covering icons? We love to see it.

Let’s Tip Our Proverbial Hats To “Daddy Lessons”
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Act II isn’t Beyoncé’s first dip into the country sphere. She first made her prowess known on 2016’s “Daddy Lessons,” one of the glorious highlights from Lemonade. She later performed the swaying tune with The Chicks at the 2016 CMA Awards, which received a similar roar of racial backlash that she’s currently receiving with her two new singles.