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Cowboy Carter: Beyonce becomes first black artist to top UK chart with a country album – while achieving record double | Ents & Arts News

Beyonce has become the first black artist ever to hit number one with a country album in the UK, topping the chart with her eighth record, Cowboy Carter.

Not only that, but the star has done the double – with the album’s lead single, Texas Hold ‘Em, returning to the top spot in the singles chart for a fifth non-consecutive week.

Beyonce follows in the footsteps of Shania Twain, who was the first female country artist to score a UK number one album when Come On Over topped the Official Albums Chart in September 1999.

Incredibly, Queen of Country Dolly Parton, with a career spanning nearly 50 years and hits including Jolene, I Will Always Love You and 9 To 5, has never achieved a number one single or album in the UK.

This is Queen Bey’s second UK charts double, mirroring her instant success as a solo artist when she topped the album and singles charts simultaneously with her smash hit Crazy In Love, featuring Jay-Z, and debut album Dangerously In Love, in 2003.

Plus, she has two other tracks from Cowboy Carter in the singles top 10 – her cover of Parton’s Jolene at number eight, and II Most Wanted, a duet with Miley Cyrus, at number nine. Previously she has achieved two top 10 entries on two separate occasions – in 2008 with If I Were A Boy and Listen, and again in 2009 with If I Were A Boy and Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – according to the Official Charts.

Dolly Parton – step aside (for now)

FILE - Dolly Parton poses at the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Ceremony in New York on Oct. 13, 2022. Parton will close out the awards show with her performance of ...World On Fire,... from her record ...Rock Star.... The ACMs will air on May 11 on Prime Video live from Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)
Image:
Dolly Parton has said she is excited about Beyonce’s country album. Pic: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

Congratulating the star, Official Charts chief executive officer Martin Talbot said Parton should “step aside (for now)” as “Bey is the *current* Queen of Country”.

In a statement, he said: “In a career of huge achievements, congratulations to Beyonce on securing a slew of UK chart records with her country single and album this week, underlining her position as one of the world’s most ground-breaking musical artists.”

As well as her cover of Jolene, Beyonce also covers Blackbird, the civil rights-inspired song by The Beatles, on Cowboy Carter.

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Sir Paul McCartney has praised the star for her “magnificent” version, saying it “reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place”.

Writing on Instagram, he said they had spoken on FaceTime about her recording the song.

“When I saw the footage on the television in the early 60s of the black girls being turned away from school, I found it shocking and I can’t believe that still in these days there are places where this kind of thing is happening right now,” Sir Paul said.

“Anything my song and Beyonce’s fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

Parton has also praised the star, saying: “I’m a big fan of Beyonce and very excited that she’s done a country album.”

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