During the Super Bowl last night, Beyoncé dropped two new singles that are giving the public the impression she is going country. I mean, Lana Del Ray did say the industry was moving towards country….and this makes sense as to why the famed R&B star was wearing a cowboy hat at the Grammy Awards.
With the announcement of her new album, Renaissance: Act II, she also dropped “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” as well as this kind of country-ish teaser video for the album.
While the internet has been in hysterics thinking about this project…this is not Beyoncé’s first rodeo. She has tried to dip her toe into the “country music” realm a time or two in the past. Most folks remember her 2016 performance with The Chicks (formally the Dixie Chicks), where Alan Jackson walked out mid-performance in protest.
I never said that her attempts were necessarily well received…
However, this was not the first time Beyoncé graced the stage with country stars. In 2007, Sugarland put some twang on her hit single “Irreplaceable” during the AMAs.
I’m not going to lie; this song was a pivotal memory in my childhood. We would wander around the house for weeks, putting on our thickest southern accents, mimicking Jennifer Nettles bringing Beyoncé to the stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome my friend, Beyoncé.”
I’m not going to lie; if this is what Beyoncé’s album sounded like, sign me up. But I think that is not the reality we will face if she does go country.
Jennifer Nettles, leading Sugarland in this mandolin-filled version of “Irreplaceable,” is one of my favorite pop goes country crossovers. They completely transformed the melody to make a bluegrass-inspired composition that flawlessly matches Sugarland’s existing sound. Beyoncé joins them on stage after the first chorus and lets her strong vocals roar through the microphone. And it weirdly works?
Maybe Beyoncé should bring back this gem for the album.