continues to make herstory as the queen of KNTRY became the first Black woman to hit No. 1 on

Beyoncé’s Cowboy CarterBillboard’s Top Country Albums chart.

Released March 29, Bey’s eighth solo studio album also topped the Billboard 200, Americana/Folk Albums, and Top Album Sales charts, with sales of 407,000 equivalent album units in its first week of chart eligibility.

Featuring collaborations with country pioneers Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Linda Martell, contemporary country crossover stars Miley Cyrus and Post Malone, and a host of upcoming Black country artists, Beyoncé’s sprawling Cowboy Carter has been met with both praise and criticism.

Though in the words of the artist herself, Cowboy Carter is not a country album but “a Beyoncé album,” the country establishment has been wary of embracing the project, with stalwarts like Parton and Carlene Carter endorsing the superstar’s foray into the genre.

Beyoncé Cowboy Carter press photo

“I’ve caught wind of some negativity over the release of Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter, her new country album,” Carter, daughter of June Carter Cash, said in a statement upon the album’s release. “As a Carter Girl myself and coming from a long line of Carter Girls, I’m moved to ask why anyone would treat a Carter this way? She is an incredibly talented and creative woman who obviously wanted to do this because she likes country music, In my book, she’s one of us Carter women and we have always pushed the boundaries by trying whatever music we felt in our hearts and taking spirit-driven risks.”

However, that kind of polarizing reaction is par for the course as the album itself was born of an experience where the 42-year-old singer did not “feel welcomed” in country — a 2016 performance with The (then-Dixie) Chicks at the CMA Awards.

Still, Cowboy Carter has proven a groundbreaking hit. Prior to topping the Country Album chart, the lead single “Texas Hold ‘Em” went straight to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Songs chart, another historic first for a Black woman.

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