Allow Beyoncé To Remind You Where Country Really Came From

This, ladies and gentlemen, is our Roman Empire.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z attend the 66th GRAMMY Awards.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z attend the 66th GRAMMY Awards.
Kevin Mazur via Getty Images

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When Beyoncé says “Yee!” we say “Haw!” Eight years after releasing “Daddy Lessons,” we’re presumably getting a country album from Beyoncé. This, ladies and gentlemen, is my Roman Empire.

The pop star appeared in a Verizon commercial that aired after Usher’s Super Bowl halftime show, in which she tried to “break the internet” and previewedRenaissance: Act II,” which will be dropping on March 29. As a little treat, Bey gave us the first two singles from her project: “16 Carriages” and “Texas Hold ’Em,” the latter of which features banjoist Rhiannon Giddens, one of my favorite Black country icons.

The two tracks are undeniably country, through and through — I mean, this is a Black woman from Houston’s 3rd Ward who regularly wore cowboy hats in the early 2000s. But a certain Oklahoma country music radio station seemed to think otherwise. That’s when the Beyhive — Bey’s fan base — went on the attack.

My hope is that not only does she remind the American public that Black people created the genre and country music is our birthright but also that this moment further amplifies Black artists who have been paving the way in country, from Linda Martell to Charley Pride to Rissi Palmer, Mickey Guyton and beyond.

Selma Blair is one of the latest American celebrities to chime in on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Selma Blair is one of the latest American celebrities to chime in on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
NBC via Getty Images

We’re Still Talking About It

  • A recent exposé from Rolling Stone focuses on “Dance Moms” star Jojo Siwa and her “momager” Jesslyn Siwa. Along with her mother, Siwa assembled a girl group called XOMG Pop! allegedly promising them stardom. However, after four members left — claiming they were “thrown in the trash” — fans started raising their eyebrows. Learn more here.
  • Pop-punk band Paramore is calling out the Tennessee GOP for its racist double standards. After the group and Black folk singer Allison Russell took home Grammys earlier this month, state Rep. Justin Jones brought two resolutions forward to honor the Nashville artists. Guess which passed without objection and which was kicked “back to committee”? Of course, Hayley Williams had some choice words for the state House.
  • “Cruel Intentions” star Selma Blair is under fire for islamophobic remarks she left on an Instagram video slamming Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. After alluding that the Michigan Democrat is a “terrorist supporting goon” and saying “Islam has destroyed Muslim countries,” Blair is walking her comments back, of course. Read Blair’s apology, as reported by HuffPost’s Marco Margaritoff.
Hit ABC series "Abbott Elementary" has already been renewed for Season 4.
Hit ABC series "Abbott Elementary" has already been renewed for Season 4.
Gilles Mingasson via Getty Images

From The Desk

HuffPost’s Culture Desk has been up to a lot in the past few weeks. Here are some of the most recent happenings from my colleagues and me:

  • Another season of “Love Is Blind” calls for another live blog. Erin E. Evans, Taryn Finley and I teamed up to gab about the first four episodes of “Love Is Blind” Season 6, set in Charlotte, North Carolina. One contestant gives off “American Psycho” vibes, while another is obviously on the wrong reality show. Follow along to learn more about this season’s contestants.
  • For Black History Month, senior culture reporter & Black Voices editor Taryn Finley launched “Black Love on Our Terms,” a weekly series about the platonic, familial and/or romantic love that sustains our community. This week, Finley spotlights one of the most underrated couples on “The Real Housewives of Potomac”: Wendy and Eddie Osefo.
  • Senior culture reporter Marina Fang headed to Pasadena, California, to cover the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Besides visiting the set of “Abbott Elementary,” Fang reported on the fate of a certain long-running network series and where one executive says the future of TV is headed. Read up.

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