Lily Allen Described Beyoncé's Decision To Cover 'Jolene' As 'Very Weird' And Called Her Venture Into Country Music 'Calculated,' And People Have Strong Thoughts

"Now she’s the most played woman on country radio. ... I guess she's coming for that market."
Artist Lily Allen is weighing in on the discourse around Beyoncé's latest album, "Cowboy Carter," a week after its release.
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As fans will know, Beyoncé's new album — which took over five years to put together — was inspired by her not feeling "welcomed" into the country music space. "This album has been over five years in the making," she wrote on Instagram last month. "It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed...and it was very clear that I wasn't."
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"Because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive. It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history," she added.

In 2016, Beyoncé — who is from Houston, Texas — released the country track "Daddy Lessons" on her album "Lemonade." Sadly, she received criticism from some country fans after she performed the song with The Chicks at the Country Music Association Awards in November of that year — and she was later snubbed by the Grammy Awards' Country Music Committee, per AP News.
Beyoncé appeared to address the unfair criticism she faced back in 2016 in her recent Instagram statement ahead of the release of "Cowboy Carter" — and while she has still sadly faced racist backlash from some since the album dropped, many people have commended her for reclaiming the origins of country music and making the genre her own. "This ain't a Country album. This is a 'Beyoncé' album," she declared.
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Several prominent artists have praised "Cowboy Carter" since its release, including Country Queen Dolly Parton, whose famous hit "Jolene" is covered by Beyoncé on the album. In fact, Dolly — who previously requested that Beyoncé cover "Jolene" — introduces the track on the album with a brief monologue nodding toward the infamous "Becky with the good hair" referenced by Beyoncé on "Lemonade."
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And among the celebrities sharing their thoughts on "Cowboy Carter" is British artist Lily Allen, who didn't seem too impressed by the project on this week's episode of her podcast, titled "Miss Me?"
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Discussing the album with her podcast cohost Miquita Oliver, Allen — who admitted she's only heard a couple of the songs — said she finds it "very weird" that Beyoncé chose to cover "Jolene."
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"It's quite an interesting thing to do when you're trying to tackle a new genre, and you just choose the biggest song in that genre to cover," she said.
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"I mean, you do you, Beyoncé," she added. "And she literally is doing her — or is she doing Dolly?"
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Cohost Oliver then noted that she thinks "Cowboy Carter" is "forcing itself to be part of its own narrative" as a country album, prompting Allen to explain why she sees the entire thing as "calculated."
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"When Jay-Z got up and said that thing, that was part of this campaign," she said, referring to Jay-Z publicly calling out the Grammys for never giving Beyoncé the Album of the Year award — which the singer addresses directly on the album. "It was before the album had come out or even been announced, and she was wearing the blonde wig and a cowboy hat," Allen added.
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Allen goes on to say, "It's a bit about challenging these institutions that have thus far rejected Beyoncé as the icon and institution that she is of herself. Now she’s the most played woman on country radio."
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"I guess she's coming for that market," she says before adding: "Who am I to question it?"
In response, Oliver jokingly challenges her cohost by mentioning that Allen is working on a country album herself, to which she replies: "But I'm not, like, trying to conquer the country market. I'm here because I've loved country music and always have loved country music — not saying Beyoncé doesn't — but I tell stories in my songs, and quite a lot of country music does the same thing. I think it's well-suited to what it is that I do."
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Elsewhere during the discussion, Allen's response to Oliver pointing out that Beyoncé looks "great" has raised eyebrows.

Allen quickly said that Beyoncé must be "getting some help" to look as good as she does. "She's got a great team of stylists, great hair people, she works out, [she's] got access to the best personal trainers in the world — she's Beyoncé," she said.

Oliver noted, "She has not had any work done if that's what you're implying... I looked into her ancestry, and I think it's also rather genetic."
Several internet users have since shared their thoughts on Allen's comments about "Cowboy Carter," suggesting that she's attempting to gatekeep country music despite having no connection to the genre.
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"I'm sorry, but in what world does a White woman from England get to criticize someone from Texas in regards to Country music," one person wrote on Reddit.
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"The irony of a white woman from England criticizing an American Black woman with actual southern roots about country music is insane," someone else agreed, while one more user echoed: "An English woman gatekeeping country music is wild."
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Meanwhile, other users once again pointed out that Beyoncé is quite literally a Texan artist. "She's a native Texan with parents from two of the most southern states there are," one person said. "She's made country songs before and the messy reaction to it is why this album exists."
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