Beyoncé: Radio station now playing Texas Hold ‘Em after country music outcry

Beyoncé wearing a white cowboy hat

By Alex Binley

BBC News

A US radio station that said it would not play a listener’s Beyoncé request because it was a “country music station”, is now playing Texas Hold ‘Em after coming in for criticism.

The fan who made the request accused KYKC-FM of “racism and discrimination”, posting the station’s response to his request on X (formerly Twitter).

The post was viewed millions of times and shared by fan account @BeyLegion.

The Oklahoma station’s manager later called Beyoncé an “icon”.

Texas Hold ‘Em is one of two songs the Texan singer unveiled during the Super Bowl ads at the weekend.

In it, the star – who has 32 Grammy awards and 88 nominations – sings about hoedowns and the accompanying music features a banjo.

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In a statement emailed to the BBC’s US partner, CBS News, Roger Harris, a general manager for South Central Oklahoma Radio Enterprises, which oversees KYKC, said the song was now on the station’s country music playlist, as well as those of two other stations it oversees.

In his statement, Mr Harris said the station had not known that Beyoncé had released two country music songs, adding that the response to the fan was a “standard reply” since KYKC does not play her music.

Mr Harris added that the KYKC did not “even have the song” as it is a “small station” which does not “get serviced by the big labels like bigger stations do”.

He said that after emails, calls and requests for the song flooded into the station, staff tracked it down, and after listening to it, agreed that it sounded “country”.

“We have nothing against Beyoncé… and we wish her the best in her foray into country music,” Mr Harris told CBS News.

“We actually wish that artists WOULDN’T get boxed in to certain genres or formats,” he said.

“If it’s good music, it’s good music.”

Four hours after the initial complaint was made on X, the station itself put out its first post in almost four years, saying that it had had “lots of call coming in for Beyoncé’s Texas Hold ‘Em. It’s coming up in minutes”.

Despite only being released earlier this week, the song now has more than nine million plays on Spotify alone, and more than 900,000 views on YouTube.

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