Maren Morris Snaps Her Fingers Over Beyoncé’s “Purposeful” Step Into Country Music

Maren Morris recently received the Visionary Award at the 2024 Billboard Women in Music event, and took a moment to shout out another visionary woman in music. She praised Beyoncé‘s recent single “Texas Hold ‘Em” and the historical significance of Bey’s step into country music.

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“Gotta represent Texas in the house,” said Morris, who is from Arlington, Texas. Morris continued, stating that Beyoncé’s “very purposeful” reclamation of country music “to Black people because they invented the genre is so astounding and important.” She concluded with a finger snap and the simple exclamation, “Slay!”

True, modern country music does historically stem from Black gospel music, so Beyoncé seemingly going country overnight is not so sudden after all. She has always emulated country aesthetics in her work and in her life, as her mother has previously stated. Tina Knowles took to social media to share an article by Taylor Crumpton titled “Beyoncé Has Always Been Country” and to reiterate that her daughter has continually celebrated country culture.

Everyone Has Opinions About Beyoncé Going Country, But Really She’s Always Been There

“We have always celebrated Cowboy Culture growing up in Texas,” said Knowles, in part. “We also always understood that it was not just about it belonging to white culture only.”

Beyoncé herself has shared memories of the Houston Rodeo, both as a child and as a performer. She sang at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in her hometown four times between 2001 and 2007. Additionally, there was the time in 2016 when she brought The Chicks onstage at the CMAs to perform “Daddy Lessons” from Lemonade. The Chicks had previously been banned from the CMAs and blacklisted in country music for anti-war comments they made in 2003. Beyoncé’s incredible power in the music industry, including country music, helped to bring them back into the spotlight.

Whether “Texas Hold ‘Em” or “16 Carriages” are good or not is irrelevant, and is not really what the argument is about. The argument is about whether Beyoncé “belongs” in country music, as if there’s some border you have to cross to be able to experiment with other genres. Journalist Taylor Crumpton wrote for TIME about just that and made some enlightening connections that will serve as eye openers for anyone still in doubt about Bey’s country royalty status.

“The truth is that country music has never been white. Country music is Black. Country music is Mexican. Country music is Indigenous,” wrote Crumpton. “Knowles-Carter simply needed to walk outside her house in Houston, Texas and witness the cultural exchange between Black, Tejano, and Indigenous communities in her hometown. She did not need white validation to classify her country—she has been country for the entirety of her life.”

Featured Image by Amy Sussman/Getty Images; Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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