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Beyoncé’s New Era Is Giving Other Black Women in Country a Big Boost, Too

Mr. Nimbus | 02/22/2024

Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip. 
This week: Beyoncé’s country crossover drives extra attention (and streams) to other Black female country artists, a
Stranger Things star is on the verge of a major pop hit and a smash biopic results in a booming Bob Marley catalog.


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See latest videos, charts and news

Beyoncé’s New Country Era Is Already Lifting Up Other Black Women in the Genre 

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When Queen Bey bet that she could break the internet (again) in her hilarious Verizon commercial during the 2024 Super Bowl on Feb. 11, that was a promise. Although Beyoncé has been in her country era for barely a week and a half, she’s already making history – and uplifting other Black women in the genre along the way. 

Trending on Billboard

The music icons two new songs — “Texas Hold ‘Em” (No. 1) and “16 Carriages” (No. 9) — concurrently debuted in the top 10 on Hot Country Songs, making Beyoncé the first Black woman in history to top that chart. While those two songs continue to rack in streams and sales, they’re also serving as gateways for audiences to explore the catalogs of other Black women in country. 

According to Luminate, Tanner Adell – who has scored a few minor hits such as “Buckle Bunny” and “Love You a Little Bit” — experienced a 188% increase in streaming activity from the period of Feb. 9-12 (230,000 official on-demand streams) to Feb. 16-19 (670,000 streams). On TikTok, Adell has seamlessly incorporated her love for Beyoncé and anticipation for her forthcoming LP into promotion of her own music. “If you’re waiting on Bey’s country album, you might like me,” she wrote in a Feb. 14 TikTok; the strategy has clearly paid off, as a Feb. 20 TikTok finds the young singer-songwriter celebrating “Buckle Bunny” (also released via Beyoncé’s home label Columbia) flying up the Shazam charts. 

Reyna Roberts, perhaps best known for 2020’s “Stompin’ Grounds,” collected around 200,000 official on-demand streams during the period of Feb. 16-19, marking a whopping 250% increase from 57,000 streams during Feb. 9-12. There’s also Billboard chart-topping R&B artist K. Michelle, who is currently prepping a long-awaited debut country album. The Memphis-bred star has released some standalone country songs, including “Tennesse” from last year’s I’m the Problem. That track garnered around 32,000 official on-demand streams during the period of Feb. 9-15, a massive 185% increase from the week prior (11,000 streams, Feb. 2-8). 

Of course, any discussion about “Texas Hold ‘Em” is incomplete without mentioning Rhiannon Giddens, the Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist who plays banjo on the track. During the period of Feb. 16-19, Giddens’ catalog collected over 108,000 official on-demand streams, up nearly 50% from 73,000 streams during Feb. 9-12. In the visualizer for “Texas Hold ‘Em,” Beyoncé has her hair in a cross between a beehive and low ponytail, a style often sported by country music legend Linda Martell, the first Black woman to play the Grand Ole Opry. During the period of Feb. 16-19, Martell’s catalog received just over 12,000 official on-demand streams, marking a 275% increase from 3,000 streams during Feb. 9-12. And notably, Martell’s debut album, Color Me Country, provided the name of Rissi Palmer’s Apple Music Country radio show. Palmer – whose “Country Girl” (2007) made her the first Black woman to hit Hot Country Songs since Dona Mason in 1987 – earned over 5,000 official on-demand streams across her discography during the period of Feb. 16-19, a 110% increase from those she amassed Feb. 9-12. 

As Beyoncé’s new country era continues to unfold, expect to continue to see gains for Black women across country music. Looks like the Renaissance really isn’t over. — KYLE DENIS

‘Stranger Things’ Have Happened: Joe Keery’s Music Project Has a Burgeoning Smash

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Over the course of his run on the Netflix global hit Stranger Things as the well-coiffed heartthrob Steve Harrington, Joe Keery has simultaneously dabbled in the music space, first as a member of the psych-rock band Post Animal and more recently with the synth-pop solo project Djo. Decide, Keery’s second full-length under the Djo alias, was released independently in September 2022 and featured his strongest writing and song construction to date, albeit with little commercial footprint.

Yet that last part has changed over the past few weeks: “End of Beginning,” a blissed-out mid-tempo anthem from Decide that was never released as a single and hasn’t received any promotional push, has gone viral in early 2024 — and will likely become a breakthrough hit for Djo.

The uptick was started by a TikTok trend, in which users have taken the chorus lyric, “And when I’m back in Chicago, I feel it/ Another version of me, I was in it/ I wave goodbye to the end of beginning” to soundtrack travel clips, either of Chicago or whatever their version of hometown wistfulness might be. “End of Beginning” has fully crossed over from TikTok at this point, though: on Spotify, Djo’s track has entered the top 10 of the U.S. Daily Top 200 and U.S. viral 50, as well as creeping up to No. 16 on Billboard‘s Hot Alternative Songs.

“End of Beginning” was earning hundreds of thousands of weekly streams by mid-January, but the song is skyrocketing in February: from Feb. 16-19, the track earned 5.27 million official on-demand U.S. streams, up more than 200% from the previous four-day tracking period (1.66 million streams from Feb. 9-12), according to Luminate. Keery, who was a scene-stealer in the latest season of Fargo last fall, re-joined the Stranger Things crew in January as production on season 5 began; by the time filming wraps, Keery will likely have the first Hot 100 hit of his career. – JASON LIPSHUTZ

So Much Things to Stream: Bob Marley’s Catalog Explodes With Biopic Debut

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Following Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, this month’s Bob Marley: One Love becomes the latest biopic of a legendary artist to electrify audiences (even as it divides critics). The movie has already brought in more than $50 million at the box office, setting Valentine’s Day records and exceeding even the most optimistic pre-release projections. And as it brings Marley’s music to a new audience — and reminds older audiences of its greatness — it has also resulted in a massive increase in the reggae icon’s music consumption, particularly on streaming.

Marley’s catalog has actually been on the rise across streaming services for all of 2024, with anticipation for One Love perhaps helping to gradually boost his weekly official on-demand U.S. streaming numbers from around 15 million for the week ending Jan. 11 to nearly 27 million for the week ending Feb. 8, according to Luminate. But Marley’s numbers have of course exploded following the movie’s Feb. 14 release — the movie racked up over 30 million official on-demand U.S. streams in the five-day period following the movie’s release (Feb. 15-19), up 62% from the 19 million it amassed over the five days prior. (The catalog was also up 112% in digital song sales over the same time span, from over 4,000 to nearly 9,000.)

The songs currently doing the best in Marley’s catalog over that period are some of his most famous, including “Three Little Birds” (2.5 million streams, 1,500 sales), “Jamming” (1.9 million streams, 600 sales) and of course, “One Love / People Get Ready” (1.7 million streams, 1,300 sales). Legend, Marley’s RIAA Diamond-certified canonical hits collection, has even re-entered the top 30 of the Billboard 200 as a result of the increase in activity. But another song that continues to benefit from the bump in Marley exposure is from one of Bob’s descendants: “Praise Jah in the Moonlight,” breakout hit from grandson YG Marley, which falls at No. 63 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. “Praise” garnered 6.5 million streams over that period, up 12% from 5.8 million the previous five-day period. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER

This post was originally published on this site

Written by Mr. Nimbus

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