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With Beyoncé’s foray into country music, the genre may finally break free from the stereotypes that have long dogged it

William Nash, Professor of American Studies and English and American Literatures, Middlebury On Super Bowl Sunday, Beyoncé released two country songs – “16 Carriages” and “Texas Hold ‘Em” – that elicited a mix of admiration and indignation. This is not her first foray into the genre, but it is her most successful and controversial entry. As of last week, Beyoncé became the first Black woman to have a No. 1 song on the country charts. At the same time, country music stations like KYKC in Oklahoma initially refused to play the record because it was “not country.” Many non-listeners stereotype country music as being white, politically conservative,

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