Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’: Who are the featured Black country artists?

<div>Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’: Who are the featured Black country artists?</div>
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Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter represents a lot of things for Black culture. Not only is the new album from the 32-time Grammy winner a love letter to country music’s rich Black roots, it’s also a reclamation of a genre that was only thought to be for a certain group of people.

Country music owes much of its sound and history to Black musicians of the past like Linda Martell, Lil Hardin Armstong, Jimmie Rodger, and Charley Pride. Thus, just like she did with Renaissance in highlighting the Black history of dance and house music, Beyonce is using her album to spotlight a new generation of Black country artists.

In case you aren’t familiar, we’ve got the rundown on the same of the names featured across Cowboy Carter, along with some tracks of theirs that are worth checking out.

Tanner Adell

Featured along with three other artists on this list on the track “BLACKBIIRD,” Adell is a Gen-Z country artist that BET has called the “New Queen of Glam Country.”

Alongside her country roots, Adell’s style is a distinctive blend of glam country, hip-hop, and even K-pop. Since moving to Nashville in 2021 to pursue her music career, the 27-year-old has a massive following on social media with close to 690,000 followers on TikTok and another 575,000 on Instagram. Having grown up in the Mormon church and spending time in Sweden on a mission trip, Adell has created an unusual path to potential country music stardom.

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Put this on your radar

  • “Love You a Little Bit”

  • “Buckle Bunny”

  • “FU-150”

  • “Trailer Park Barbie”

Regardless of where she came from, Adell’s journey is more than just tunes: it’s about challenging stereotypes and making room for Black women in country music. Adell’s style may raise some eyebrows among traditionalists, but she’s paving the way for a more inclusive, diverse country music world.

Willie Jones

A country singer from Shreveport, Louisiana, Jones got his start as a contestant on the US version of X-Factor in 2012. Now, almost 12 years later, he’s dueting with Beyoncé on the track “JUST FOR FUN.” The song itself is admittedly not fun. It’s about acceptance and learning to live with pain — it’s hauntingly dark, with Jones’ voice fittingly exceptionally well with Beyonce’s.

Put this on your radar

  • “American Dream”

  • “Down by the Riverside”

  • “Back Porch”

  • “Slow Cooking”

Just like Adell, Jones is adept at blending genres — a blend of crunchy rock country mixed with trap. While a bit lesser than known than some on this list, Jones is making his way through country music, having released his debut album Something to Dance To just last year.

Tiera Kennedy

Another featured artist on “BLACKBIIRD,” Kennedy is an Alabama-raised country musician who grew up around R&B and local bluegrass sounds. After moving to Nashville, Kennedy was invited by her mentor Shaina Twain to perform on Real Country, a music competition show for up-and-coming country artists.

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Put this on your radar

  • “Jesus, My Mama, My Therapist”

  • “Alabama Nights”

  • “Miles”

  • “Gentleman”

Despite not winning that competition, Kennedy quickly found her own voice with hits like “Found It In You” and “Jesus, My Mama, My Therapist,” which perfectly blends pop country with bluegrass twang. Kennedy is currently the host of The Tiera Show on Apple Music Country — and is even signed by the same label where Taylor Swift got her start.

Reyna Roberts

Roberts is another country music starlet who appeared in “BLACKBIIRD,” who describes herself as the “Princess of Outlaw Country.” Her 2020 single “Stompin’ Grounds” is an absolute bop that fits perfectly in the genre of “country rock that plays before an MNF game.” Her music is more than that though, with songs like “One Way Street” and “We Said I Do” combining slick 90’s R&B production with Roberts’ powerful and versatile voice.

Put this on your radar

  • “Stompin’ Grounds”

  • “Louisiana”

  • “Hell and Back”

  • “Miranda”

Like Jones, Roberts is less well-known than others in the group of artists featured on Cowboy Carter. She’s slowly making a name for herself, and hopefully, with 2023’s release of her debut album Bad Girl Bible Vol. 1, she’s ever closer to breaking out to the mainstream.

Brittney Spencer

Spencer is the last of the rising Black women of country featured on “BLACKBIIRD.” Spencer describes herself as a “plus-size Black girl from Baltimore City, in Nashville doing country music.” And while she acknowledges that it sounds “weird as hell,” she’s gotten high praise from the likes of Maren Morris and Amanda Shires for her beautiful vocal performances.

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Put this on your radar

  • “My Stupid Life”

  • “Sober & Skinny”

  • “cowboy take me away”

  • “I Got Time”

Spencer just released her debut album My Stupid Life in January this year to rave reviews. Rolling Stone called the album “one of the most convincing country statements in a while.” Suffice it to say, it’s time to get on the Brittney Spencer hype train right now.

Shaboozey

Finally to round off the list is Shaboozey, who is featured on two songs on Cowboy Carter: “SPAGHETTII” and “SWEET ★ HONEY ★ BUCKIIN.”

A Virginia native with Nigerian roots, Boozey has made waves as a genre-defying country artist who blends elements from hip-hop, Afrobeats, jazz, Americana, rock, country, and Western music. His unique sound reflects a wide range of influences, including Fela, Bob Dylan, Lead Belly, and Johnny Cash.

Put this on your radar

  • “Let it Burn”

  • “Tall Boy”

  • “Annabelle”

  • “Vegas”

Off that back of his features with Beyoncé, Boozey has announced his new album Where I’ve Been, Isn’t Where I’m Going, will be out May 31. 

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