The Future. Beyoncé, Lana Del Rey, and Post Malone are among the high-profile musicians who are channeling a country western vibe in their upcoming projects. This trend could signal a paradigm shift for the historically niche genre, which would not only widen its fanbase but also diversify its talent pool.
Country music is going mainstream, reports Axios.
- Beyoncé, who included the country song “Daddy Lessons” on her 2016 album Lemonade, is believed to be following up Renaissance with an acoustic project. Her set designer for the Renaissance World Tour has mentioned that Beyoncé is “interested in country” and that “she want(s) to research its African-American roots.”
- Lana Del Rey, known for her alt pop songs and vintage Hollywood glamor aesthetic, will take a musical detour on her next album Lasso (due in September), which will feature sounds from Nashville and the Deep South.
- Post Malone, who’s confirmed that a “country record is coming,” made his debut on the country charts with a Joe Diffie tribute last year. He’s also playing the Stagecoach Festival this April.
Reachin’ for the high notes
While it’s not unusual for white pop or rock stars to take Southern detours (Steven Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, and Don Henley have all done so, albeit with little fanfare), it’s a bit more uncommon for black artists to dabble in the genre.
T-Pain recently disclosed that he stopped taking credit for the country songs he’s written due to the “racism” he’s experienced in the industry — although he plans to work on more as a ghostwriter. And even Beyoncé faced backlash after she performed “Daddy Lessons” with The Chicks at the CMA Awards in 2016.
Here’s hoping 2024 is the year when that narrow-minded thinking is finally laid to rest.