Oklahoma country radio station won’t play Beyoncé’s new song. Here’s why

KYKC, a country music radio station based in Oklahoma, came under fire for rejecting a fan’s request to play Beyoncé’s new song “Texas Hold ‘Em,” one of two new country tracks she released after a surprise Super Bowl ad on Sunday.

Fans were sent into an uproar after a post by one on X, formerly known as Twitter, made the rounds on social media Tuesday. User @jussatto tweeted a screenshot of an email from S.C.O.R.E. Broadcasting.

“I requested ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’ at my local country radio station (KYKC) and after requesting, I received an email from the radio station stating ‘We do not play Beyoncé on KYKC as we are a country music station,'” the user wrote on X.

The station’s general manager said the station wasn’t yet playing Beyonce’s new singles because of the size of its market.

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“We are a small market station. We’re not in a position to break an artist or help it that much, so it has to chart a little bit higher for us to add it,” said Roger Harris, the general manager of Southern Central Oklahoma Radio Enterprises (S.C.O.R.E.). “But we love Beyoncé here. We play her on our [other top 40 and adult hits stations] but we’re not playing her on our country station yet because it just came out.”

Beyoncé seems to have been embraced on country music playlists curated by streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify. Country music radio charts are released every Monday.

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S.C.O.R.E. is comprised of five radio stations, ranging from FM to country. Harris said the KYKC station hadn’t played either of Beyoncé’s new singles because it follows trends from bigger stations.

“We sort of pattern ourselves after the bigger stations,” he said. “When they start playing it, that’s a big factor, and the charts are the second biggest.”

Harris described the email as a “standard response” to requests to play songs by artists that don’t typically make country music. “If somebody calls and requests the Rolling Stones on that station, we’re going to say the same thing,” he said.

But he did say the station would play Beyoncé’s new songs in the future.

“We don’t play her, but we will (with) this one, if it’s a country song, we will certainly play it,” Harris said. “It just has to chart higher.”

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He said he was interested in a fresh take on the genre.

“I’ve heard that (the songs are) leaning toward being country music, and I that like that,” Harris said. “I think that’s cool because we get tired of playing the same old beer drinking, truck driving… things like that. So, yeah, I’m really excited about somebody different doing a country music song.”

As fans know, Beyoncé recently shocked the world when she dropped “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” during the Super Bowl. The songs have virtually broken the internet and made headlines as they challenge music industry norms and highlight the Black roots of country music.

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Beyoncé has dabbled in the country music realm before with her 2016 hit “Daddy Lessons.” The same year she performed at the Country Music Association Awards alongside the country band the Chicks. While the performance was praised by many, she was met with some controversy for it.

Beyoncé’s full “Act II” album will be available March 29.

Follow Caché McClay, the USA TODAY Network’s Beyoncé Knowles-Carter reporter, on InstagramTikTok and X as @cachemcclay.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Beyoncé’s country songs: Radio station won’t play ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’