Beyoncé reflects on not being welcomed by country music fans ahead of ‘Act II’ release

Just over a week before her new country album is released, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is reflecting on the hate she received performing at the 2016 Country Music Awards (CMAs) with The Chicks.

“This album has been over five years in the making,” the multi-Grammy winner posted on Instagram on Tuesday.

“It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t,” she continued.

Though the CMAs and some country artists said they had no issue with Beyoncé’s performance, country music fans took to social media to share their outrage and, in some cases, racism over her performance.

“Figures they would pair up,” wrote one user. “One who has no respect for the American military and another who has no respect for the American law enforcement. Ashamed they would be allowed to perform at the CMAs at all.”

Another wrote, “SHE DOES NOT BELONG!!!! When have they ever invited ANY country singer to their BET awards…NEVER!!!!”

Beyoncé, a native of Houston, Texas, announced her eighth studio album “Act II: Cowboy Carter” in February, to the delight of fans.

Her single “Texas Hold ‘Em” has made Beyoncé the first Black woman with a No. 1 single on the Hot Country Songs chart, something she said she is “honored” to have achieved.

But in her statement on Tuesday, she explained that the second act of her Renaissance project is the result of her challenging herself and blending genres together.

“The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me,” she said.

She added that in creating the album, she “did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive.”

After fans accused country radio stations of refusing to play Beyoncé’s two new songs, many began to point to the Black roots of the genre.

In a petition earlier this month, fans highlighted the history of the banjo, an instrument often central in country music but which originated in Africa and was brought to the United States by enslaved African people.

But the image of the banjo changed when it began to be used in minstrel shows by white Americans wearing blackface.

Since the release of “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” fans of different races have filmed themselves dancing to the songs — and Beyoncé acknowledged this in her Instagram post.

“It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history,” she wrote.

Beyoncé added that she hopes one day, “the mention of an artist’s race, as it relates to releasing genres of music, will be irrelevant.”

“Act II: Cowboy Carter” will be released on March 29.

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