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Cover photo: Country singer, Brittney Spencer singing onstage / Credit: CBS Saturday
BOTWC Staff
Published: 22 February 2024

With Beyoncé’s release of new country songs, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” there is currently an increased interest in Black country music stars. Contrary to what many think, the musical genre has always consisted of multiple people of color.

Here is a list of singers who have been putting in the work to shape the genre of country music.

Tanner Adell

@tanneradell #duet with @ im getting emotional with all these videos from yall. I love seeing the confidence and I appreciate yall greatly 😭🤎 #bucklebunny #countrymusic #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound - Mark-Anthony

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Tanner Adell is an American country singer and TikTok sensation who has captured the hearts of many with her catchy songs and hooks. With hit tracks like “Do-Si-Don’tcha” and “Whiskey Talk,” Tanner has carved out a niche for herself in the pop and country music scene.

Willie Jones

 
 
 
 
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Willie Jones is a country singer from Shreveport, Louisiana. Known for his deep baritone voice and timber, he surprised the judges on X-Factor when he sang “Your Man” from Josh Turner during his audition in Greensboro, North Carolina. Jones has gone on to create many hits with traditional and non-traditional country soundscapes, creatively blending hip-hop and country music. 

Brittney Spencer

Brittney Spencer was one of a few Black women in country music to whom singer Maren Morris dedicated her CMA Award for Female Vocalist of the Year. “I was sitting on my couch in my pajamas. It sounds hilarious, but that’s actually what I was doing,” Spencer told Apple Music Country earlier this summer. “Honestly it happened months ago, and I’m still not ready for it.” 

O.N.E The Duo

O.N.E the Duo, consisting of Tekitha and Prana Supreme, daughter of hip hop legend and Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA, is a captivating mother-daughter country music duo who share a passion for extraordinary music.

Reyna Roberts

Reyna Roberts is an American country singer-songwriter and pianist raised in both California and Alabama. She is known for her July 2020 debut single, “Stompin’ Grounds” as well as multiple appearances on NFL’s Monday Night Football.

The Kentucky Gentlemen

The Kentucky Gentlemen are a singer-songwriter duo that consists of twin brothers Derek and Brandon Campbell. The 27-year-old twins hail from Versailles, Kentucky and have been writing, harmonizing and performing together since they were children.

Allison Russell

Allison Russell’s debut full-length album, “Outside Child,” tells the story of the abusive upbringing she underwent in Canada. She sings about her traumatic childhood alongside collaborators from Americana breakout, Yola, and gospel favorite, The McCrary Sisters.

“[I wanted] for the joy and the hope to be heard throughout,” Russell told The USA TODAY Network, “despite having to head-on face and talk about and sing about hard things.” 

Shy Carter

Shy Carter began his career in pop music. Eventually, country music found him. “I had heard some country songs that had so much soul, and organic instruments and R&B flavors, stuff that I grew up on,” he explained in a self-released video series.

He even co-wrote “Stuck Like Glue,” a double-platinum hit for Sugarland in 2010. He’s been a fixture in Nashville ever since; writing hits for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Kane Brown, and Billy Currington. Recently, he released his latest single, “Beer With My Friends.” an old-school juke joint anthem.

Breland

Breland combines country and rap in his music. He admits that some fans approach him with a “kind of weird compliment.”

“I’ve literally had multiple people come up to me and be like, ‘Man, I hate hip-hop. But I like what you’re doing,'” he said. “I think that’s a big win, just in helping to alleviate some of the tensions between genres, and the social implications of those boundaries.”

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