Ahead of Beyonce’s Cowboy Carter, here are 5 Black Texans who’ve also impacted country music

Standing in a field of flowers, Charley Crockett faces the camera

Charley Crockett. Photo: Lyza Renee

On Friday, March 29, Beyonce will once again shake up the status quo through the sheer force of her stardom. She’s preparing to release Cowboy Carter, the second installment of her proposed Renaissance trilogy, and a record which will find the native Texan making her version of a country music record.

Predictably, the run-up to the release — to date, the global superstar has only released a pair of singles (“Texas Hold’ Em,” which made Beyonce the first Black woman to have the number one single on the Hot Country Songs chart, and “16 Carriages”) — has been a fraught back-and-forth between country music traditionalists and those excited to see Beyonce conquer yet another genre with her own unique perspective.

For her part, the roots of Cowboy Carter reach back both to Beyonce’s childhood, and her experiences much later, in 2016, when she collaborated with the Chicks on “Daddy Lessons” for the Country Music Association Awards broadcast.

In a March 19 Instagram post, she shared some insights to the album’s genesis.

“This album has been over five years in the making,” Beyonce wrote. “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. … The criticisms I faced when I first entered this genre forced me to propel past the limitations that were put on me.”

But Beyonce is far from the first Black Texan to make a mark on the country music genre. To help you saddle up for the Houston-born artist’s album-length foray into country music, here are five more names to know, who’ve helped push the genre forward.

Charley Crockett

This singer-songwriter, originally from San Benito, has come a long, long way from his days of busking in Deep Ellum, scraping together enough money to survive. His latest album, $10 Cowboy, drops in April, and although it won’t be on the forthcoming record, he scored a recent cameo on one of his tunes from none other than Willie Nelson, who duets with Crockett on “That’s What Makes the World Go Around.”

Mickey Guyton

The Arlington native has enjoyed a steady upward trajectory over the last decade, marking several firsts along the way, including being the first Black woman to perform at the Academy of Country Music Awards in 2020 (followed by being the first Black woman to co-host the ACM Awards in 2021). She performed the national anthem at Super Bowl LVI in 2022, and is currently working on the follow-up to her most recent studio album, Remember Her Name.

Charley Pride

Although country legend Charley Pride wasn’t born in Texas, as the saying goes, he got here as fast as he could. Born in Mississippi in 1934, Pride and his family moved to Texas in 1969, and until his death in 2020, Pride, a part owner of the Texas Rangers, resided in Dallas. Along the way, Pride recorded a string of hit singles (he had 52 top 10 hits over the course of his career) and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Coffey Anderson

Central Texas native Coffey Anderson, a one-time competitor on the reality series Nashville Star, has kept his hand in country music via his series of popular YouTube covers, while also maintaining visibility through projects like the 2020 Netflix reality series Country Ever After, which co-starred his wife, Criscilla Crossland, and his father, Stanley Anderson.

Cowboy Troy

Born in South Texas and raised in Dallas, Cowboy Troy (born Troy Coleman) first shot to fame in the early 2000s, collaborating with Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson as a proponent of the country off-shoot known as “hick hop.” Cowboy Troy would also serve as a co-host of “Nashville Star” in 2007 (Fun fact: that was the season where Kacey Musgraves finished seventh!) and last released music in 2018.

Preston Jones is a North Texas freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT. Email him at [email protected] or find him on X (@prestonjones). Our work is made possible by our generous, music-loving members. If you like how we lift up local music, consider becoming a KXT sustaining member right here.