Willie Nelson, Linda Martell and Dolly Parton See Streaming Jumps After Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Release

April 2, 2024
Willie Nelson, Linda Martell and Dolly Parton See Streaming Jumps After Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Release

On Friday, March 29, Beyoncé released Cowboy Carter, the legendary singer-songwriter’s eighth studio album and the second installment in her current trilogy project, following 2022’s Renaissance. Whereas her previous entry explored house, disco and other Black-originated dance music styles, this latest LP shows the artist turning her focus to country, embracing the outlaw spirit of her Houston hometown and exploring the genre’s legacy of pioneering Black performers. In this endeavor, Beyoncé paid tribute to country’s great originators, tapping Dolly Parton, Linda Martell and Willie Nelson for contributions to this landmark offering; in the wake of its release, all three greats have seen a measurable increase in popularity, per a special streaming data dispatch Spotify gave Rolling Stone.

In his 90th year and preceding the outset of his highly-anticipated 2024 Outlaw Music Festival Tour, Fellow Texan Shotgun Willie lent his well-worn Southern drawl to two interludes on Cowboy Carter, presenting a mock radio show titled “The Smoke Hour,” complete with flash-cuts of Son House, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Chuck Berry and more. Since the album’s release, the legendary country star–who is building up to the release of a new album of his own–has seen a 190% jump in streams in general, with a baffling 480,000 percent spike in listens for his 1973 treatment of “From Here to the Moon and Back,” with also featured Parton.

The Iron Butterfly herself has made waves in recent weeks, stoking anticipation for Beyoncé’s latest with her full-hearted blessing of Queen Bey’s seismic interpretation of “Jolene.” Parton introduces this new version on the interlude “Dolly P,” stating, “You know that hussy with the good hair you sing about? Reminded me of someone I knew back when.” For her feature, Dolly received a 100% increase in streams, with her original “Jolene” jumping 11,610%.

Finally, Linda Martell played a major role in the development of Cowboy Carter as a key inspiration for Beyoncé. As the first Black woman to perform at the Grand Ole Opry and to release a major, charting country album, Beyoncé has spoken candidly about the sense of connection she feels to Martell in the artists’ shared experience of confronting resistance in attempts to break into the genre. Martell appears on the album with “The Linda Martell Show,” with introduces “Ya Ya,” and “Spaghettii,” where she asks, “Genres are a funny concept, aren’t they?” Of the iconic trio, her streaming gains are the most impressive, as her catalog saw a stunning 127,430% increase in streams, a 1,145% uptick in first-time listeners and a 1,270% gain on her “Bad Case of the Blues.”

Preceding the album’s release, Martell expressed pride in Beyoncé’s bold country turn, sharing, “What she is doing is beautiful, and I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s Beyoncé, after all!”

Cowboy Carter is available to stream now. Watch the official visualizer for “16 Carriages” and the viral album announcement video below.