Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson Streams Skyrocketed Thanks to Beyoncé

April 1, 2024
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Call it Queen Bey’s impact: Cowboy Carter saw Beyoncé dive deep into her country roots — and with the album, which Rolling Stone named an Instant Classic, she helped introduce thousands of fans to some of country music’s legends.

New data from Spotify provided to Rolling Stone Monday reveals that music streams for artists Willie Nelson, Linda Martell, and Dolly Parton skyrocketed following Cowboy Carter‘s release — with some streaming numbers reaching jumps into the tens of thousands.

Linda Martell, whose 1970 LP, Color Me Country, was the first major country album released by a Black woman, saw an increase of nearly 127,430 percent in catalog Spotify streams overall this weekend. Her track “Bad Case of the Blues” saw a nearly 1,270 percent jump in streams as well.

Spotify also highlighted the people who “discovered” Martell’s music for the first time following Bey’s album: The country legend had an uptick of 1,145 percent of first-time listeners on the platform over the weekend.

Martell speaks the intro to “Spaghettii,” where she discusses the confining nature of the word “genre,” and she gets her own track, “The Linda Martell Show,” a segue clip introducing “Ya Ya” as a “tune [that] stretches across a range of genres, and that’s what makes it a unique listening experience.”

Dolly Parton got her moment on Cowboy Carter as well after she introduced Beyoncé’s reimagined version of “Jolene” on prelude “Dolly P.” After hearing Bey’s new version, fans were likely to visit Parton’s Spotify page to check out her music, which saw an overall 100 percent increase in streams overall. Streams for the original “Jolene” also jumped by 11,610 percent.

Willie Nelson also got props on the album, and a huge jump in Spotify streams. His music saw a jump of 190 percent overall on Spotify, while his 2013 version of “From Here to the Moon and Back” featuring Parton saw a jump of 4,800 percent. His 1971 solo classic “Family Bible” also saw an increase of 890 percent in streams on Spotify over the weekend.

The country legend trio — Nelson, Parton, and Martell — all provided interludes on Cowboy Carter and seem to be large inspirations for the LP overall. All of them also shared their excitement for the record following its release.

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On Instagram Friday, Martell shared her pride for Beyoncé in “exploring her country music roots.”

“What she is doing is beautiful, and I’m honored to be a part of it. It’s Beyoncé, after all!” Martell wrote. After the album dropped, Parton wrote on Instagram: “Wow, I just heard Jolene. Beyoncé is giving that girl some trouble and she deserves it!”



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