Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts, and Brittney Spencer presented together at the CMT Music Awards last night. They are the four emerging country artists featured on Beyoncé’s “Blackbiird” off her most recent masterpiece album, COWBOY CARTER


Since the release of COWBOY CARTER all four of these women have experienced a dramatic increase in interest in their music – and this is was one of Beyoncé’s intentions: to use her platform to uplift others who have always been there, but who haven’t been able to find the spotlight. 

Tanner, Tiera, Reyna, and Brittney were definitely in the spotlight last night, on stage at an event that, historically, didn’t often feature people who look like them. And now they’re part of an ever growing cohort that is freeing country music from the restraints imposed by the gatekeepers who have tried to keep the artform to themselves. Music, however, is like water – you can’t contain it forever. 


To commemorate what this moment has meant to them, Tanner, Tiera, Reyna, and Brittney all got “Blackbiird” tattoos. Tanner explained on the carpet that they’re not exactly the same, to reflect their personal tastes, but that it was a group decision – this is what hers looks like: 



You will also note Tanner’s hair choice for the event: Bantu buns which, like the banjo, one of country music’s most distinctive instruments, originated in Africa. 

While we’re here, though, and still talking about the country music restraints that are falling one by one, a reader called Joan sent this over to us this weekend. Willie Nelson, of course, is featured on Beyoncé’s COWBOY CARTER, a country music legend who has never believed in country music’s restrictions. And that doesn’t just apply to race. 

Orville Peck tells Rolling Stone that it was Willie who came up with the idea for them to collaborate on this cover. 

“Willie kept talking about how the subject matter in this song was more important than ever,” Peck tells Rolling Stone. “He wanted it to have a new life with the two of us.”

“With all the rhetoric surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community these days, it is so encouraging to have real allies like Willie that aren’t afraid to stand proudly next to us,” Peck adds.


Over the last two weeks, Willie Nelson has been out here telling the country establishment about themselves and advocating for inclusion and diversity. Yee-haw to that!


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