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Oklahoma country radio station responds to outrage after not playing Beyoncé's country song 'Texas Hold 'Em'

The initial decision went viral on social media.
/ Source:

A local country radio station in Oklahoma has reversed their initial decision to not play a released single from Beyoncé's forthcoming country album.

100.1 KYKC in Ada, Oklahoma, previously declined a listener's request to play one of the singer's new country songs, "Texas Hold 'Em." The released single is from her forthcoming album, which is "act ii" of three-part "Renaissance" project. The song released Feb. 11, along with "16 Carriages," and Beyoncé's new country album debuts March 29.

On Twitter Feb. 12, user @jussatto posted a screenshot of the e-mail response he received from KYKC after requesting the song be played. "We do not play Beyoncé on KYKC as we are a country music station," the outlet wrote, per a screenshot that he shared on Twitter.

The response immediately drew accusations on social media of "blatant racism." The station tweeted shortly after the backlash that it will play the song. KYKC's copyright holder, Score Broadcasting, confirmed to in an email that the response posted by @jussato was real. However, they say "Texas Hold 'Em" has played at least three times on their airwaves.

"We initially refused to play it in the same manner if someone requested us to play the Rolling Stones on our country station," general manager Roger Harris said in the statement. "Fact is we play Beyonce’ on TWO of our other stations and love her...she is an icon. We just didn’t know about the song....then when we found out about it, we tried to get the song....which we did and we have already played it 3 times on YKC, our country station. We also play her on 105.5, KXFC-FM and KADA-FM 0n 99.3,” they clarified, referring to the company's other stations.

Harris said securing the song was difficult for their small station. But after they did, they played it in a departure from their usual protocol to first see how a new song charts.

"We are not a 'big boy' station and getting record companies to service us is tough," he said. "But...finally we got our hands on it, and based on the fan support, we decided to air it...truthfully, normally we would (usually) wait a while to see how the song performs on the charts and on bigger country stations than ours, as we are just the little guys."

The requester explained in follow up tweets why he took issue with the station's initial position.

"This station needs to be held accountable for their blatant racism and discrimination against Beyoncé," he wrote.

"This is absolutely ridiculous and racist. You guys should be ashamed. I grew up listening to your station," he added in a separate tweet.

The requester called for people to contact the station to request the song — and some have. The station's tweet that the song was in the queue was posted about three hours after the requester first posted his call to action.

Responses to the station's tweet have doubled down on their support for Beyoncé.

"Dont try this again. Get ready for her country album," someone tweeted.

"Now play Daddy Lessons for reparations!" another said, referencing Beyoncé's country song on 2016 album "Lemonade."

Harris said he welcomes Beyoncé entering the genre of country music.

"We love Beyonce’," he wrote. "We just were behind this country music changeover.... But, now that she’s coming out as a country artist, we want to be all over it......we are not fools...we know how big she is and we are happy to air it and wish her the best success."