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Beyoncé VS. Donna Summer: who made black female history on the country charts first



It seems like every time a Black woman makes history on the country music charts, the world acts like it's the first time it's ever happened. Last week, Beyoncé made headlines for becoming the first Black woman to hit number one with her banjo-infused bop "Texas Hold 'Em." While this is definitely a significant achievement, let's not forget about the trailblazers who paved the way long before Queen Bey stepped onto the scene.



One such trailblazer is Donna Summer, the Queen of Disco, who made history as the first African-American woman to co-write a No. 1 country single in 1980 with "Starting Over Again." This tune, written with her widower Bruce Sudano, was recorded by none other than country music legend Dolly Parton. It's worth noting that this milestone occurred 43 years before Tracy Chapman became the first Black woman to be the sole writer of a top country tune with Luke Combs' cover of "Fast Car" last summer.



Summer and Sudano had previously collaborated on the disco classic "Bad Girls," showing their versatility as songwriters. Summer herself expressed excitement at Parton's rendition of "Starting Over Again," highlighting the thrill of hearing someone else interpret your work.


So, while Beyoncé's recent success on the country charts is certainly cause for celebration, let's not forget the women who came before her and broke down genre barriers long ago.


It's important to recognize and honor their contributions to the music industry, even as we applaud the achievements of today's stars.


After all, history has a way of repeating itself, and it's always worth remembering where we've been as we look towards the future.



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