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Country music star Carlene Carter welcomes Beyoncé to the fold: 'I admire and love her and all she does'

The daughter of June Carter Cash has nothing but good things to say about Bey and her new album "Cowboy Carter."

In Carlene Carter's book, Beyoncé is as country as they come.

Carter, the daughter of June Carter Cash and a country music star in her own right, issued a statement Friday in full-throated support of Beyoncé and her much anticipated new country album, Cowboy Carter. In the run-up to the album's release, there's been hubbub over Beyoncé's move into the genre and the legacy of Black artists in country music.

"I've caught wind of some negativity over the release of Beyoncé's Cowboy Carter, her new country album," Carter said. "As a Carter Girl myself and coming from a long line of Carter Girls, I'm moved to ask why anyone would treat a Carter this way? She is an incredibly talented and creative woman who obviously wanted to do this because she likes country music, In my book, she's one of us Carter women and we have always pushed the boundaries by trying whatever music we felt in our hearts and taking spirit-driven risks."

<p>Kevin Mazur/Getty; Jason Kempin/Getty</p> Beyoncé and Carlene Carter

Kevin Mazur/Getty; Jason Kempin/Getty

Beyoncé and Carlene Carter

"Carter" is, of course, Beyoncé's married surname, which she uses in the album title. But it's also a name associated with decades of country history, given the immense impact of the Carter Family and their musical dynasty. The Carters first began recording in the 1920s, earning particular notice for Maybelle Carter's guitar skills and helping to define the sound of country music. They were eventually dubbed the "first family of country music."

The family's influence only grew with the musical careers of Maybelle's daughters, Helen, Anita, and June, the latter of whom gained particular fame for her marriage to and many collaborations with Johnny Cash. The line continues today with the work of Carlene, Laura Cash, and John Carter Cash.

Now Carlene is welcoming Beyoncé into the musical tradition of the Carter family. "I am here to let Beyoncé and all those nay sayers know that I admire and love her and all she does," she continued. "I am delighted to know that Carter spunk is in her just like it's been through nearly 100 years of us Carters choosing to follow ours hearts, hearts that are filled with love not just for country music but for all kinds of music."

She concluded, "Here's a warm welcome to the Carter Girl Club! It's only a matter of time before those nay sayers become Bey sayers."

The singer-songwriter isn't wrong, as Beyoncé has been tearing up the charts since the release of her album's first two singles, "Texas Hold 'Em" and "16 Carriages," in February. "Texas Hold 'Em" made Beyoncé the first Black female artist to reach No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs chart and No. 1 on the Hot 100 Chart with a country song.

"I think people are going to be surprised because I don't think this music is what everyone expects," Beyoncé said in a recent press release. "But it's the best music I've ever made."

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