Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’ Legendary Inspirations & New Collaborators All Up in Streams: Linda Martell, Dolly Parton, Brittney Spencer & More

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Welcome to Billboard Pro’s Trending Up column, where we take a closer look at the songs, artists, curiosities and trends that have caught the music industry’s attention. Some have come out of nowhere, others have taken months to catch on, and all of them could become ubiquitous in the blink of a TikTok clip. 
This week: With the Cowboy Carter rodeo officially underway, artists new and old take their turn in the Beyoncé-shined spotlight, while a couple old West Coast hip-hop songs lifted for the current biggest song in the country also see big gains.

Beyoncé’s ‘Jolene’ Boosts Dolly P’s Classic Version on Streaming

Beyoncé’s “Jolene,” a centerpiece of her new album Cowboy Carter, not only re-creates Dolly Parton’s classic 1973 single, but actively includes Parton in that revival by having the country icon introduce Bey’s new take on the song. The new “Jolene” is off to a hot start at streaming, and could make a splashy Hot 100 debut next week — but Parton’s “Jolene” is also experiencing an uptick, as both unfamiliar fans and longtime listeners have searched it out on streaming services to make an A-to-Bey comparison.

Last weekend (Mar. 29-31), Parton’s version of “Jolene” earned 1.24 million official on-demand U.S. streams — a 43% gain from the previous weekend (871,000 streams from Mar. 22-24), according to Luminate. Of course, “Jolene” wasn’t the only timeless track that Beyoncé hoisted back up on Cowboy Carter: “Blackbird,” the Beatles’ White Album classic that Bey covers in the second slot of the album as “Blackbiird,” also experienced a 13% weekend-to-weekend gain, up to 710,000 streams this past weekend. And “Oh Louisiana,” which lifts Chuck Berry’s song of the same name for 52 seconds, helped Berry’s 1971 original more than double its streams from to weekend to weekend, up 138% to 12,000 streams.

Meanwhile, some of the older tracks that Beyoncé either sampled or interpolated on Cowboy Carter also had fans searching for source material on streaming services. “Ya Ya” contains elements of Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’,” which were up 13% and 14% compared to the previous weekend’s respective streaming totals. And “Maybelline,” another Berry track that gets a nod in “Smoke Hour / Willie Nelson,” also earned a nice bump, up 11% to 38,000 streams last weekend. – JASON LIPSHUTZ

‘Cowboy Carter’ Collaborators See Their Catalogs Skyrocket

Whether you’re a legacy artist or a relatively unknown performer, popping up on a Beyoncé album track list is a good way to earn a healthy boost in streaming activity. Case in point: the mix of country pioneers and promising newcomers featured on Bey’s Cowboy Carter are already enjoying streaming bumps in the first few days following the album’s release — none bigger than that of Linda Martell, the pioneering singer-songwriter whose voice is featured in a spoken-word section of “Spaghetti.” Martell’s catalog registered a little under 5,000 streams during the weekend of Mar. 22-24, according to Luminate — but following the Cowboy Carter release, that number ballooned to 61,000 streams from Mar. 29-31, for a whopping 1,100% increase.

Meanwhile, Brittney Spencer, Reyna Roberts, Tanner Adell and Tiera Kennedy all benefited from appearing on Beyoncé’s version of “Blackbird,” with their catalogs up 41%, 59%, 58% and 56% in streams from weekend to weekend, respectively. And while Shaboozey’s catalog jumped 16% thanks to his pair of featured turns on the album, Willie Jones, the former X Factor contestant who duets with Bey on “Just for Fun,” saw even greater catalog gains, leaping 31% in streams in the weekend following the Cowboy Carter release. – JL

An “Everlasting” Love for “Like That” West Coast Sample Sources

In case you’ve been living under a rock with very spotty internet access, Future, Metro Boomin and Kendrick Lamar set the hip-hop world ablaze two Fridays ago with the release of their incendiary “Like That,” breakout hit from Future and Metro’s Billboard 200-topping We Don’t Trust You set. While the song largely made waves for Lamar’s pot-stirring verse seemingly calling out fellow rap superstars J. Cole and Drake, it also racked up a 2024-best first-week stream total largely by being an undeniable banger — as evidenced by the fact that listeners have even been flocking to two of the older songs that provide its secondhand musical backbone.

“Everlasting Bass,” the enduring 1986 West Coast rap anthem from Rodney-O & Joe Cooley that gives “Like That” its bleating synth hook and groaning beat backdrop, was up 230% in official on-demand U.S. streams for the tracking week ending March 28, according to Luminate, soaring to 119,000 streams from 36,000 the week before. And Eazy-E’s “Eazy-Duz-It,” another Cali classic whose sing-song “He once was a thug from around the way” intro graced hits from Three 6 Mafia and Ye before also upping the musical ante for “Like That,” was up 41% over that same period, from 247,000 to 349,000. Neither Drake nor Cole have yet responded to Lamar’s missive, but if either decides to, these returns show that maybe sampling something off The Chronic or Doggystyle might be a good place to start. — ANDREW UNTERBERGER

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Beyoncé & Jennifer Hudson Host Mini ‘Dreamgirls’ Reunion at 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards

When Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson and Anika Noni Rose sang, “Dreamgirls will never leave you,” they meant it! At the 2024 iHeartRadio Music Awards (April 1), two of the Dreamgirls co-stars reunited for a beautiful picture backstage. Related Beyoncé’s ‘Cowboy Carter’: All 27 Tracks Ranked 04/03/2024 “I am so happy I got to be there to cheer on my Dreamgirls sister as she received the @iheartradio Innovator Award!!!” Hudson wrote in a heartfelt Instagram caption. “Congratulations on such a well deserved recognition! […]

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