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Cowboy Carter: Beyonce becomes first black artist to top UK chart with a country album – while achieving record double | Ents & Arts News

Beyonce has become the first black artist ever to hit number one with a country album in the UK, topping the chart with her eighth record, Cowboy Carter.

Not only that, but the star has done the double – with the album’s lead single, Texas Hold ‘Em, returning to the top spot in the singles chart for a fifth non-consecutive week.

Beyonce follows in the footsteps of Shania Twain, who was the first female country artist to score a UK number one album when Come On Over topped the Official Albums Chart in September 1999.

Incredibly, Queen of Country Dolly Parton, with a career spanning nearly 50 years and hits including Jolene, I Will Always Love You and 9 To 5, has never achieved a number one single or album in the UK.

This is Queen Bey’s second UK charts double, mirroring her instant success as a solo artist when she topped the album and singles charts simultaneously with her smash hit Crazy In Love, featuring Jay-Z, and debut album Dangerously In Love, in 2003.

Plus, she has two other tracks from Cowboy Carter in the singles top 10 – her cover of Parton’s Jolene at number eight, and II Most Wanted, a duet with Miley Cyrus, at number nine. Previously she has achieved two top 10 entries on two separate occasions – in 2008 with If I Were A Boy and Listen, and again in 2009 with If I Were A Boy and Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – according to the Official Charts.

Dolly Parton – step aside (for now)

FILE - Dolly Parton poses at the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy Ceremony in New York on Oct. 13, 2022. Parton will close out the awards show with her performance of ...World On Fire,... from her record ...Rock Star.... The ACMs will air on May 11 on Prime Video live from Frisco, Texas. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)
Dolly Parton has said she is excited about Beyonce’s country album. Pic: AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

Congratulating the star, Official Charts chief executive officer Martin Talbot said Parton should “step aside (for now)” as “Bey is the *current* Queen of Country”.

In a statement, he said: “In a career of huge achievements, congratulations to Beyonce on securing a slew of UK chart records with her country single and album this week, underlining her position as one of the world’s most ground-breaking musical artists.”

As well as her cover of Jolene, Beyonce also covers Blackbird, the civil rights-inspired song by The Beatles, on Cowboy Carter.

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Sir Paul McCartney has praised the star for her “magnificent” version, saying it “reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place”.

Writing on Instagram, he said they had spoken on FaceTime about her recording the song.

“When I saw the footage on the television in the early 60s of the black girls being turned away from school, I found it shocking and I can’t believe that still in these days there are places where this kind of thing is happening right now,” Sir Paul said.

“Anything my song and Beyonce’s fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

Parton has also praised the star, saying: “I’m a big fan of Beyonce and very excited that she’s done a country album.”

How much will this year’s Panini World Cup sticker album cost to complete? | UK News

The Panini World Cup 2022 sticker album has been released – but in order to fill it, football fans will likely have to spend a lot more than they think.

The popular pastime is reignited for every World Cup, and fans have been collecting stickers for more than 50 years.

The first World Cup edition in the UK was launched for the 1970 tournament in Mexico.

In the early days, a pack of four stickers would cost about 5p each, but now, with packs containing an extra sticker, they will set collectors back 90p.

According to author and football finance expert Kieran Maguire, there are 670 stickers to collect for this year’s album, which, assuming were all bought on the first go, would cost £120.60.

However, Mr Maguire explained that based on probability, it is more likely to set fans back £883.80.

“The Panini World Cup 2022 sticker album is out,” he wrote on Twitter.

“It’s 90p for five stickers and there are 670 to collect. That works out as £120.60 if you have to collect all and swap all spares, but if no swapping, then based on probability it will cost you £883.80.”

Speaking to Sky News, 60-year-old Mr Maguire said he first started collecting the stickers in 1970 and still does even now.

“I first collected in 1970 but did not have a full set as I did not have enough pocket money,” he said.

He explained that “there was a sharp rise in 2018 from 50p to 80p and a further one from 80p to 90p in 2022” for a pack of stickers.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as if the price is going to decrease any time soon, with Mr Maguire warning it could reach £1,500 in 2026.

“When the World Cup increases to 48 teams in 2026 from the current 32, the cost of filling an album will be at least £1,500 unless you resort to swaps,” he said.

“Fortunately, there are many online swap websites around these days that help to reduce costs.”

12 March 2018, Italy, Modena: German national team player Mario Goetze can be seen on a sticker sheet at a Panini sticker production facility. From 27 March, the stickers will be available in'German stores as part of the franchise for the upcoming World Cup in'Russia. Photo by: Lena Klimkeit/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

What did it cost during the last World Cup?

According to calculations by Professor Paul Harper, a mathematician at Cardiff University, the typical cost to fill the 2018 album was about £774.

That year, the cost of a pack of five stickers was increased from 50p to 80p and the album also included more stickers, with 682 to collect.

If a collector was extremely lucky and never had a duplicate in the packets they bought, Professor Harper explained that they would need a minimum of 137 packets to complete the entire book, costing £109.60.

Panini has also released a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Adrenalyn XL official card collection, featuring several categories and the national teams which took part in the play-offs as well as those competing in the tournament.