Double Whammy! Tanner Adell Becomes First Female Country Artist To Perform At BET, Debuts New Song

by Grace Somes
Tanner Adell || Image credit: @tanneradell

Tanner Adell has made history as the first female country artist to perform at the prestigious BET Awards, marking a historic turning point in her career and the genre, as she debuted her new single, ‘Cowboy Break My Heart.’

With Black artists’ growing presence and influence in country music, the genre has undergone a significant and transformative shift in recent years. Once dominated by white performers, country music now embraces diverse voices and stories, reflecting a broader spectrum of American experiences.

Adell took to the Nissan Mobile Studio stage on Sunday (June 30), representing the country genre with “Buckle Bunny” and her surprise single, “Cowboy Break My Heart.” Shaboozey also performed throughout the evening, while Mickey Guyton attended the BET Awards at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles, California.

As Tanner Adell stood on the red carpet with CBS Mornings, she savored a history-making moment in her career. Her emotional response to being a country artist ‘for a very long time’ and witnessing the genre’s evolution was palpable.

“This was not existent, you know, 10 years ago, and to see it change, it makes me emotional. I don’t wanna cry off my makeup, but it is something I’ve fought so hard for, and to see the fruits of my labor, it’s just — it’s really awesome.”

“Cowboy Break My Heart” is Adell’s first song release since signing with LVRN Records. It was written by him, Akil “worldwidefresh” King, Stephen “Di Genius” McGregor, Will Weatherly, and Anthony Germaine White.

“This song is simply a bop,” said Adell. “Though it is a track I want my fans to have fun with, I think it also shows how powerful heartbreak can be and how it doesn’t go away just like that.

“This guy – who was a massive Dallas Cowboys fan, hence the title – did some damage to my heart, but it led to some great songs of mine like ‘I Hate Texas’ and ‘Whiskey Blues.’ Safe to say I’ll be leaving that ‘Cowboy’ in the past, but what an empowering moment to be able to debut the song on the BET Awards stage.”

Adell’s new single follows “Too Easy,” which appears on the star-studded soundtrack album for the upcoming Twisters film, and “Whisky Blues,” which she discussed with iHeartCountry on the 2024 CMT Music Awards red carpet earlier this year.

“It is time to give credit where credit is due: Black musicians played a major role in developing the sound and style of country music,” BET wrote on Instagram earlier this month, honoring Linda Martell, DeFord Bailey, Charley Pride, The Pointer Sisters, and others who paved the way for modern artists such as Adell, Shaboozey, The War and Treaty, Roberts, Willie Jones, and many more.

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