Lee Ann Womack Speaks Out Against Current Country Music

Lee Ann Womack grew up listening to country music. Her father, a well-known DJ in Texas, instilled in Womack a love of artists like George Jones and traditional country music – an era that Womack says is a thing of the past.

"What they call country music, the mass market country music, is obviously not country music," Womack shared on PBS.org. "I don't know what it is.... It's sort of pop music I guess.

Womack released The Lonely, the Lonesome & the Gone, in October. The record goes back to her traditional country roots, along with other genres that she is inspired by.

"I'm a singer, so I love to sing. Country music to me is the greatest. It's American music. It's the greatest form of music. It's beautiful when it's done well and done right. So that's my favorite. So I'm a singer. I love to sing, and I like all kinds of things. I don't really worry so much about defining things."

Much of the music industry is different since Womack released her self-titled record in 1997.

"It has changed tremendously," Womack asserts. "Nobody's making the money that we were when we first started."

Still, while the music industry has changed, the 51-year-old isn't as opposed to the changes as some of her peers, especially when it comes to streaming and music being available for free.

"I feel like I'm only on this earth for a certain amount of time," says Womack. "You can only have so much money anyway. I've lived with it and I've lived without it. People that work with me are going to cringe when they hear me say this, but it's never been a motivating factor for me."

"I think it opens things up," she continues. "It's kind of like the Wild West. And it allows people to make music that maybe would have never gotten on a major label. And they make great music, but maybe they don't do interviews very well, or maybe they don't have a good meeting, they don't come across well in a meeting.... You can buck the system and still have great success."

As Womack looks to her future, and ponders another album, her career will be guided most by the music she loves.

"I just want to sing mostly country music," says Womack. "I would like to remind people what country music is, because what's marketed as country is not so much."

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Photo Credit: Instagram/leeannwomack