Martina McBride posted a series of justifiably angry comments on social media recently, after she tried to make a playlist of country music on Spotify, but only received songs by male artists in the streaming giant's list of recommended songs. McBride revealed that she refreshed the list an astonishing 14 times before a female artist was even recommended by Spotify.
The Grand Ole Opry member reveals that Spotify reached out to her, and that she met with someone from the company in Nashville for coffee, who said their engineers were trying to fix the issue, but she is still unsatisfied with their explanations.
“How come they haven’t come out and said, ‘We’re working on this,’ whether it’s true or not?” McBride reflected to PEOPLE. “I find it shocking that they feel so indestructible that they don’t even take the time to make a comment about this.”
McBride still recalls how angry she was while sitting in front of her computer, seeing song after song recorded by a man.
“My heart started pounding, and I started thinking this can’t be right, this can’t be right,” she recalled, adding she instantly started taking screen shots of the 10-song lists and adding them to her Instagram Story. “It was like a complete gut reaction to what I was experiencing."
McBride was one of the first women to speak out a few years ago, when radio consultant Keith Hill said to media trade Country Aircheck that the best way for radio to get better rating was to leave out female artists.
"If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out," he said in 2015 (via The Tennessean). "Trust me. I play great female records, and we've got some right now; they're just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females."
McBride had t-shirts printed at the time with the word, "Tomato," printed on them, but four years later, she still finds herself sadly fighting the same battle.
“There’s this archaic notion that women don’t like to hear other women on the radio,” McBride said. “It’s been said before by consultants and radio programmers, and I don’t believe it.”
Still, the 53-year-old doesn't want female artists to receive attention just because of their gender, but rather because of their talent.
“I don’t want an hour a week of all women,” maintained McBride. “I don’t want one [awards] show that’s dedicated to women. I want an even playing field.”
McBride has had more than 40 hit singles at radio, and isn't speaking up for herself, as much as she is for the women coming behind her.
"I have no reason to be bitter. I had my day,” McBride said. "I’m not doing this for me. These girls … How do they fight for themselves? How do you fight for yourself when you’re up against the power that can control your career? I see how hard they work and how much it means to them and how talented they are. And, you know, they should have a shot.”
Photo Credit: Getty / John Shearer
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