Kelsea Ballerini Shares Surprising Positive Side of Lack of Women Being Played at Country Radio

There is a positive side of the lack of women being played on country music radio, at least according to Kelsea Ballerini. The singer, who has been vocal about the disparity, has found a surprising silver lining to all of it, especially as the tide slowly begins to turn.

"I think the best thing that's come out of the conversation is the music that new women in country are making right now," Ballerini told Entertainment Weekly. "You're seeing people like Tenille Townes, and people like Ingrid Andress, and people like Ashley McBryde, and they're so identifiable, and so unique, and so good because they have to be. If nothing else, we are getting some of the sharpest, most hard-working, determined female artists that are coming out of the conversation. I think that's a win, and hopefully they keep getting opportunities like they're starting to get right now."

Ballerini is aware of the lack of women being played at radio, even though is one of the fortunate few who have managed to have five No. 1 singles.

"I'm really aware of it, and it's interesting for me to talk about because I am one of the lucky women that gets played on the radio [and] put in playlisting and streaming," Ballerini acknowledged. "So I always try to talk about it from a place of being super gracious because I'm grateful that I have those opportunities. But it's also my responsibility as someone who's had success in radio and streaming to make sure that the next crop of women are taken care of and given the same opportunities that I was."

Ballerini's third album, titled simply Kelsea, will be released on Friday. With 13 songs on the record, the 26-year-old never considered calling it anything but her own name.

"Having it just be called Kelsea is like you call your friends by their first name, and you call people that you know well, that you've had deep conversations with, by their first name," Ballerini explained. "To me, that was what it represented. It's the record that puts us on a first-name basis. It's definitely a departure from the very beginning where that was my initial handshake to people."

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Ballerini unfortunately had to cancel many of her album release plans, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Order the album by visiting her website.

Photo Credit: Getty / John Shearer