Cam Cries Out for Diversity in Country Music

Cam has been a vocal advocate for championing women in country music, since before she launched her career with her mega-hit, "Burning House," in 2015, and she's just getting started. The singer-songwriter refuses to be quiet about the lack of female artists in country music, but she says that's not the only group that needs to be encouraged.

"I think it's not about me," Cam tells PopCulture.com. "It's about the system, and it's about putting women – it's about recruiting great candidates for being CEOs of labels, who happen to be diverse candidates that are women, people of color, LGBTQ, anybody who has a different perspective. Diverse companies can create and support diverse products and can reach more people and are more profitable. It's been proven in other areas.

"In country music, I think people get afraid," she continues. "People start shrinking; we only want this one model because they're terrified. So you only get one kind of song on the radio and maybe have one artist that's making it at a label that's paying for all the rest of the other artists."

The California native wants diversity among all people groups in country music, but as a female artist, she is no longer willing to be silent about the few radio spots women are granted compared to their male counterparts.

"[Record companies] don't know how to launch anybody else, so they'll say, 'We don't know how to launch women,'" Cam concedes. "Label heads that are there right now are quoted, like saying, 'I don't know how to launch women.' Which, I don't know how you can be in that job if you don't know how to do that. I think you should leave your job."

Cam acknowledges that at least part of the problem stems from what has become the cultural norm for women to look and dress a certain way – something male artists rarely battle.

"They don't know how to balance a budget with wardrobe, hair, makeup, so all of a sudden when those costs come up, they go, 'Ugh! I don't have to pay this for my other artists,'" says Cam. "And it's like, 'Well, dumb a--, this is how it works.'

"Until everybody decides we don't care what people look like on stage, which is fine by me if you want to do it that way, too ... But women have figured it out," she adds. "We've had to balance our budgets for a long time with less money. So we could figure it out on our own. If you were in that position, you'd know how to do it."

Cam, who just postponed the United States leg of her Road to Happiness Tour after leaving Sony Nashville (although she remains on Sony New York), believes the entire structure of country music needs to change if female artists will ever have an honest chance.

"Honestly, it's no fault," Cam says. "I just wish they would recognize – they don't know all the ins and outs of that stuff. So why is it we have 97% white men over 50 making all the decisions for these few women that are trying to make it? It's a bad recipe."

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Cam has several shows overseas this fall. Find a list of all of her upcoming shows by visiting her website.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Ethan Miller