Carrie Underwood's Cry Pretty Tour 360 is an all-female tour, with Maddie & Tae and Runaway June serving as her opening acts. Although male tours are far more common, the Oklahoma native insists her tour companions have earned their spot.
"First and foremost, they've earned it," Underwood shares on the Women Want to Hear Women podcast. "I'm not throwing anybody a bone by taking them out on tour with me. They deserve to be there and they're gonna put on a great show, and I'm already proud of all that they've done. I'm a fan. But it's good when women support women."
Underwood hopes that her Cry Pretty Tour 360 will normalize the idea of female artists not needing a man to join women on the road.
"I feel like the more we do of that and the more normal it is – why would I not want to take women out on the road with me?" Underwood questions. "Why would anybody feel like 'Oh, well I'm a girl, so I better have a guy'?"
Underwood insists that, while she does have all women on the road with her, she wasn't trying to intentionally take a male artist off the bill.
"It was mainly about just putting together a great show," Underwood shares with PopCulture.com and other media. "And then, it's an added bonus that they're all women. But I mean, I definitely feel like we need to lift each other up and support each other. And I believe in these women. And hopefully, they'll just continue to have more and more doors open for them. Because they deserve it."
The American Idol alum is also crying foul against the way women have to work harder than men – still – in country music.
"Even when I was growing up, I wished there was more women on the radio, and I had a lot more than there are today," Underwood shares. "I think about all the little girls that are sitting at home saying, 'I want to be a country music singer.' What do you tell them? What do you do? How do you look at them and say, 'Well, just work hard, sweetie, and you can do it' when that's probably not the case right now?
"I see so many girls out there busting their rear ends and so many guys out there where some new guy has a No. 1 and I'm like, 'Well, good for you, that's great, but who are you? What's happening?'" she continues. "And then these strong women who are super talented that totally deserve it are not getting the same opportunities. But how to change it? I don't know. How do we change it?"
Underwood's Cry Pretty album will be released on September 14, and is currently available for pre-order on her website.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Jason Kempin