Carrie Underwood and Kacey Musgraves are continuing their advocacy for women in country music, especially at radio.
"I think it's really great that there's fan advocacy and social media support around women in country music, because there are so many incredible female artists who, for some reason, are not being given a chance," Underwood shared with ELLE. "We are told time and time again that the women listeners who make up the majority of country music radio listeners don't want to hear other women on the radio, which I think is not true.
"Growing up, it was incredibly important to hear strong, amazing, talented women on the radio," she added. "It let me know that I could do that, too."
Musgraves knows she has had a harder time than some of her male counterparts getting her songs on the charts. Still, it wasn't until a recent road trip with her husband that she realized how much male artists were being favored.
"My husband and I decided, out of sheer boredom, to listen to country radio and tally the number of males versus females we heard," Musgraves recalled. "It was, not shockingly, so offensive —two females among 31 males in about a couple of hours. We also tallied the number of times —35 — we heard references to a woman's body or skimpy clothing, or the actions the man wanted her to do: cook for him, please him sexually, bring him a beer. And we're being told women want to hear that over hearing other women?"
Underwood and Musgraves aren't the only women saying enough is enough. Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris and Cam, along with several more, have become more and more vocal about giving female artists the same chance as the men.
"I think it's not about me," Cam told 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 continued. "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."
Underwood concedes that she has already seen progress, but acknowledges country music still has a lot to accomplish.
"This is a conversation the industry has been having for a while now," Underwood told Redbook. "I see so many amazingly talented women who make me go, 'Why isn't she kicking butt on the radio?' Kelsea Ballerini, Maren Morris, and Lauren Alaina have finally gotten some great radio success, so it's starting to get better. But we need to keep the conversation going so there will be more room created for women."
Underwood will launch her all-female Cry Pretty Tour 360 in May, with both Maddie & Tae and Runaway June serving as her opening acts. Find dates at CarrieUnderwoodOfficial.com.
Photo Credit: Getty images/Christopher Polk