Kacey Musgraves Wants a 'Thorough Rebuild' of Country Music

Kacey Musgraves is the only female nominated for a CMA Award for Album of the Year, for her recent Golden Hour record. The 30-year-old is grateful for her own acknowledgement, but says it's not enough to have just one female in the category.

"There are many caveats to the current system that need a thorough rebuild," Musgraves tells Billboard. "Inclusion on many different facets – not just gender – desperately needs to happen. I'm hoping we can get back to a musical world where talent and uniqueness got you further than politics, where the quality of song was what would make you a household name. Can you imagine what that landscape could sound like? What future generations it could inspire?

"I think the basic root of this issue stems from fear and greed," she continues. "The fear that money will be lost if something different doesn't succeed. That is so dangerous to a wonderfully rich and beautifully historic genre that, at its core, has traditionally always celebrated the underdog."

With only one female nominated for New Artist of the Year (Lauren Alaina), and only male artists nominated for Single of the Year (Miranda Lambert is featured on the Jason Aldean -nominated "Drowns the Whiskey") and Entertainer of the Year, Musgraves is discouraged that, in 2018, men continue to outnumber women at awards shows.

"Though I'm extremely honored to be nominated, I have to say that the number of females included still doesn't satisfy me – especially considering the fact that I feel that we're in a current time where more females are making good music.

"Five years later, we're still all focused on how many females are or aren't included," she adds. "I can't say exactly why this is still an ongoing issue, but the current formula or way music is serviced and pushed in modern country music just doesn't allow for equality.

Still, Musgraves appreciates the nod she did receive, especially for the Album of the Year category.

"Golden Hour is my most personal collection of songs yet," Musgraves maintains. "I really felt my way through this album, versus thought my way through, and it all came out at a time when there was a lot of positive change in my life – though, ironically amid chaos and turmoil in our social and political world. It was my beautiful space to turn to and believe in."


The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, November 14, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Christopher Polk