Kelsea Ballerini has managed to have a couple No. 1 hits at radio over the last few years, including her recent "Miss Me More," which she knows is unfortunately an anomaly in country music. The Tennessee native emerged at a time when "bro country" was reigning at radio, an era that, by its very nature, excluded many female artists from being heard. While that season is, hopefully, coming to an end, Ballerini is opening up about that trend, and the frustration it has caused for her and others.
"I've always said, when people refer to bro country, that was kind of the season where women were more off the radio," Ballerini shared with PopCulture.com and other media."They were starting to be more off the radio. To me, the best way I can describe it from my perspective – and I say this having been embraced by radio, so I'm not shaming them at all – but I think that with any trend, which it was, and it was working so well, you can't have a female bro country.
"That just doesn't make sense," she continued. "The trend was working and all of these people were adding to it that were men and it was taking off, and it was really happening and working, and females just can't do bro country. It's bro country. I think that was the beginning of people loving a type of music that just excluded women."
Ballerini was one of a handful of female artists who managed to break through, which she says makes their music much more unique, and hopefully inspires other rising stars like she was a few years ago.
"I think the women that have cut through, myself and Maren [Morris] and Carly [Pearce] and Runaway June ... it's really identifiable," Ballerini noted. "If you listen to us all back to back, you know exactly who's singing what. And I think that while there is still an issue and a lack of females, it's making us all sharper. I think you're seeing a lot of the new females that are coming through like Tenille Townes. She's so identifiable and so sharpened, and I think that's a beautiful thing coming out of something that's pretty frustrating."
Ballerini is back at radio with her new single, "homecoming queen?" from her upcoming third studio record, which is scheduled to be released early next year.
Photo Credit: Getty / Terry Wyatt