Lindsay Ell is the only women nominated on the Country Radio Seminar's coveted New Faces ballot — a fact that disturbed not only all of the female artists, but Ell's former boyfriend (and recent Dancing With the Stars Mirrorball trophy winner) Bobby Bones, who threatened to host a women-only show at the same time. But while Ell is disappointed that she is the only woman, with 12 men also nominated, she already sees a light on the horizon.
"When that ballot came out, I guess that's a representation of what's happening on country radio right now," Ell told PopCulture.com. "But I firmly believe that everything is cyclical, even the country music industry. I mean, you look at pop radio 10 years ago, and there weren't a lot of women on pop radio, and now there are tons of women all over pop radio. And so, I feel like country music is similar, actually. They are just sometimes a little bit behind cyclically. I feel like the women are coming back, and we just gotta fight and work a little bit harder."
Ell is close friends with several women fighting for their right on the radio, much like she is, including the CMT Next Women of Country headliner.
"I love Cassadee [Pope] as a dear life friend," gushed Ell. "She's probably my closest friend in town. She's such a sweetheart. Between Cassadee and RaeLynn and Maren [Morris] and Lauren [Alaina], something's got to give here, because those girls are just way too talented.
Ell has been too busy to spend much time lamenting the lack of female representation on the airwaves. The 29-year-old spent most of the year on the road, with 2019 already promising to be just as busy.
"It's been so crazy," Ell said. "We're on track to play about 235 shows this year, which is just insane. I've been able to travel with my idols this year, including Brad Paisley and Sugarland and Keith Urban, and I'm on my first headlining club tour at the moment, which has just been so amazing. To see fans walk into venues, who have listened to my record, and who are singing along to my whole show, and we can play a whole set – it's just been an awesome way to finish off the year."
The Canadian moved to Nashville almost a decade ago, but is just now beginning to see the results of her hard work.
"It's that same thing of, 10,000 hours to become an overnight success," Ell explained. "It's a 10-year town, and I'm right around that mark. I'm just grateful that I can wake up and call this a job every day, let alone get to do what I love. It's been a really fun 2018."
Ell released her album, The Project, in 2017, produced by Sugarland's Kristian Bush. She followed that full-length up with The Continuum Project, a tribute to John Mayer's Continuum album also produced by Bush, one year later and now reveals new music is on the horizon.
"I'm working on some brand-new music," Ell hinted. "Kristian Bush and I are just about to hop into the studio to work on album No. 2, and I may or may not have a duet coming out shortly."
A list of all of Ell's upcoming shows is available at LindsayEll.com.
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Jason Kempin