Luke Bryan Praises Reba McEntire for Addressing Lack of Women Nominated for Awards

Luke Bryan is praising Reba McEntire, after McEntire openly addressed the fact that all five nominees for the ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year were men, even though Bryan is one of the nominees.

"It's something the country music community has taken note of, that women artists aren't being truly recognized like they need to, and it's something on everybody's radar," Bryan told BuzzFeed News. "I think Reba has earned the right to voice her opinion on matters like that. Somebody like Reba has to stand up and say to the Academy of Country Music and all forms of country music award shows. It does get a little bit tricky when it is a naturally male-heavy format...There's so many women out there that should feel the right to speak up."

McEntire, who will return to host the 2019 ACM Awards this year, announced the nominees on CBS This Morning, later reflecting that women were once again excluded from the category.

"It doesn't make me very happy because we've got some very talented women out there who are working their butts off," McEntire said in an interview, later adding, "I'm missing my girlfriends on this list."

Bryan shares the Entertainer of the Year category with Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton and Keith Urban, admitting that he thinks he has a good chance of taking home the trophy.

"I always have to go into it with the mindset [that] I've worked hard, I've done my due diligence, I should win," Bryan conceded. "Going in nominated for Entertainer [of the Year] is just a huge honor, so I always go in just ready to have fun, enjoy the show, and just make the most of the night. Enjoy being in Vegas with friends, I always somehow end up at a blackjack table with some other country music buddies of mine, so that's always fun too."

Bryan is currently back on the set of American Idol, where he is once again serving as a judge alongside Lionel Richie and Katy Perry – and also trying to find time to complete his next album.

"We have some stuff on my current album that we're weighing whether we want to [release it as a] single ...or not," Bryan told ABC News Radio. "I've been in the studio. I've recorded some songs that we're really, really excited about. I'm writing a lot. I'm excited to be writing."

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The 2019 ACM Awards will air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Mickey Bernal