The lack of awards for female artists at this week's CMA Awards underscored the ongoing lack of female representation in country music. In an interview ahead of the show, Miranda Lambert had some choice words for the situation in her industry.
Lambert recently notched another No. 1 hit with "Drowns The Whiskey," a duet with Jason Aldean they performed at the CMA Awards Wednesday. It was her first No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart since 2013's "We Were Us," a duet with Keith Urban.
"Yes, I had to sing with someone with a penis to get a No. 1," Lambert told the Washington Post on Monday. “I do like this person, Jason Aldean, a lot . . . so it was a great song with an old friend.”
Lambert went on to say, "It is interesting that I haven’t had even a Top 20 in a long, long time. And then it goes No. 1 because it’s a dude... But you know — if we went and looked at how many singles or records were sold for the Top 10 songs right now, I’d probably triple it on record sales. So it doesn’t matter.”
Lambert's comments came two days before the 2018 CMA Awards, where Kacey Musgraves was the only female artist to win a co-ed award with her Album of the Year win. Keith Urban won Entertainer of the Year, beating a field of all male artists. The award has not gone to a woman since Taylor Swift won in 2011. Lambert herself has not been nominated for the top prize since 2015, despite selling millions of albums in her career.
Lambert does have several other major awards, including two Grammy Awards. She was up for three CMAs Wednesday, including Favorite Female Vocalist, Single of the Year and Event of the Year for "Drowns The Whiskey."
However, representation of female artists on country music radio has been a major concern, especially since the infamous "tomato gate" incident when a radio consultant compared female artists to "tomatoes" and male artists' "salads." In June, The Tennessean published results from a study that found only 10.4 percent of songs charted by Country Aircheck were by female artists in 2017.
"This is a conversation the industry has been having for a while now," Carrie Underwood, who co-hosted the CMAs with Brad Paisley, told Redbook in August. "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."
Photo credit: Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2018/FilmMagic for ACM/Getty Images