The Highwomen Formed to Address 'Systematic Problem' of Women in Country Music

The Highwomen attracted plenty of attention before they even released their debut "Redesigning Women" single, thanks to the fact that all four women – Maren Morris, Natalie Hemby, Amanda Shires and Brandi Carlile – each had successful careers before joining forces. But the only way the women knew how to combat the way women are being left out of country music was to tackle it together.

"We all have our own solo things going on, but I think that coming together on a project like this in a timely fashion, it just felt like the right move," Morris told Apple Music's Beats 1's Zane Lowe. "I'm sure you've heard about this very severe lack of women representation on country radio, which we're trying to combat with this album and this movement. I really felt like I had no choice but to join, because we needed to band together now more than ever."

"I think it's a systemic problem in our country right now," Carlile continued. "I think that country music is the story of rural America, and it's really important that it reaches young girls in small towns, and that the story of the other half of the human race is being told, so that they can find themselves in the arts, just like we all found ourselves in the arts."

The Highwomen know it isn't enough to just join forces, but to also make unforgettable music that will touch both men and women.

"I think what's gonna fix it is really good music, but also whether or not we're willing to stand side by side and not compete with one another, hold the door open for other women, and amplify each other," Carlile said. "The Highwomen movement, it sets out to do that. We hope that everybody will want to be a Highwoman."

Morris previously admitted she had every reason not to join The Highwomen, but felt compelled to be part of the new group.

"I think a lot of people on my team probably thought I was insane to join a band right in the middle of my own album cycle and tour," Morris told Rolling Stone. "But when Brandi called to ask me if I wanted to be a Highwoman, and that these were going to be the people involved, I couldn't say no. I've also been touting the same message with 'Girl'; it's high time for more female perspectives in the country genre."


Photo Credit: Getty images / Cindy Ord