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Reba McEntire Thinks the ACM Awards Need More Female Representation

Reba McEntire is standing up for women in the country music industry after no females were nominated for Entertainer of the Year at the American Country Music Awards.

This is the second year in a row the ACM Awards have snubbed women in this category. The 2019 nominees include Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban. Since they were able to nominate five women for Female Artist of the Year, it is truly shocking that none of them made it to the Entertainer of the Year category.

McEntire was reasonably upset by this news, who has historically been a pioneer for women in the country music industry. She says, “It doesn’t make me very happy because we’ve got some very talented women who are out there working their butts off. I’m missing my girlfriends on this.”

McEntire herself has won many awards over her 40-plus years in the music industry as one of the best-selling female artists of all time, selling 85 million records worldwide. She is the first female to score the most Top 10 hits and No. 1 singles across four decades. She’s won the Academy of Country Music’s Top Female Vocalist seven times and the American Music Awards’ Favorite Country Female artist 12 times. She’s also the first singer to win CMA Female Vocalist of the Year four consecutive times. She has the record for most CMA nominations for a female artist with 50, and most ACM Awards nominations for a female artist with 47.

And while these statistics are extremely impressive, it is not the same for most other women in the country music world. A number of women are writing great songs about sexism or body issues, while also supporting women in their own industry. For example, Miranda Lambert’s has an all-female group—the Pistol Annies—and has created a scholarship for women at Belmont University.

But these women still don’t have the same recognition as men and are often discriminated against by record labels and played less on the radio. They also don’t often win outside of categories with a Female header.

In fact, in the past ten years, women have been actively turned away from record labels, who, in turn, do not supply new female artists to radio stations. Record labels often do not believe that women will sell as many records as men or be able to produce chart topping hits, so they are turned away more than male artists.

Yet radio consultants often blame women for the lack of representation on the radio. According to them, women make up 70-75% of listeners in key hours, and it is them who want to listen to men more. They claim that if women wanted to listen to women more, that’s what would be played.

Women are also low on the charts, holding only less than 20% of the decent chart positions, forcing many female country artists to branch out into other genres for some recognition.

However, all hope is not lost for women in country music. With well-established female artists, like Reba,Carrie Underwood, or Miranda Lambert, as role models, new female country artists are popping up all the time and will,hopefully, gain more recognition at award shows in the future.

As Reba once said, “Dolly paved such a great freeway for women. So did Loretta, Tammy, and Barbara Mandrell. I’ve got to keep pavin’ that freeway for the gals in country music. Maybe it gives them some ammunition, incentive, inspiration to continue on.”

Featured Image by Gage Skidmore on Wikimedia
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

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