Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini are speaking out about a sexist rule that some country music radio stations follow which prevents songs by female artists from being played back-to-back. The singers decided to take a stand after a fan tweeted their surprise about hearing two female artists in a row on a Los Angeles country radio station.
“I turned on the 105.1 country station in L.A. just now, and they were playing the new song by Gabby Barrett, and then, without any pause or interruption at all, they went into a Kelsea Ballerini song,” the fan wrote. “Can’t they get fined for that?”
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I say this having been one of the few women who have been really embraced by country radio and having watched some of the bigger networks (and some of my friends that are pd’s and high up) make real changes in their programming to make it look more balanced. I am grateful. BUT. there is still inequality in airplay for women. And tweets like this prove it. And it’s my job to say it out loud and post about it, because of the girls moving to Nashville ( or wherever) that are ready to outrun and outwork and outplay everyone. They deserve to know that they have the same shot as the guys moving here to do the same. Country music- We have to fix this. For us and for them. How do we do it? Let’s talk. (Also- don’t lash out at this station, they are playing by rules set for them from their higher ups 😞)
Response to the tweet came quickly, as radio station 98 KCQ wrote that they can’t play two females back-to-back – “not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female.”
Musgraves slammed the rule on Twitter, writing that it smells like “white male bullsh*t.” She added that long ago she decided they couldn’t stop her. The Follow Your Arrow singer replied to 98 KCQ’s comment, and said that it “makes total sense” that the radio station is allowed to play “18 dudes who sound exactly the same back to back.”
And yet, they can play 18 dudes who sound exactly the same back to back. Makes total sense.
— K A C E Y M U S G R A V E S (@KaceyMusgraves) January 16, 2020
Balerini posted her thoughts on Instagram along with a screenshot of 98 KCQ’s tweet. She wrote to all of the ladies who “bust their a**es” only to have half of the opportunities men do, and issued an apology for companies who still play be these old rules even though it’s 2020. She added that after years of conversation of equal pay, it’s unfair and incredibly disappointing that these practices are still in place.
At the Country Music Awards in November 2019, Jennifer Nettles attempted to bring attention to this issue when she wore a dress that featured the words, “Play our [email protected]#in records, please and thank you.”
Nettles also posted a pic on Instagram of herself wearing the dress, and she wrote that when she found out the CMA’s were celebrating women artists during the awards ceremony, she saw it as a wonderful opportunity to invite and inspire conversation about the need for country music radio stations to start playing more women artists.