Tired on hearing people whining about the lack of women on country radio? Perhaps it’s because despite all of the protestations and constant focus on the issue, it still is a huge lingering problem that continues to get worse instead of better. And now Miranda Lambert, who has spoken out about the issue before, is getting hopping mad about it and is more willing than every to spark a fire in the press.
“It’s B.S., straight up!” Miranda told Redbook recently, while making sure folks understood this just wasn’t all about her. “Carrie Underwood still struggles, and that just blows my mind because she’s got a million hits and she’s Carrie Freakin’ Underwood. I tell them at the radio stations, ‘Just play one of us; it doesn’t have to be me. Then we all win.’ I’ll fight for it until I can’t no more.”
Right now on the country radio charts, there are only four solo women represented, and the sole solo woman in the Top 10 is Carly Pearce with “Every Little Thing” at #6—a song currently benefiting from iHeartMedia’s “On The Verge” program which inflates spin numbers for a specific song. Maren Morris is the only other woman in the Top 20 with “I Could Use A Love Song.” Miranda Lambert’s “Tin Man” written with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall has been suffering all year to gain serious traction on the charts, and currently sits at #24—which is a peak for the song. Miranda’s previous single “We Should Be Friends” stalled at #26, despite Miranda’s most recent record The Weight of These Wings selling through well and being certified platinum by the RIAA.
Recently there has been some concern over where the women on pop radio are going as well, but where pop’s female representation (or lack thereof) is cyclical, country’s is more systemic. There has never been a moment in recent history where women have even received a quarter of the representation on country radio. Many wonder when people will stop complaining about the issue, but perhaps they should wonder when it will be solved so people stop complaining about it.
Women artists have spoken up about it, and sometimes it seems like the media is obsessed with it. But until the powers that be on radio start to listen, or maybe the male artists that continue to benefit from the skewed numbers start to speak up as well, a semblance of equalization returning to country radio will be more of a dream than a reality. And this isn’t just about gender. It happens to be that if you had more women on country radio, you would also experience an elevated level of quality since it’s often the women leading the way when comes to the degree of substance and country you get from “country” songs in the mainstream.