Carrie Underwood: Country music's women 'get the short end'

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Carrie Underwood: Country music's women 'get the short end'

By Stephen L. Betts. CREATED Jan 30, 2014

With just three solo female artists (Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert) among the top 25 acts on Billboard's Top Country Songs chart in 2012 and 2013, the publication took at look at that statistic and spoke to one of the three about the theories behind the disparity that exists between male and female acts getting airplay at country radio. In a Billboard story penned by Nashville Edge's Phyllis Stark, Carrie Underwood shares her personal thoughts about why female artists are undervalued at country radio. 

"You would think that we would be farther along in the thinking about women in country music," says the country superstar. "I like to think things are getting better, but then I see stats like [the one cited above] and realize that women really do seem to get the short end."

Carrie notes that the dearth of female artists enjoying success in country music isn't for lack of trying.

"There is certainly not a shortage of talented ladies out there that want so badly to get their fair shot in this business," she explains. "But there seems to be only room for only a few."

She also adds that when it comes to the guys, "there seem to be so many male singers out there who can be viewed as similar, and there seems to be plenty of room for all of them."

Could it be the songs themselves that are keeping the women from narrowing the gap? Theorizing that women tend to record material with deeper themes and more substance, Carrie agrees that could be holding them back.

"I don’t think women can get away with the partying, beer-drinking, hung-over, truck-driving kind of music that a lot of the guys have gotten away with lately," she says.

For more on the subject, including thoughts from Kellie Pickler and '90s hitmaker Suzy Bogguss, read the article here.

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts

Stephen L. Betts ("Steve") is a Nashville-based journalist who started his career as a tour guide, karaoke operator and library assistant at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.