Jana Kramer isn’t a fan of how country radio is treating female artists.
In a recent podcast, the “I’ve Done Love” singer was asked if she feels country radio is doing better at promoting songs by female artists. Her answer was no.
“If you look at the charts right now, there’s probably 2 or 3 females on the chart. 1 to 50. You think 3 girls out of 50 is doing a good job?” she asks. “I call a major BS.”
We looked at Billboard’s most current Country Airplay charts, which ranks songs on a weekly basis by gathering airplay data from radio stations around the country. Out of 60 spots, there are only 7 solo female artists currently on the list.
Carly Pearce is sitting the highest at No. 10, supporting Kramer’s statement that country radio is currently leaning in favor of male artists. This comes at a time when artists like Mickey Guyton, Maggie Rose and RaeLynn have all released new singles recently.
Kramer does acknowledge the efforts of DJ’s such as Bobby Bones, who is bringing awareness to female artists with his introduction of “Female Fridays.” Even so, Kramer argues that she doesn’t see him spinning those females’ songs more regularly.
The issue of women in country music has been ongoing for decades. Radio consultant Keith Hill caused an uproar during an interview when he referred to female artists as tomatoes on a salad. In Hill’s statement, he says that radio stations need to take females out of rotation to keep ratings up. He insists that listeners prefer to listen to male artists like Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban.
Kramer goes on to talk about how there are some terrible songs getting mainstream airplay, but those tracks will continue playing because they’re by male artists.
“We grind, we bust out butts off, we do all these free shows for radio,” Kramer says, “and I understand their lists are tight, but you’re still not giving opportunity to females and it sucks.”
“I’ve Done Love” is Kramer’s first release without a label backing her. She parted ways with Warner Music earlier this year to allow more creative input in her career.
Under the Warner Music umbrella, Kramer saw some success with”Why Ya Wanna,” which peaked at No. 3 on the Country Airplay chart, while “I Got The Boy” climbed to No. 5. In 2016, her single “Said No One Ever” didn’t chart while “Circles” peaked at No. 55.
Without a label, Kramer says she’ll never hit mainstream radio, but that may be working in her favor for now. “I’ve Done Love” has had the highest-selling first week of any single in her career.
The song was released exclusively to Sirius XM before any terrestrial radio stations. A at recent show in Boston, Kramer was in tears as fans were singing “I’ve Done Love” back to her. In an Instagram post, she thanked Sirius XM’s The Highway for the airplay.
Although it’s a step in the right direction, country radio has a long way to go before they call the promoting of both male and female artists fair.