Music

Radio Station Criticized After Cancelling Appearance from Lindsay Ell Over Her ‘Personal Life’

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Lindsay Ell is speaking out about the unfair treatment she received from a country radio station over the weekend.

The country artist was scheduled to make an appearance at a California radio station’s concert event earlier this week. According to a tweet shared by Ell on Friday (June 16), KNCI in Cincinnati suddenly decided to cancel her live performance with Chase Bryant over issues with her “personal life.”

Although she doesn’t directly say it in the tweet, it’s not hard to connect the dots here. Ell has been publicly dating popular iHeartMedia DJ Bobby Bones for a few months. KNCI is a CBS Radio station competing directly against iHeartMedia. It’s a serious allegation to assume that Ell’s personal tie to Bones was the cause of the cancellation. But a public statement from the station seems to confirm the rumors.

“Lindsay is an amazingly talented, up-and-coming artist and today we regrettably made a bad decision to cancel her show,” KNCI told the Washington Post. “We only hope that she — and our listeners — will forgive us, and that Lindsay and her team will allow us to reschedule the show.”

Naturally, the move outraged many fans of Lindsay Ell, as well as others who dismissed the station’s move as blatant sexism. KNCI’s iHeartMedia competitor in Cincinnati immediately snagged Ell for an on-air performance and even declared Friday to be “Lindsay Ell Day.”

This all comes at a time when more people than ever are speaking out against the “boys club” ideals of country radio. For decades, music programmers and disc jockeys have intentionally opted to spin more male country artists than females. But more and more artists and industry heads are speaking out about the unfair treatment of women in the industry.

READ MORE: Where Are the Women on Country Radio?

Would Ell’s set still have been cancelled if she was a male musician dating a female disc jockey? The fact that we still have to ask the question proves the country music community hasn’t come far enough when it comes to equality in the business.

So far, Ell has not released any other official statements on the topic. “I’ve stayed out of this,” Bobby Bones tweeted. “Not my fight. and frankly, @lindsayell can handle herself.”

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Radio Station Criticized After Cancelling Appearance from Lindsay Ell Over Her ‘Personal Life’