Kacey Musgraves recently sat down actress Reese Witherspoon for Witherspoon’s new unscripted series Shine on With Reese. During their chat the singer-songwriter discussed the country music industry and the lack of women on the country charts.
When asked about the state of country music, Musgraves said that while there are signs of improvement the genre still has a long way to go in terms of inclusion.
“I think it’s getting better. I hope,” Musgraves said. “But then you look at the chart and you see a big lack in female voices.”
Witherspoon also commented on the lack of diversity within the genre.
“There’s a whole spectrum of the human experience that is not represented,” Witherspoon said.
The women also discussed the infamous “tomato-gate,” in which radio consultant Keith Hill compared women on country radio to tomatoes in a salad. Hill also encouraged radio programmers to play fewer women.
The discussion led Musgraves to reflect on her own experience and the double standards women in country music face.
“If you look at the Top 40 you might see three women,” Musgraves said. “One thing that I’ve experienced as a woman on this path is that I can be meeting the same radio station people or people in the industry that a male artist (is) and there’s an extra pressure on me to be accommodating and nice and massage their ego and when I don’t come through on whatever their idea is of that then I feel like my music suffers from that as in how far it will go on the radio.”
Musgraves, who released her critically-acclaimed album Golden Hour earlier this year, is currently prepping for her upcoming Oh, What a World Tour, which kicks off in Norway on Oct. 13.
Witherspoon, whose moving portrayal of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line made her an Oscar winner, is no stranger to country music performers. The Big Little Lies star recently interviewed Dolly Parton about her career as a songwriter and superstar.
Past guests on Shine on With Reese include writer, director and producer Ava DuVernay, pop singer-songwriter P!nk, pastry chef Candace Nelson and more.
Shine on With Reese airs on DirecTV’s Hello Sunshine channel.