Kelly Clarkson is mad as hell about the state of country radio and she's not holding back. During a YouTube Q&A to promote her upcoming talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show, Clarkson was tasked with defining YouTube slang. When asked to define "farm emo," a term the kids are using to describe country music, Clarkson let loose with a rant that would probably make her BFF Reba McEntire proud. (It's around the 6:40 mark in the video above.)
"You know why? Because country music doesn't sound country anymore...Country music is gone. Like, I don't know who's making it, but there might be like four people. Now it's like weird word rap," Clarkson says. "I love that when I started doing country they were like 'Oh, you're pop. You can't do country.' I was like 'I'm sorry, let me show you this list of the Top 20,' which by the way did not include one female."
Clarkson explained that, despite her own past appearances on the country charts (she had a 2010 hit, "Don't You Wanna Stay," with Jason Aldean), she's speaking purely has a lifelong fan of country music -- particularly the '80s and '90s artists she grew up listening to.
"I'm not in the country music industry. I'm not trying to get played on country radio. Here's the thing: I just love country music. So why don't we all start putting our '80s and '90s records on and let's figure out 'What is country music? What's the sound we like again?' 'Cause it's not what you're playing on the radio. I'm mad about it."
Read More: Where Are the Women on Country Radio?
Another grievance? The lack of women played on country radio. Clarkson reflected on '90s country radio, which was filled with hits by her heroes, including Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton, The Judds and Terri Clark.
"Y'all don't play people with boobs either," Clarkson continued. "I was so inspired by Reba, Trisha, Patty...Martina, Terri, The Judds, Wynonna, Dolly, Shania. All these women from the '90s. What is happening in country music? This is what's happening: y'all aren't playing country music anymore."
If you, like Kelly, would like to hear some new, traditionally-rooted country music made by women, check out The Highwomen's self-titled debut album, Clarkson's recent duet partner Trisha Yearwood's Every Girl and recent releases from Miranda Lambert, Tanya Tucker and Ashley McBryde -- just to name a few. And tune into The Kelly Clarkson Show. We have a feeling you might hear some of the country music that Clarkson likes.
This article was originally published in September of 2019.