Music

Maren Morris Calls Out Sexism, Lack of Women on Country Radio

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Ever since radio consultant Keith Hill remarked "If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out," the lack of women on country radio has been a hot topic of discussion. But as The Tennesseean recently reported, since the so-called "Tomato-gate," the problem has actually gotten worse.

Sharing The Tennesseean article on Twitter, Maren Morris shared her frustration with country radio limiting the voices of female artists, writing that she was once told not to release her single "I Could Use a Love Song" because "People don't want to hear sad women."

"If you don't give us the chance to be heard, potential fans will NEVER hear us," Morris wrote.

The "Rich" singer, who entered the country scene in 2016 with her debut album Hero, added that the ridiculous notion that female artists don't connect with listeners is holding back talented artists who deserve to be heard, giving a shout out to her peers RaeLynn, Cassadee Pope and Lindsay Ell.

The idea that listeners -- women in particular -- don't listen to female artists is an oft-repeated misconception cited by program directors using data that's unverifiable. The myth is essentially stifling the careers of female artists because of little more than a (misinformed) hunch, creating a cycle of inequality and a self-fulfilling prophecy. These days men do perform better on radio -- because they're often the only ones getting airplay.

Morris added that women are writing and performing great songs and deserve an equal opportunity to be heard.

Read More: From the Kitchen to the Tailgate: Country Music's Struggle to Define Women

Morris' comments inspired feedback from fans who echoed a desire to hear more female artists and raw emotion on country stations, as noted by Martina McBride, another artist who's spoken at length about the need for more women on country radio.

There are currently only two solo female country artists in the Top 20 on Billboard's Country Airplay chart.

Of course, gender disparity in the music industry isn't just an issue in country. After only one solo female artist was awarded during this year's Grammy Awards broadcast, Recording Academy president Neil Portnow came under fire for saying that women need to "step up." Last month, the Recording Academy announced the new Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, which includes country singer-songwriter Cam.

On country radio, where women's stories are more likely to be told (often poorly) by men,the need for more diverse airwaves has never been more evident. Changing the dynamics of country radio will require the kind of outspoken candidness Morris has long been willing to share. Hopefully those that need to hear her out will finally listen.

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Maren Morris Calls Out Sexism, Lack of Women on Country Radio