Ten Trailblazing Female Country Artists
Recently, Keith Hill, a consultant to 300 country radio stations, said that if stations wanted more ratings then they should stop playing so many female artists. Of course this sparked outrage and female artists like Miranda Lambert hit back over Twitter.
"If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out,"- Keith Hill
This is he biggest bunch of BULLSHIT I have ever heard.
— Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) May 28, 2015
I am gonna do everything in my power to support and promote female singer/songwriters in country music. Always.
— Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) May 28, 2015
Clearly the discriminative ‘boys club’ culture still exists in this genre of music. In light of this, I thought I might share some of the best female artists country music has to offer. You can decide for yourself whether they should be played less often.
- Maddie and Tae
The two women caught the country world’s attention with their hit song “Girl in a Country Song”. This is a comment on the dude culture of country music, and how women are depicted as merely something pretty to look at.
It was because of this that Rolling Stone credited them as one of “10 New Artists You Need to Know.”
Earlier this year, the two headlined the opening night of the Verizon Super Bowl Central.
2. Miranda Lambert
At the most recent Academy of Country Music Awards, Miranda Lambert won Female Vocalist of the Year award for the 6th time in a row. She also won Song of the Year for “Automatic” and Album of the Year for “Platinum.” Lambert has written songs for films like “Hot Pursuit” and her band The Pistol Annies have written for films like the Longest Ride.
She is also married to country star Blake Shelton.
3. Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood got her start on American Idol in 2005, and since has sold 65 million records worldwide, has 20 #1 singles, and has won a total of 7 Grammy awards.
Carrie Underwood has performed duets with some of the greats, including “Something Bad” with Miranda Lambert.
If you have seen Pitch Perfect 2, you may see her song “Before He Cheats” song by Becca and the Bellas in an underground riff-off
Song to listen to: “Before He Cheats”
The two real life sisters play sisters on drama show Nashville, which is all about the tough country music industry. The girls, 15 and 11, performed The Lumineer’s Ho Hey on the show and has gone on to become the most downloaded song from the show’s track.
I first heard of these girls back before I’d even heard of the show, covering Robyn’s Call your Girlfriend. Their rendition still gives me the chills.
For such young girls, they’re making a name for themselves in the industry. I cannot wait to see more from them.
5. Reba McEntire
Reba McEntire joined country music officially in 1976 with the release of her first single, “I Don’t Want to Be a One Night Stand.” Although she wasn’t initially successful, she worked her way to the top and today she is one of the most successful country artists of all time.
Over the course of her career she has sold 56 million albums and received awards from the American Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, Country Music Awards and GRAMMYS. She is also one of only four entertainers, in history, to receive the National Artistic Achievement Award from the U.S. Congress. I think from all of that you can gather that she is a pretty badass woman in the country music industry.
Song to listen to: “Going out like that”
6. Hillary Scott
Hillary Scott is the lead singer of Lady Antebellum, who were actually in Australia earlier this year for CMC Rocks music festival. The band is constantly growing and creating new sounds.
Hillary Scott recently had a child and then went back out on tour. I think that’s pretty amazing because touring in general is no easy feat.
Song to listen to: “Bartender”
7. Taylor Swift
Okay, so I know she technically isn’t country anymore, but she put country music on the map for so many people – including myself. Listening to Taylor Swift was my segue into listening to all of the artists on this list, plus so many more.
At the Academy of Country Music Awards, Taylor Swift was recognised with one of seven Milestone awards. In her acceptance speech, Taylor said, “To the country music community, when I told you that I had made a pop album and that I wanted to go explore other genres, you showed me who you are with the grace that you accepted that with. I will never forget it. I’m so unbelievably proud that I learned to treat people with kindness and respect from country music.”
Song to listen to: “Our Song”
8. Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton moved to Nashville in 2011 and her debut single “Better Than You Left Me” has been a really big hit.
Mickey Guyton has been on several ‘to watch’ lists including NPR, Billboard, Spotify, Yahoo! Music, Huffington Post, Mashable, Taste of Country and Nashville Lifestyles.
She is currently working on her debut album which, based on the single, will be an exciting one to listen to.
Being black, female and in country music makes her an inspiration to so many wanting to break out on the scene.
Songs to listen to: “Better than you Left me”
9. Kimberly Perry
Perry is the front woman of The Band Perry, which she plays in with her two younger brothers. They made their debut in 2010 and have since enjoyed multiple awards like ACM, CMA, and CMT Music awards and even had Billboard and GRAMMY nominations.
The band’s number 1 on the Billboard charts song, ‘If I Die Young’ featured on Glee’s tribute episode to Cory Monteith.
Song to listen to: “If I Die Young”
10. Victoria Avenue
The all girl Australian country pop group launched in 2014 at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and since has enjoyed the support of the country music community in Australia.
It was this performance which led to them being invited to play at Country Music Channel Rocks the Hunter in 2014.
They have since been nominated for Three CMC Awards, Oz Artists of the Year, Group or Duo of the Year and New Oz Artist of the Year.
Song to listen to: “Knock Knock”
Country music has many flaws, and this can be seen through Keith Hill’s comments, and through the lack of women of colour on this list. The genre is growing, however, with Maddie and Tae’s calling out of the dude culture and Mickey Guyton being on so many ‘to watch’ lists. I just hope that it grows out of bad habits quickly and into something to be proud of.