The statistics for women in country music could not be more stark. Of the Top 50 songs on country radio in the week of October 1st, just six were performed by women. Look beyond radio to streaming and other forms of consumption, and the numbers are even more dramatic.
BuzzAngle Music analyzed the overall numbers for country songs from September 2017 through August 2018, accounting for all methods of music consumption including streaming, and found that just three or 5% of the artists in the top 60 for that 12-month period were. The top performer on the list wasn't even a country artist. Pop singer Bebe Rexha’s “Meant to Be,” a collaboration with country music's Florida Georgia Line, was #1. The next most popular country track from a woman was down at #38 with Maren Morris followed by Miranda Lambert at #47.
Back at radio, those six female artists managing to crack the Top 50 in early October were again Maren Morris (#9), Carly Pearce (#13), Sugarland (#17), Kelsea Ballerini (#28), Danielle Bradbery (a duet with Thomas Rhett) (#46) and a just-released Carrie Underwood (#47).
"It’s an embarrassment to country music and a disservice to the girls and young women who listen to country radio, because their stories are not being told there,” says Beverly Keel, chair of Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Recording Industry and co-founder of Change the Conversation, dedicated to righting the wrong told Variety. “And with what’s going on in society now, we need to share voices and words and stories of women more than ever.”