Female country bands

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All-Female Bands Shaping Up as the Next Hot Trend in Country Music

While they share some common traits in configuration, sound-wise these bands are all over the map. Runaway June has drawn comparisons to Dixie Chicks with a sound Wayne calls “organic, rootsy and country ... It’s old-school country that sounds new because you haven’t heard it in so long.”

Meanwhile, South Haven is taking more of a Sam Hunt approach with a sound the band describes on its website as one that combines “classic country influences with modern sounds and melodies from pop, rock and EDM,” marking perhaps the first time electronic dance music has ever been referenced in a country band’s bio. “We just want to shape something new,” says Willson.

Because there hasn’t been a successful female country act since she was a child, Willson says, “We don’t really have anyone to follow as a precedent. So we’re just kind of going for it and using all the influences we like and throwing them into the music.” She adds, “What worked for the Dixie Chicks then, that doesn’t speak to us now, and I don’t think it would be as relevant.”

Wayne and Willson are aware of the challenge they face, but choose to see opportunity in it. Both believe the music they are making with their respective bands will find a home at country radio. Willson says, “I see this wave of female empowerment in country music right now, and I think a girl group — this is the perfect time to do it.”

Are Women Finally Getting a Fair Shake on Country Radio?

Wayne believes country music fans are “craving” the sound of a female band because they haven’t heard it in so long. She may be right. Runaway June was well received during a performance at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville earlier in 2016, and KMPS Seattle PD Kenny Jay says the group has “a lot of potential, which is great. We need it.”

Rubber City vp operations/WQMX Akron, Ohio, PD Sue Wilson finds the new girl group trend “interesting. Solo acts, especially male solo acts, have had success, and since female solo acts … haven’t achieved the same success, perhaps this is Nashville’s attempt at getting women out there,” she says. “If the girls solo don’t get the attention or airplay, maybe the girl groups will. And while I appreciate that effort, I think this glut of so many at once will make it extra challenging to set any of them apart …One or two will really have to stand out with an exceptional song or angle beyond just being a girl group.”

While he notes that Nashville “has a storied history of jumping on the bandwagon with seemingly every label cloning the hot new thing and then overcorrecting in the aftermath when the hot new thing isn’t the hot new thing any longer,” WBEE Rochester, N.Y., vp/programming Bob Barnett still thinks there is room for these new female acts to at least “get up to the plate and swing.”

“Bring ’em on, but don’t expect them all to be hits, let alone home runs,” he adds, noting that the relative uniqueness of an all-female country band configuration “doesn’t give you any special treatment … It doesn’t matter what your gender is. Country radio is looking for hits and stars.” 

This article first appeared in Billboard's Country Update -- sign up here.

Sours: https://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/country/7325258/all-female-bands-groups-country-music/
by Jessica Nicholson 3/23/2021

Some of country music’s most memorable songs have been written and/or performed by all-female groups, whether that’s the musical contributions of Mother Maybelle and the Carter Sisters (June, Helen and Anita Carter), The Forester Sisters’ five No. 1 hits in the 1980s, mother-daughter duo The Judds’ iconic string of 14 No. 1 hits on the Hot Country Songs chart, or the Chicks (formerly the Dixie Chicks) with their inescapably catchy, bold singles like “Goodbye Earl” and “Travelin’ Soldier.”

Today, CMT highlights some of country music’s most successful all-female groups.

The Chicks
As the sun set on the 1990s, The Chicks (formerly known as the Dixie Chicks) were the top-performing country group on country radio, with multi-platinum projects including Wide Open Spaces (1998), Fly (1999) and Home (2002). “Goodbye Earl” earned crossover success, as did “Long Time Gone” and their cover of the Fleetwood Mac hit “Landslide.” The trio’s Natalie Maines, Emily Stayer and Martie Maguire offered a unique amalgam of sounds anchored in traditional country, accented with both bluegrass instrumentation and a pop sheen. However, in 2003, the band’s Maines stated to a London audience that she was “ashamed” President George W. Bush also hailed from the band’s homestate of Texas, causing country radio stations to pulled the trio’s music from the airwaves. The trio fought back, releasing Taking the Long Way in 2006 and earning five Grammys. They followed with an extended musical hiatus that ended with 2020’s Gaslighter.

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The Highwomen
In 2016, country star Maren Morris joined forces with Americana luminaries Brandi Carlile and Amanda Shires, as well as hit songwriter Natalie Hemby, to form The Highwomen. The group’s name was inspired by country supergroup The Highwaymen, which included Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson.

“Amanda gave me a call and we started putting together this group of women that we loved to try and represent more women and girls voices in country music,” Carlile told Ellen DeGeneres.

The group’s 2019 self-titled debut album, produced by Dave Cobb, reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart, and that same year, they performed with Yola and Dolly Parton at the Newport Folk Festival.

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Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt
Dolly Parton, one of Nashville’s leading stars in the 1970s, joined forces with folk singer Emmylou Harris and country-rock singer Linda Ronstadt for the experimental album Trio in 1987.

“Even though we didn’t look like we would fit together, when you heard us, you felt it and you saw it,” Parton said during a 2019 documentary on the group.

“We just wanted to do it for the music and we didn’t know that it would be successful, and we didn’t care,” Ronstadt said. “We just wanted to do it. We figured we’d earned the right.”

They earned a chart-topper with a song from the Trio album, “To Know Him Is To Love Him,” and a Grammy for Best Country Performance by a Group with Vocal. In 1999, they collaborated on Trio II. This year, the Trio album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

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Runaway June
This all-female trio made country radio chart history in 2019 with their breezy kiss-off “Buy My Own Drinks,” as the first all-female trio in 14 years to reach the Top 20 on the country radio charts. That same year, they opened for Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty Tour 360 and released their debut album Blue Roses. Naomi Cooke and Jennifer Wayne formed the group in 2015 along with Hannah Mulholland, who left the group in 2020 and was replaced by Natalie Stovall. Last year, the trio released their first holiday project, When I Think About Christmas.

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SHeDAISY
Sibling trio SHeDAISY’s Kassidy, Kelsi and Kristyn Osborn had an aptly titled debut album, The Whole SheBANG, as their first project for Lyric Street Records was certified platinum after its release in 1999, spearheaded by singles including “This Woman Needs,” “I Will…But,” and “Little Good-byes.” Their second album, 2002’s Knock on the Sky, didn’t garner any huge radio hits, though “Mine All Mine” was featured in the movie Sweet Home Alabama. They fared better with their third album, Sweet Right Here which included the hit “Passenger Seat,” well as “Don’t Worry ‘About A Thing.” They released another album and a greatest hits project before exiting Lyric Street.

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The Kinleys
Twin sisters Heather and Jennifer Kinley earned a Top 10 hit with the pleading ballad “Please” in 1997 and followed it with a Top 15 hit with “Just Between You and Me.” The duo was nominated for a Grammy and earned the Academy of Country Music’s Top New Vocal Duo or Group honor in 1997. The next year, they would earn a Top 20 hit with “Somebody’s Out There Watching.” In 2000, they released Radney Foster and Georgia Middleman’s “I’m In,” which Keith Urban re-recorded and earned a hit with a decade later.

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Maddie & Tae
In 2014, Maddie & Tae’s Maddie Marlow and Taylor Dye fired a warning shot at “bro country” lyrics that objectify women with their cheeky debut single “Girl In A Country Song,” and earned a No. 1 hit in the process. They followed with the Gold-certified Top 10 hit “Fly” from their debut project, before proving they are no one-hit wonder when they notched a second chart-topper with “Die From A Broken Heart” in 2019.

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Chapel Hart
Mississippi natives Chapel Hart, part of CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2021, includes sisters Danica and Devynn Hart, and their cousin Trea Swindle. Last year saw their breakthrough single, “Jesus and Alcohol,” accompanied by a video that featured ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. They then released the inspirational track “I Will Follow.”

The trio told CMT, “We hope our fans take the message that all things are possible with hard work and dedication! If you are true to your heart and put your energy in the right place, you will watch your dreams start to take flight!”

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Pistol Annies
After making their debut in 2011 at the ACM special Girls Night Out: Superstar Women of Country, Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley released their debut album Hell on Heels, and gave themselves new nicknames—Holler Annie (Presley), Lonestar Annie (Lambert) and Hippie Annie (Monroe). They followed with a second album, Annie Up, in 2013, and Interstate Gospel in 2018. Interstate Gospel, led by the deadpan single “Got My Name Changed Back,” tackled topics such as divorce, depression and the vices used to get by.

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The Pointer Sisters
Family groups abound on this list, including The Pointer Sisters— Ruth, Anita, Bonnie and June—siblings who incorporated an array of styles including R&B, pop and country into their sound. The group’s most successful track was “Fairytale,” a song penned by Bonnie and Anita, which was named Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group at the 1974 Grammy Awards. The song’s success also allowed the group to perform on the Grand Ole Opry, becoming the first Black female vocal group to do so.

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The Judds
Mother-daughter duo The Judds put tight-knit family harmony center stage in the 1980s when they broke through with the soulful, sweet “Mama He’s Crazy” in 1984, the first in a string of No. 1 hits including “Why Not Me,” “Girl’s Night Out,” “Grandpa (Tell Me ‘Bout The Good Ole Days)” and many more. They earned the CMA’s Vocal Group of the Year honor every year from 1985-1991, and earned five Grammy awards along the way. Wynonna’s bluesy growl and Naomi’s pure harmonies made the duo one of the decade’s top acts.

In 1990, Naomi revealed she had been diagnosed with Hepatitis C and announced her retirement; the duo disbanded a year later, and Wynonna launched her solo career. In 1999, the duo reunited for a concert in Phoenix, Arizona, and recorded a live album, The Judds Reunion Live. In 2011, they reunited again for a farewell tour. Mother and daughter have sporadically reunited on stage in the years since. In 2017, they honored Kenny Rogers at his All In For The Gambler concert in Nashville, where they performed “Back to the Well.”

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The Forester Sisters
Sisters Kathy, June, Kim and Christy Forester notched five No. 1 hits between 1985 and 1987 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart, including “I Fell in Love Again Last Night,” “Just in Case,” “Mama’s Never Seen Those Eyes,” “Too Much is Not Enough,” and “You Again.” The Forester Sisters’ run concluded with the Top 10 hit “Men” in 1991. The group sporadically recorded in the 1990s, including the gospel project Sunday Meetin’ and the 1996 country album, More Than I Am.

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Sweethearts of the Rodeo
Sister duo Sweethearts of the Rodeo, which included siblings Janis and Kristine Oliver, earned several Top 10 hits in the late ‘80s, with a blend of bluegrass and country. They released their debut single “Hey Doll Baby,” which reached the Top 20 on the country charts. “Since I Found You” would be the first of seven consecutive Top 10 hits for the duo between 1986 and 1988. Their 1986 self-titled debut project and its 1988 follow-up, One Time, One Night, sold well, though their third and fourth projects were met with only modest sales. They changed labels in the early 1990s and released the 1993 album Rodeo Waltz, followed by 1996’s Beautiful Lies.

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The Lynns
Two of country legend Loretta Lynn’s children—twin sisters Patsy and Peggy—followed their own musical dreams to launch the duo The Lynns. In 1997, they released the single “Nights Like These,” which failed to reach the Top 30 on country radio. The following year, they released the single “Woman to Woman,” and a self-titled album. They earned CMA nominations for Vocal Duo of the Year in 1998 and 1999.

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Sours: http://www.cmt.com/news/1831085/top-country-female-duos-groups/
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Women in country music

Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton and more: Take a look at notable female country singers from then and now.

Kelsea Ballerini

Kelsea Ballerini, who was nominated for best new artist at the 2017 Grammy Awards, is best known for tracks like "Peter Pan" and "Love Me Like You Mean It." Ballerini stops at Long Island on her "Legends" tour at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh on July 14, 2017.

Maren Morris

At 27, the newly-engaged country music star has already released four studio albums. Her single, "My Church," hit No. 1 on the Country Digital Songs chart in 2016.

Kimberly Schlapman and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town

Kimberly Schlapman, left, and Karen Fairchild of Little Big Town have been making their way in the country music scene since 1998. The group won the group video of the year award for "Better Man" at the 2017 CMT Music Awards.

Hillary Scott of Lady Antebellum

Hillary Scott, the vocalist of Lady Antebellum, is the daughter of country music singer Linda Davis. Lady Antebellum won five awards at the 53rd Grammy Awards, including song of the year and record of the year for "Need You Now."

Lauren Alaina

Lauren Alaina, runner-up on season 10 of "American Idol," has toured with Jason Aldean and Sugarland. She released her second album, "Road Less Traveled," on Jan. 27, 2017.

Kacey Musgraves

Kacey Musgraves performs at the concert "Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard" at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., on April 6, 2017. Musgraves released three albums before appearing on the fifth season of "Nashville Star" in 2007.

Cassadee Pope

Country music queen Cassadee Pope rose in popularity after winning "The Voice" in December 2012. As of July 12, 2017, Pope cut ties with her longtime fiancé, Rian Dawson.

Maddie & Tae

Country duo Maddie & Tae's debut album, "Start Here," was released on Aug. 28, 2015, and includes the singles "Girl in a Country Song" and "Fly."

Jessie James Decker

Jessie James Decker is known for country hits like "Lights Down Low" and "I Look So Good," as well as her reality TV show, "Eric & Jessie." She's married to NFL player Eric Decker.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 40 million albums around the globe. The star currently has 10 Grammy awards, 21 Billboard Music Awards, 11 Country Music Association awards, and 8 Academy of Country Music awards. Her tracks, including "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood," hit No. 1 in the United States, Australia and Canada.

Brenda Lee

Country singer Brenda Lee was a top-charting icon in the '60s. Lee sang the holiday classic "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

Shania Twain

"Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" is just one of Shania Twain's notable tracks. Her next album, "Now," is scheduled for release on Sept. 29, 2017.

LeAnn Rimes

LeAnn Rimes is notable for songs like "How Do I Live" and "Can't Fight the Moonlight," both of which were popular in the 1990s-early 2000s.

Dixie Chicks

Dixie Chicks (from left, Emily Robison, Natalie Maines and Martie Maguire) have won 13 Grammys and made waves with their outspoken songs, including the 2006 hit "Not Ready to Make Nice," written in response to backlash the band received after Maines said onstage during a 2003 concert that she was "ashamed" that then-President George W. Bush was from Texas.

Carrie Underwood

Country music star Carrie Underwood's popularity grew after she won season four of "American Idol." Underwood has won seven Grammy awards and is known for multiple songs including "Jesus Take The Wheel" and "Before He Cheats."

Trisha Yearwood

Powerhouse Trisha Yearwood, seen in 2012, (married to fellow country royalty Garth Brooks, left), first hit in 1991 and has three Grammys in her awards collection.

Mindy McCready

Mindy McCready's 1996 album "Ten Thousand Angels" is certified platinum, while her 1997 album, "If I Don't Stay The Night," has gone gold. McCready, who hit the top of the country charts before personal problems sidetracked her career, died Feb. 17, 2013 from a suicide.

Kitty Wells

Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Kitty Wells, seen in 1976, broke down female barriers in the country music industry when she debuted her hit song, "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" in 1952. Wells was one of the first female mainstream country artists in the 1960's, and brought other female country artists to light.

Dolly Parton

The one, the only: Dolly Parton. Parton made her debut in 1967 with "Hello, I'm Dolly" after songwriting for numerous country artists in the industry. In 1999, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

June Carter Cash

June Carter Cash worked on three solo country albums throughout her lifetime and she shares credit on multiple albums by her husband, Johnny Cash. Her fourth album, "Wildwood Flower," released 2003, won two Grammys.

Patsy Cline

Country singer Patsy Cline, who was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973, received national awards in 1961 and 1962 for her country music.

Barbara Mandrel

Country music superstar Barbara Mandrel recorded more than 20 albums and starred in her own top-rated variety show.

Tammy Wynette

Country artist Tammy Wynette was famous for songs including "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" and "Till I Can Make It on My Own."

Wanda Jackson

"Right or Wrong," "Let's Have a Party" and "Fujiyama Mama" are all songs credited and performed by country music artist Wanda Jackson. Jackson grew in popularity in the '60s, being one of the first female country stars to garner attention.

Crystal Gayle

Crystal Gayle, known for her 1977 hit "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," had 20 No. 1 country hits during the '70s and '80s.

Kellie Pickler

Kellie Pickler finished in sixth place on the fifth season of "American Idol," which allowed her to release a debut album, "Small Town Girl," which sold over 900,000 copies. Pickler also won the 16th season of "Dancing with the Stars" with her partner, Derek Hough.

Martina McBride

Country star Martina McBride has been in the music industry for over 20 years. She is credited with writing and performing the hit track "Concrete Angel."

Wynonna Judd

Wynonna got her start performing with her mother in The Judds. She later dropped the last name and began her solo career. She has since released eight albums.

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire, who has been in the music industry for more than 40 years, is one of the best-selling artists of all time. McEntire has sold more than 85 million records worldwide.

Loretta Lynn

Loretta Lynn is a country singer who gained popularity in the 1960's with multiple gold records. In 2017, the artist postponed the release of her new album and cancelled her tour dates after experiencing a stroke.

Patty Loveless

Country singer Patty Loveless got her start in the music industry with her first self-titled album. Her blend of honky tonk and country-rock style of music helped her gain popularity.

Faith Hill

Faith Hill, who is married to fellow country singer/songwriter Tim McGraw, has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert has released six country music albums -- her fifth received the Grammy Award for best country album. Lambert was married to country music star Blake Shelton until 2015.

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Sours: https://www.newsday.com/entertainment/music/women-in-country-music-1.3841636
Best Female Country Music Playlist 2021 part 1

Women in Country Music: From 2000s to Today

women of country music
Sarah Dinetz IF

WP Popular Music Studies major Sarah Dinetz (she’s actually a double-major, adding English as well) recently completed a project in which compared the success of women in Country music.  Read on to discover her findings.

By: Sarah Dinetz

Imagine living in a world where men and women equally ruled the Billboard charts, had the same success in touring, and saw the same record-breaking album sales. In today’s country music, this seems like such a foreign concept, but that wasn’t always the case. Just fifteen years ago, seven different women held the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart during a one-year period, 1999 (Billboard). Times have changed greatly, with female artists struggling to make their mark in country music in this male-dominated genre. It’s important to look back and see when and how that change occurred, and if this dry spell for women in country music can be broken.

women of country musicWomen have been icons in country music for years, from Loretta Lynn, to Kitty Wells, to Patsy Cline, but there was an undeniable surge of female country stars in the late 1990s and early 2000s. A look at the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts reveals shocking information. In 1999, Terri Clark, Martina McBride, Jo Dee Messina, Sara Evans, Dixie Chicks, Chely Wright, and Faith Hill all had number one country songs (Billboard). In 2001, Jessica Andrews was just seventeen years old when her song “Who I Am” reached the top of the country charts (Billboard).

Chuck Dauphin, a country editor for Billboard and recipient of the CMA Media Award, says that was “the beauty of the business” back then. Dauphin explains that country music was in a different place back then, and there were more opportunities for unknown, unsigned singers to make a name for themselves. From his years of experience within the genre, he attests to the fact that female artists were dominating in the 1990s, but that eroded quite a bit in the early 2000s, with artists like Shania Twain and Faith Hill seemingly backing off from the music scene. Dauphin cites Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan as the two artists that seem to have spear-headed this shift to what many refer to as “bro-country”, a popularity of male country artists singing about similar topics.

women of country musicStarting back in 1999 and looking forward, the top country songs and the decline in women’s presence is undeniable. In 1999, seven female artists and one all-female group held the number one spot of the week on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The year 2000 started off strong for women, with Faith Hill’s “Breathe” holding the top spot for the first five weeks of the year. Four other women had number one songs that year. Five women held the number one spot a total of six different times in 2001, and 2002 saw a decline with only two women having number one songs.

The year 2003 was the exception to women’s presence on the country charts. In 2003, which was dominated by two Toby Keith singles and a popular Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffet collaboration, the only female act to top the charts was Dixie Chicks. But women came back strong in 2004, with Gretchen Wilson topping the charts for five weeks, along with four other women who had number one country songs. Each year from 2004 leading up to now, at least two women held number one spots on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. However, as of November 15th, the only female artists to have a number one song in 2014 were Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, with their collaboration on “Somethin’ Bad” (Billboard). The song topped the chart for just one week, making way for another stream of male artists’ songs.

taste of country logo

Taste of Country’s new article, “The Women in Country Music Problem Isn’t Getting Any Better”, explains it all. Unlike those trends in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the opportunities for women in country music seem to be few and far between. In the article, they cite an interview with Trisha Yearwood, in which she said, “I feel like Reba McEntire came in and stormed all the doors and opened all the doors, and somehow, in the last ten years, somebody started closing the doors back” (Taste of Country).

Numbers throughout the article related to female country music releases in 2014 support that idea that Yearwood brought up. Jamie Lynn Spears released her debut single, “How Could I Want More”, and it peaked at number 55. Lucy Hale of Pretty Little Liars released a catchy tune called “You Sound Good to Me”, which only hit number 47. Even with large fan bases, these women haven’t been able to make their mark on the charts. The same goes for Kelleigh Bannen, Maggie Rose, Leah Turner, and Danielle Bradbery, among others. Even Jennifer Nettles, who had eleven top 10 songs as part of the duo Sugarland, only reached number 50 with her solo single, “Me Without You” (Taste of Country).

http://youtu.be/MZh09Km_SgM

Trends within album sales definitely favor the idea that women no longer hold a candle to men in country music. According to CMT (Country Music Television), the best-selling country album for the first half of 2013 was Blake Shelton’s Based on a True Story, while the top-selling songs were Florida-Georgia Line’s “Cruise” and Darius Rucker’s “Wagon Wheel” (CMT). The number two album of the year was Taylor Swift’s Red, with it continuing “to sell well due to significant pop exposure” (CMT). Out of the rest of the top ten albums, five of the eight were males, including Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan, and the other three were groups.

Taylor Swift: My Musical Inspiration

The only solo female artist in the top ten was Taylor Swift, whose tendency toward pop music had her almost in a genre of her own on her Red album. The trend with top 10 singles and albums has continued into this year, as “only one female artist that has released a song this year – [excluding Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood, the top two female singers in country music]—has cracked the Top 30” (Taste of Country). It makes one wonder if it’s even possible for a female country artist to claim one of those top ten spots.

Social media statistics are also a more modern way to tell how artists are doing as far as creating fans and promoting their music. Take the men and women nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year and Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2014 CMAs (Country Music Awards). Each of the men nominated, Luke Bryan, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, and Blake Shelton, have over one million Twitter followers. However, only three of the five women who are supposed to be the most popular, most widely-listened to female artists of the genre have over one million Twitter followers. Martina McBride has just 600,000 followers, while Kacey Musgraves is sitting at just over 250,000 Twitter followers. This is just one small representation of a larger pattern within the genre.

Megaticket

Tour sales and bookings within country music show a similar idea. In country music, a newly popular concept for concerts is the MegaTicket. The MegaTicket is promoted by various country stations across the country, with the idea that you pay a certain price and gain access to all of the designated country concerts coming to the area during that summer, generally between six and eight concerts. 94.7 QDR, a popular country station in North Carolina, offered the MegaTicket this past summer, and out of all eight concerts, only one was a female artist, Miranda Lambert.

It was more common to see female artists’ names as opening acts, such as Sheryl Crow opening for Rascal Flatts and Cassadee Pope opening for Tim McGraw (QDR). It was a similar situation with the St. Louis, Missouri MegaTicket, only in this situation, there were no female headliners. The artists performing included Luke Bryan, Toby Keith, and Dierks Bentley, but the only female artists on the bill were openers Sheryl Crow, Leah Turner, and Cassadee Pope (KSDK).

chuck-dauphin-media-achievement-award-1110x400

Chuck Dauphin believes that these artists should strive to “want to add a little bit of everything to a concert bill”, and he’s not certain that these big name, headlining artists are doing that. He does acknowledge that male artists seem to be bringing mostly other males artists on tour, with the two biggest country tours of 2014 being Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean, each with two male opening acts.

Over the past year, numerous country acts have toured, and the ratio of male to female artists supports the idea that women are no longer as dominant in country music. Luke Bryan played sold-out shows across the country on his That’s My Kind of Night Tour, with openers Cole Swindell and Lee Brice. After a long break from touring, Garth Brooks started up a new tour, with his wife, Trisha Yearwood, opening some of the shows. George Strait, hailed by many as the “King of Country,” toured across the country with big name openers such as Miranda Lambert, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, and Eric Church opening various shows.

Tim McGraw brought along openers Kip Moore and Cassadee Pope on most dates of his year-long tour, filling in some of the other shows with opener Jana Kramer. Following the release of his album, Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason Aldean set out on tour, bringing along Florida Georgia Line and Tyler Farr to open the show. However, despite the clear abundance of males in country music touring, females did not show the same presence on tours in 2014.

Lady AntebellumLady Antebellum, a trio composed of two males and one female, continued their Take Me Downtown Tour, alternating between Kacey Musgraves, Kip Moore, Billy Currington, David Nail, and Joe Nichols as opening acts. Other tours throughout the year included Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen, with both tours having only male opening acts, including Chase Rice, Cadillac Three, and Jon Pardi.

The only female country artist to headline a major tour in 2014 was Miranda Lambert, whose opening acts were Justin Moore and Thomas Rhett for most shows (GAC). This is a far cry from just over a decade ago. In 2000, both of the top two highest grossing country tours contained female headliners. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul 2 Soul Tour was number one, bringing in $49.6 million, and the Dixie Chicks’ Fly Tour was second for the year, grossing $46.1 million (CMT).

It is interesting to see how the trends have changed, and how it is less common in today’s country music to see a slew of female country artists have chart-topping songs, massive tours, and large fan bases. Nowadays, there seem to be three main female artists who dominate the country charts: Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, and Taylor Swift. With Swift making a genre shift to pop music, the question remains: who will take over that spot, or rather, will anyone? Can country music still produce another female superstar? Or is the genre already too male-dominated?

Chuck Dauphin believes that it will take time, but someone will eventually come along and “break down that door” like Taylor Swift did when she stormed onto the country music scene. Dauphin has realized throughout his time in the industry that “no one ever sees the next big thing coming” (Dauphin).

Carrie Underwood live

Something interesting to consider is the effect that singing competition shows, such as American Idol and The Voice, have played a part in launching these women into country music careers. Carrie Underwood won the fourth season of American Idol, launching her to superstardom, having released eighteen Number 1 songs (Rolling Stone). It is also important to note that Miranda Lambert got her start on Nashville Star, placing third in the show’s first season. Nashville Star was a show similar to American Idol, but specific to the country music genre, that ran from 2003 to 2008 (Country Weekly).

Cassadee Pope, one of country music’s rising stars, won season 4 of The Voice, and saw her first single, “Wasting All These Tears”, peak at number 5 on the Billboard Hot Country songs charts (Billboard). This was a remarkably high debut for a solo, female artist, and one that many attribute to her fan base from the hit TV show. She was also chosen as an opening act for Tim McGraw’s Sundown Heaven Town Tour in 2014, a spot that thousands of artists dream of having. Other female country singers from these TV shows, including Kellie Pickler, RaeLynn, Lauren Alaina, Danielle Bradbery, and Gwen Sebastian, have continued to try their hand at country music. But, one has to wonder: what does a girl have to do to catch a break in country music?

Raelynn boyfriendRaeLynn’s career after her singing show experience is a prime example of how post-show careers have changed since the days of Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert. RaeLynn auditioned for season two of The Voice and became an instant favorite. Although she didn’t make the finals, she had the backing of Blake Shelton after the show ended, and eventually signed with Republic Nashville (Billboard). She has over 100,000 Twitter followers and was invited to open for Miranda Lambert, Blake’s wife and one of the three main female country music stars.

Yet, RaeLynn’s debut single, “Boyfriend”, peaked at number 32 on the US Country charts (Roughstock). In contrast, Swon Brothers, a duo that competed on season four of The Voice, found their debut single, “Later On” reaching number 13 on the US Country charts, selling over 200,000 copies (Roughstock). Why is that? Is it due to the general tendency of country music listeners to buy music by male artists?

One has to wonder if this is a trend that is only occurring in country music, or if all genres of music are dominated by male artists. Chuck Dauphin believes that “pop [music] seems to have a more equal footing” (Dauphin). This is backed up by the current Hot 100 Billboard Charts, where top 10 spots are held by Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” and “Shake It Off”, Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”, Selena Gomez’s “The Heart Wants What It Wants”, Tove Lo’s “Habits (Stay High)”, and Ariana Grande’s “Love Me Harder” (Billboard).

Female artists, including Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, and Adele, have seen hits in recent years, and newer female artists, including Meghan Trainor, Tove Lo, and Iggy Azalea, have gained traction and had top 10 hits within the past year. No such thing can be said for new, female country artists, with artists like Maggie Rose, Leah Turner, and Lindsey Ell struggling to make their mark on the country charts.

Maddie & Tae

Maddie & Tae, a new country duo, saw success with their debut single, “Girl in a Country Song”, a song that pokes fun at the typical topics covered in male country artists’ songs. The success of this song, Chuck Dauphin explains, proves that there is a cry from country music listeners to “hear something different from songs about trucks and tan lines” (Dauphin). The song’s high debut on the charts may be a sign that country music is ready for change.

http://youtu.be/SfzoVnfFNFI

Looking over the past two decades, there is no single way to tell why country music has gone down the path it is on. From the days of Loretta Lynn and Patsy Cline, to the current superstars, Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert, the role of women in country music has changed greatly. Country music was always a genre that was inviting to women, seeing the likes of Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Sara Evans, and Dixie Chicks emerge in the 1990s and 2000s. Singing competition shows seemed to help these emerging female stars, but now it seems that even these top-ranking show finalists can’t break into the genre. In today’s country music industry, statistics, chart rankings, tours, and album sales all contribute to the idea that country music has become a male-dominated industry, and we’ll just have to wait and see if this trend can ever be broken.

Works Cited:

“Hot Country Songs – 1999 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

“Hot Country Songs – 2000 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

“Hot Country Songs – 2001 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2014.

“Hot Country Songs – 2002 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

“Hot Country Songs – 2003 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

“Hot Country Songs – 2004 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

“Hot Country Songs – 2014 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

Dauphin, Chuck. Personal Interview. 21 Nov. 2014.

Dukes, Billy. “The Women in Country Music Problem Isn’t Getting Better.” Taste of Country. Taste of Country, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014.

“Blake Shelton Boasts 2013’s Top-Selling Country Album.” CMT: Country Music Television. CMT, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.

“Country Megaticket 2014.” WQDR-94.7 FM — Today’s Best Country – Raleigh, NC – Country Megaticket 2014. WQDR 94.7, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2014.

“2014 Country Megaticket Concerts Announced.” 2014 Country Megaticket Concerts Announced. KSDK, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2014.

“Top Country Music Concert Tours of 2014 : Great American Country.” Top Country Music Concert Tours of 2014 : Great American Country. GAC, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

“Country Tours Grow in 2000.” CMT: Country Music Television. CMT, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2014.

“Carrie Underwood Announces Greatest Hits Album.” Rolling Stone. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.

“Nashville Star: Where Are They Now?” Country Weekly. Country Weekly, n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2014.

“Cassadee Pope.” – Chart History. Billboard, n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.

“Three ‘Voice’ Alums at Work on New Albums.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Nov. 2014.

“Country Chart News – The Top 30 Digital Singles: The Week of December 19, 2012.” RoughStock. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014.

“The Top 30 Digital Singles – October 1, 2014 – RoughStock.” RoughStock. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Nov. 2014

“Music: Top 100 Songs | Billboard Hot 100 Chart.” Billboard. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2014.

Sours: https://musicbiz101wp.com/women-country-music-2000s-today/

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