Country music icon Jennifer Nettles visited with AOL Entertainment recently to talk about her passion for kids, sexism in music and her new her new partnership with an organization called 4-H, the country’s largest positive youth development and mentoring organization, an organization Jennifer has been involved with since she was in fifth grade.
“When I was in the fifth grade, I got involved in 4-H when the local country extension agent came around to all of the elementary schools and told us about 4-H and told us that it was a club for kids that did fun things, and it met once a month, which meant that you’d get 30 minutes out of class, which all sounded good to me. So, I signed up!” she said.
Jennifer accredits her career success and bravery to the organization and hopes to do the same for the kids involved now.
Her mission in partnering with 4-H is to empower children to “explore and find and discover a passion.”
Jennifer will be the face of the organization’s Grow True Leaders campaign and in that, she hopes to increasing 4-H’s presence in urban areas and provide the country’s youth with the “opportunities to find their voice and develop into leaders.”
We have no doubt that she will do just that.
She also discussed sexism in music and how she plans to tackle that problem.
“We have a long way to go, with the current temperature being where it is. We have a long way to go, and we’d be fooling ourselves if we allow our embarrassment over the — truth that sexism exists in the music industry — to cloud our perceptions.
We still have a long way to go, but the interesting part about the music industry is that it’s a two-fold problem: There are those parts that are engrained in the good ol’ boys network, if you will, that need to change. That’s the institutionalized version of sexism. And then there are just the trends. In the ’90s, you couldn’t sling a cat without hearing a woman on the radio, between the Martinas and the Shanias and the Rebas. Now, you have a lot of the “bro country.”
So, right now, there is definitely a lack of female faces, and I do hope that starts to change. But what does make me hopeful is that people are actually talking about it. At the very least, it has started a conversation, which can often lead to change.”
You go girl.