Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini Take a Stand for Women in Country Music


It may be a new year, but women in country music are still fighting the same old battle: how to get airplay on country radio. Fortunately, on the frontline of that battlefield are artists like Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini who took on a Michigan radio station who commented that they were unable to play two women back-to-back.

The tweet from the Michigan radio station appeared on Twitter January 16 and was a response to a listener who had essentially challenged the station in a post because they heard several women played on another station. The Tweet has since been deleted.

[RELATED: Kelsea Ballerini Spoke Out Against Those That Are Trying to Pit Women in Country Music Against Each Other and Said “This Isn’t Mean Girls”]

Kelsea replied to the post with an apology, telling her fellow female country artists, “To all the ladies that bust their asses to have half the opportunities that men do, I’m really sorry that in 2020, after YEARS of conversation of equal play, there are still some companies that make their stations play by these rules. It’s unfair and it’s incredibly disappointing.”

Shortly after Kelsea’s post, Kacey spotted the tweet and, in a two-part tweet, wrote, “Smells like white male bullshit and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me…And yet, they can play 18 dudes who sound exactly the same back to back. Makes total sense.”

Kelsea and Kacey’s comments reflect an ongoing and often heated conversation that was brought to a head when a radio consultant advised that women shouldn’t be played back-to- back using the ratio of tomatoes to lettuce in a salad as an analogy (Tomatogate). He suggested that if more women were on a playlist, a station’s ratings would decline.

[RELATED: Kacey Musgraves Shows All Her True Colors In New Music Video For “Oh, What a World” [Watch]]

Coincidentally, a day before this most recent debacle, the late-night TBS program, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee broached the topic of women in country in conversations with artists like Brandi Carlile, Margo Price, Tanya Tucker, Mickey Guyton and CMT’s Leslie Fram. Each of the country music representatives presented a different aspect of the issue with Brandi summing it up by saying, “There’s really no one person you can point a finger at.”