Garth Brooks Goes to Bat for Women in Country Music
Garth Brooks is speaking out about the massive gender inequality that has been the subject of so much conversation in country music in recent years. In a recent interview with the BBC, Brooks says country radio needs to be more inclusive of female artists.
Brooks cites his wife, Trisha Yearwood, as one example of a female artist who has seen inequality badly impact her career, but he says she remains undaunted.
The country superstar says Yearwood "works a thousand times harder than me to get a tenth as much as I do out of this business," adding, "She doesn't complain. She just rolls up her sleeves and goes to work."
Women Are Ready for a Country Music Revolution
The growing disparity between opportunities for male and female artists at country radio has been a cause for concern for country's women for several years, and according to a recent study, it's only getting worse. Data from 2018 demonstrates a nearly 10-to-1 disparity in the number of spins male artists received at country radio versus female artists, and the resulting lack of exposure then trickles down into a disparity in landing slots on prime tours, awards show nominations and more.
Another result is that labels aren't signing female artists or promoting them with the same vigor as they are male artists, since they have no expectation that they'll see the same return on their investment.
Brooks sees that as problematic for the overall tone of the genre, which has traditionally struck a better balance between male and female perspectives. He wants to see more women returning to the airwaves.
"We need that because guys... we open doors with our heads. We're not the smartest things on the planet," he says. "Females bring a whole different approach to how we see things.
"A good marriage between the male voice and the female voice, and country music, would be a true representation of what the people who listen to country music really are," Brooks concludes.
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Songs From Women in Country That Demand Attention: