Martina McBride Has Met With Spotify About Gender Disparity
Martina McBride's recent Instagram Stories post about the gender disparity she experienced while trying to make a playlist on Spotify earned her a meeting with a representative for the streaming platform — but she's not particularly satisfied by what's been done so far. In a new interview, the country singer shares more thoughts on the matter of equality in country music, after her posts made headlines recently.
McBride's comments about Spotify's gender inequality stemmed from her experience trying to make a playlist of country music, after hearing a Sara Evans song that particularly struck her. McBride created the playlist and started scrolling through Spotify's suggestions — and didn't see a single female artist listed among the options until the 14th page.
"My heart started pounding, and I started thinking, 'This can’t be right, this can’t be right,'" McBride tells People. Her Instagram Stories posts were "a complete gut reaction to what I was experiencing,” she says.
After her experience made headlines, McBride was contacted by a Spotify representative in Nashville, and the two met up to discuss what had happened. The rep told McBride that Spotify's engineers are "trying to fix" the issue, but the singer isn't completely pleased with their response.
"How come they haven’t come out and said, ‘We’re working on this,’ whether it’s true or not?” she says. “I find it shocking that they feel so indestructible that they don’t even take the time to make a comment about this."
McBride knows the problem is more widespread than just Spotify, however. The topic of gender equality in country music is much talked-about, as women make up only 16 percent of country music's artists, and are scarce on the country charts and country radio.
"I don’t want an hour a week of all women. I don’t want one [awards] show that’s dedicated to women. I want an even playing field," says the star of the solutions to the problem. “I think we need to figure out a way to empower [fans] to speak out about what is important to them, which is hearing the female perspective."
McBride doesn't expect to hear herself more on country radio or see her songs as suggested playlist additions — she knows she's had her time at the top of the charts — but she hopes speaking out will help future generations experience that same success.
"I’m not doing this for me. These girls … How do they fight for themselves? How do you fight for yourself when you’re up against the power that can control your career?" she muses. "I see how hard they work and how much it means to them and how talented they are. And, you know, they should have a shot.”
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