Country music star Martina McBride appeared on CBS This Morning today (6/2) to speak out on behalf of women in country music who are getting little radio airplay.
Via remote from Nashville, McBride spoke about the backlash stemming from radio consultant Keith Hill‘s recommendation that stations limit airplay by female artists due to the “demand of female listeners.”
McBride, who has sold over 18 million albums and garnered six No. 1 hit songs, called it “dismissive” when asked about the claim that females don’t want to hear other females on the radio adding, “Comments like that become sort of a self fulfilling prophecy.”
After the broadcast, McBride shared additional thoughts regarding the controversy on her Facebook page:
I want to thank CBS This Morning for having me on today. But there are a few things I forgot to say. Being on live TV is nerve-racking to say the least. Sometimes you feel rushed and don’t get the chance to express all your thoughts. It’s really not the tomato comparison that got my attention in the article we have been talking about. I actually thought that was kinda funny. It’s the “If you want to make ratings in Country radio, take females out,” comment that was disturbing to me. And the assertion that female listeners like male artists more than female artists. Those are the comments that really got my attention.
I feel like whether or not a song gets airplay should be based on how good the SONG is…not whether or not it’s sung by a male or female. It’s kind of like comparing tall artists to short artists, blondes to brunettes, bald guys to guys with hair….what does it matter?
The idea about not playing two females back to back….I get it. If you have less than 19% of your music by females, you want to spread it out. The real point is….why is your playlist less than 19% females???
In regard to the comments being sexist. Hmm…that can be tricky. It seems to me that if a song is not played because of the sex of the artist…it might just fall into the sexist category.
As far as what I said about this being a self-fulfilling prophecy…..it’s a fact that if female artists start out with this kind of discrimination (I can’t really think of a more appropriate word) then it’s harder to get record companies to take chances on signing and marketing a female artist. And songwriters need to make a living at the end of the day just like everyone else. They want and need hits. And if the percentage of female hits each year is as small as it is…well, then the chances of songwriters spending time writing great songs for women go way down. I know that the song finding process has been much different for me this time around (I start my new album this week) than it was last time around. There just aren’t a ton of great songs to choose from.
So….at the end of the day, I’m glad these comments were made and some things were brought to light. If you feel strongly about hearing more women on your radio station I would suggest you let your radio station know how you feel.
I’ve had a long and great relationship with radio for the most part and I have a lot of friends there. (Something else I wanted to say this morning in the interview..). But I think it’s time for this “formula” to change. Speak out. Let the programmers know what you want to hear so they can’t keep making these assumptions about you and your tastes.
Thanks for listening!