Jennifer Nettles will be honored with CMT’s inaugural CMT Equal Play Award during the upcoming 2020 CMT Music Awards, set for Oct. 21 on CMT, MTV, MTV2, Logo Paramount Network, Pop and TV Land. The honor recognizes Nettles’s ongoing advocacy for diverse voices in country music. At last year’s CMA Awards, Nettles offered a powerful statement on the red carpet when she wore a white pantsuit, featuring a pink cape emblazoned with the words “Play our f*@#in records please and thank you,” along with an image of a woman’s face, an equality sign, and the words “equal play.”
CMT has also announced the launch of a new 50/50 CMT Equal Play music channel on PlutoTV.
“As a proud part of the beautiful legacy of women in country music, I am honored to be the first recipient of the ‘CMT Equal Play Award,’” said Nettles. “I look forward to celebrating the contributions of women, and all marginalized communities, within the country music format, and I am motivated in encouraging the non-artists, executives and investors in the industry, to do the same. There is much work still to be done.”
“Jennifer Nettles is that rare artist who speaks her truth, calling out injustice wherever she sees it,” said Leslie Fram, Senior Vice President, Music Strategy, CMT. “Her commitment to equal female representation across the board in the music industry embodies the spirit of our equal play initiative and makes her the perfect recipient of the inaugural ‘CMT Equal Play Award.’
“We’d also like to thank our partners at Pluto TV who launched a ‘pop-up’ channel today called ‘CMT Equal Play’ in support of the Awards that will offer country music videos 24/7, with an equal male/female playlist, allowing us to further our commitment to equal play,” Fram added.
Last year, CMT launched its CMT Equal Play initiative as a response to the dearth of female voices on country radio and streaming services, and to create a path of measurable actions for parity. CMT backed up the pledge by instituting 50/50 play for female artists across CMT and CMT Music channels. CMT Radio Live also pledged equal play and doubled airplay for female artists. Meanwhile, CMT After Midnite debuted CMT Next Women of Country: Artist of the Month, an on-air feature that gives CMT one additional spin per week for female artists on more than 230 nationally-syndicated stations via iHeartRadio’s Premiere Networks.
CMT launched another platform for supporting female voices in 2013, with its Next Women of Country franchise, which has since expanded to include an annual event, six nationwide tours and other promotional opportunities for artists.
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