Thursday, December 6, 2018

No Women In Billboard's Country Radio Top 20

The ongoing debate about the lack of female artists on country radio just hit a new milestone—and it’s hardly a positive. For the first time since Billboard launched its radio-based Country Airplay chart in 1990, there are no female acts within the top 20, for the list dated Dec. 8, 2018.

Carrie Underwood ranks highest, at No. 22, with “Love Wins,” climbing 25-22, according to Nielsen Music. Among the total 60 positions on Country Airplay, seven other female artists appear: Mindy Smith (featured on Kenny Chesney's "Better Boat," at No. 27); Kelsea Ballerini ("Miss Me More," No. 32); Hillary Lindsey (featured on Randy Houser's "What Whiskey Does," No. 40); duo Maddie & Tae ("Friends Don't," No. 41); trio Runaway June ("Buy My Own Drinks," No. 44); Lauren Alaina ("Ladies of the '90s," No. 47); and Carly Pearce ("Closer to You," No. 53), according to InsideRadio citing Billboard.

Carrie Underwood
This week in 1990, there were five female artists in the top 20, in 1995 there were three, in 2000 there were seven, in 2010 there were six, and in 2015, there were four. Comparing 2016 to today, four women (Underwood, Maren Morris, Rhiannon Giddens and Alaina) ranked in the top 20 on the Dec. 3, 2016 chart, and three (Pearce, Morris and Ballerini) did on Dec. 2, 2017, Billboard reports.

"Unfortunately, I wish I could say I'm shocked by this statistic, but I'm not," says Johnny Chiang, director of operations, Cox Media Group Houston, which includes country “93 Q” KKBQ. "It's sad, really. In all other aspects of life, we're seeing women thrive by becoming CEOs, film directors, best-selling authors, etc. In country music, we really don't have the female talent to compete? That's just ridiculous."

He adds, "The disparity on the country charts just doesn't make sense and doesn't reflect the female talent we have in our midst. I don't know whose fault it is, but everyone needs to look at themselves in the mirror and ask if they're contributing to this issue."

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