As country music has become more mainstream, we seemingly have forgotten about the powerful female forces that once ruled the genre. However, this year, 2019, female entertainers seemed to have taken back their power and their voices. 2019 was the year of women empowerment and women (and men) supporting other women. From all-female tours to opening gigs to being the CEO of a record label to exciting podcasts, women in country music are proving that they are going to fight for their right to be heard.
Here are six reasons that this is the year of women in country music!
Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag
1. All Female Tours.
This year superstar Carrie Underwood pulled off the unthinkable and headlined an all-female tour, playing at the most coveted venues across the country. Taking supporting acts, trio Runaway June and duo Maddie & Tae on the road with her, she sold-out shows across the nation, including the iconic Madison Square Garden in NYC. Other female artists are following in her footsteps. Maren Morris’ highly successful ‘GIRL: The World Tour’ boasts an all-female lineup. For the first leg, Cassadee Pope and RaeLynn joined the songstress, while the second leg featured Hailey Whitters and Kassi Ashton. Finally, Miranda Lambert welcomed newcomers, Caylee Hammack, Tenille Townes, and Ashley McBryde, along with Elle King and Maren Morris to perform as part of her ‘2019 Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour’. We love seeing the female tours that are popping up, and we cannot wait until it becomes the norm in country music.
2. Number One Hits and Chart Accomplishments.
Unfortunately when it comes to country radio, female artists are working hard to get the recognition and airtime they deserve. However, we took some giant leaps forward in 2019 when both Kelsea Ballerini’s “Miss Me More” and Maren Morris’ “GIRL” reached the top spot on the charts and just this week, Carrie Underwood’s “Southbound” claimed the coveted number one spot. Although only three songs by a female artist have gone number one on country radio this year, it is still a magnificent feat. Ballerini and Morris, who were both co-writers on their smash hits found success with songs that are both empowering and emulate confidence, two concepts that are gaining in popularity in the country genre. Underwood also co-wrote the summertime smash, “Southbound”. Furthermore, Runaway June’s radio single “Buy My Own Drinks” is the first single by a female country music trio in more than a decade to break into the Top 5 on the Country charts. This is progress!
3. CEO of a Record Label.
We proudly highlighted the extraordinary Nicolle Galyon in one of our Women of the Month features. She is a leader in empowering women in the industry and advocating for an equal playing field. Galyon was recently announced as the head of a brand new record label in Nashville named ‘Songs & Daughters.’ Big Loud Records out of Nashville is partnering with Galyon on this new imprint to sign rising female artists. This “music house for female creatives,” as she calls it, will definitely change the game. We can’t wait to catch the flagship artist, Madison Kozak this December when she opens up for Morgan Evans.
4. The Highwomen.
Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires, Maren Morris, and Natalie Hemby recently joined forces to compose an all-female phenomenon entitled The Highwomen. The four magnificent singer-songwriters created an unprecedented musical group, where there is not a definitive lead. Additionally, each of the members have successful careers of their own. In celebration of women-hood in general and of course in country music, these talented ladies challenge societal standards, break and create molds, and of course exceed expectations. They are blazing the path for more female artists in the industry, inviting all artists to come as they are. Take a listen to their self-titled debut album, The Highwomen here.
Justin Aharoni (@jaharoni) for NYCountry Swag
5. Inspiring Music.
Although we appreciate a good break-up anthem and some clever songs about boys or cheating, we are loving the shift in what is acceptable for women to sing about. Both Morris with “GIRL” and Ballerini with “homecoming queen?” sing about their vulnerabilities and question their self-confidence, but somehow beautifully remind girls that it’s okay to be themselves, encourage us to love ourselves, and remind us all that we are just trying to do our best. Other artists, such as our 6 favorite rising female artists and our 6 undiscovered female artists that we are loving are doing the same, writing and recording songs with substance, heart, and with a greater purpose.
New York’s Country 94.7’s Katie Neal, Warner Music Nashville’s Diane Monk, NYCountry Swag Founder, Stephanie Wagner, New York’s Country 94.7’s Kelly Ford, NYCountry Swag’s Managing Editor, Christina Bosch
6. Women Supporting Women.
We believe that this is the key reason for why women are finding more success this year. Podcasts, such as radio personality, Elaina Smith’s ‘Breaking Thru,’ formally called ‘Women Want to Hear Women,” and radio programming such as Radio Disney’s ‘LET THE GIRLS PLAY,’ are shattering stereotypes and evoking necessary conversations about equality. Here at NYCountry Swag, we highlight a different woman in the industry each month in our ‘Woman of the Month’ segment with the hopes of bringing you stories from inspiring women who are chasing their dreams and who have worked hard to be successful. Additionally, we host our annual ‘Babes, Booze and Brunch’ event, and this Friday, we will be hosting our final sail, featuring two incredible female artists, Kalie Shorr and Lauren Davidson, all in the name of supporting other women.
With a little over two months left in the year, we hope to continue to see and champion women in the industry as they achieve the success and accolades they deserve. The CMA Awards, taking place on November 13th will also honor women with three female hosts, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, and Reba. And just yesterday, Miranda Lambert penned a note on social media in support of Carrie Underwood taking home the big award of the night, Entertainer of the Year.
We don’t need to wear anyone else’s crown, as Maren says, “there’s enough to go around.”
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