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It’s no secret that country music is both male dominated AND conservative. With the development of “bro-country,” female country singers have far less radio time. On top of that, it’s been said that “if you’re a female performer, you have to be original, but not that original; you have to be strong, but not that strong” (Jancelewicz, Chris, Global News, 2017). In other words, female country singers who speak their minds are not celebrated in country music.
Thankfully, women are responding to this; they’re talking about it, supporting each other and letting the girls play. In Nashville, organizations such as the Song Suffragettes and WIM Nashville are giving females a platform to speak, write and sing through all-female showcases. And right here in Kitchener, Ontario, Rhapsody Barrel Bar has been known to support female musicians through their female showcases on Thursday nights.
As listeners, we need to support women in music. We need to request their songs, go out to their shows and listen to what they have to say. To start, check out our list of badass females in country music who aren’t afraid to speak their minds.
#4 – Sister C
Sister C, who appeared on season 2 of The X Factor, consists of Cirby, Carli and Celbi Manchaca, three sisters from Texas. Faint of Heart, off their debut EP, is a hilarious and clever song that aims to shed light on inequality. In the second verse, the three sisters sing, “He makes more money than you’ll ever bring home / ‘cause you’ve got a double x chromosome.” The whole song is filled with hilarious, yet insightful one-liners.
#3 – Kalie Shorr
Kalie Shorr is a regular performer of the Song Suffragettes female showcase in Nashville. Last year, she co-wrote and released “Fight Like A Girl.” The song spins the usually negative term “fight like a girl” into a positive and powerful movement about letting the girls play. In the video, Shorr salutes the struggles women fought through in the past. With lyrics like “I’m perfume sweet and whiskey strong / I damn sure ain’t no underdog” and “You say I can’t, well darling watch me / You can’t stop me because I fight like a girl,” Shorr’s message is clear; she’s fighting for equality in country music.
Get “Fight Like A Girl” on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fight-like-a-girl-single/1070908049
#2 – Maren Morris
When Maren Morris released her debut album Hero, people freaked out that the word “shit” appeared in three of her songs (“Rich,” “Sugar” and “Drunk Girls Don’t Cry”). While not one of her singles, “Rich” is clever and hilarious. Morris sings, “’Cause all the little lies rolling off your lips is money falling from the sky / Shit I’d be rich.” In response to people’s shock over her cursing, Morris has said that it shouldn’t be that surprising because it’s real life conversation.
Get yourself a copy of Hero here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/hero/id1103499163
#1 – Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves is not afraid to speak her mind, and she doesn’t care what you think about it. “Follow Your Arrow,” the third single off her debut album Same Trailer Different Park, advocates following your heart – a theme that is recurrent throughout many of Musgraves’ songs. More specifically, “Follow Your Arrow” is all about doing what you want, loving who you love and smoking a joint – if you’re into that. Even though the album won a Grammy for Best Country Album and the song won Song of the Year at the 2014 CMA Awards, the song received little radio play. Instrumentally, the song is reminiscent of the classic country sound, but with lyrics like “kiss lots of girls if that’s something you’re into” and “when the straight and narrow gets a little too straight, roll up a joint,” the song was deemed too controversial for the conservative country music genre.
Get “Follow Your Arrow” here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/follow-your-arrow/604129427?i=604129902