Female country musicians were shut out of the ACM Awards Entertainer of the Year category for the second year in a row.
Reba McEntire announced the nominees for the 2019 American Country Music Awards (ACM). Though this is usually a time of celebration, McEntire seemed visibly saddened at the results for Entertainer of the Year. When asked about the results, McEntire said, “Well it doesn’t make me very happy because we got some very talented women who are out there working their butts off. I’m missing my girlfriends on this.”
Although women like Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, and Carrie Underwood are household names in the country music industry, there were no women nominated for Entertainer of the Year. To understand why, one must look at the criteria for the nomination.
According to Justin Kirkland at Esquire.com, “The factors to be considered include, but are not limited to, success at radio, sales of pre-recorded music, success of music videos, vocal performances, live concert ticket sales, artistic merit, appearances on television, appearances in films, songwriting, success in digital media, and contributions to the country music industry.”
Based on this criteria, two pieces of information stand out. The first is radio play. Streaming services may dominate most music genres, but country listeners are still very much getting their music from the radio. Country outranks talk radio as the most played radio station in the industry. The lack of women on the air is a key factor in why there are not more women nominated for ACM awards. The phenomenon of male-dominated radio has been well-reported on. This week alone, there were only two women in the top 20 Billboard Country Music charts.
This lack of radio play rolls over into ticket sales. Last year Kenny Chesney had the ninth-grossing tour of any music artist, according to Forbes, but his album was outsold by both Carrie Underwood’s Cry Pretty and Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour. The nominations do not track with criteria which would also include album performance and songwriting.
In the wake of the 2019 Grammy’s, which featured more women than ever before, the lack of women as nominees for Entertainer of the Year is disappointing. However, the results will not change until the selection criteria has been changed. For more information, visit the source article at Esquire.com.
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