Maren Morris says amount of time she gets on country music radio compared to men is 'staggering'

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
The Highwomen — from left, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby, Maren Morris and Brandi Carlile — visit the SiriusXM Studios on July 31 in New York City. (Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

Grammy-winning country singer Maren Morris knows she’s luckier than most women in country music.

Still, the singer believes her music isn’t on the radio airwaves as often as it would be if she were a man, she shared during an appearance Thursday on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

“They play me, but when you compare it to some of my male peers, it’s pretty staggering still,” Morris said. “And I’m one of the few lucky girls that gets played on country radio. We’re just trying to change that.”

The “we” is Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires, members of the new supergroup, the Highwomen.


Morris and co. sang a new song, “Redesigning Women,” and Shires explained how they came together.

“I was inspired by my daughter, I think, because she was starting to show signs of wanting to play music maybe when she grows up,” she said. “I thought the worst thing that could happen is she would go for country because there are only currently two women’s voices that you can actually hear.”

Country music stations’ tendency to play more male artist has been confirmed by more than one study. A formal, in-depth analysis of radio airplay released in April concluded that women in country music are “not afforded the same opportunities as their male colleagues.”

In February, country music superstar Reba McEntire spoke out about the fact that only men were nominated for the top prize at the Academy of Country Music Awards. Even Kacey Musgraves, who won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards, was left out of the category.

“It doesn’t make me very happy because we’ve got some very talented women out there who are working their butts off,” McEntire told Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper. “I’m missing my girlfriends on this list.”

The Highwomen’s debut album is on sale now, and it’s already a mainstream hit.

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