Martina McBride Calls Out Spotify’s All-Male Country Music Playlist Suggestions
Martina McBride's recent Spotify listening session infuriated the county star. After she refreshed through 14 lists of recommended songs before spotting a woman artist’s name, the singer vented her frustrations on Instagram.
"I decided to make a playlist called Country Music after I heard [Sara Evans'] "I Learned That From You" and was literally crying," McBride wrote in an Instagram Story on Monday (Sept. 9). "And THIS is what came up on recommended songs."
Screenshots posted next show song after song by the likes of Luke Bryan, Eric Church, George Strait and others being suggested before Spotify sneaked in a Carrie Underwood hit. Underwood was the first female country artists suggested by the music streaming platform; even women who have more recently released music, such as Miranda Lambert or Kelsea Ballerini, hadn't showed up in the recommendations until then.
"I mean. Is it lazy? Is it discriminatory? Is it tone deaf? Is it out of touch? [Spotify] what is it???" McBride added. "Please help me understand.
"And I'm not doing this for me obviously. I'm sure I won't show up on any recommendations anytime soon after today," she clarified. "I'm frustrated for my sisters. For all the sisters. For all the great female artists who are making fabulous music. For all the female writers. And MOST OF ALL for every little girl out there who doesn't hear this music and doesn't know that SHE CAN GROW UP AND DO IT!!!”
McBride’s justified rage follows fellow veteran Trisha Yearwood likening presuppositions about women and radio ratings to “fake news” and Kelly Clarkson saying, “Y’all don’t play people with boobs,” while blasting modern country during a Q&A for her new daytime talk show. According to an April study by Dr. Jada E. Watson for WOMAN Nashville, the most-spun female artist from 2000 through 2018, Underwood, received half as much airplay as the top overall artist, Kenny Chesney; in fact, Chesney’s spins during that time frame eclipse the combined reported figures for Underwood, Miranda Lambert (21st overall) and Faith Hill (48th overall).
The Top 10 country artists with the most airplay in that time frame are all men, with Underwood, the first woman on the most-played list, sitting at No. 11. Additionally, Watson's research points out that a number of male artists who rose to fame in the past five years -- Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett, for example -- have earned more career spins than some of the women who have been active in country music since the early 2000s.
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