Lindsay Ell Speaks Out After Radio Station Dropped Her Over Personal Life
Ell was slated to play an acoustic concert at 105.1 FM KNCI in Sacramento on Friday (June 16) to promote Brad Paisley's concert in Sacramento that night as part of his Weekend Warriors Tour, on which Ell is one of the support acts. By Friday morning Ell had been removed from the advertising, and she turned to Twitter to let her fans know that she had been dropped from the gig due to her "personal life." Ell is in a relationship with radio personality Bobby Bones, whose syndicated Bobby Bones Show is one of the biggest in country radio. His show appears on iHeartRadio stations, while KNCI's parent company is CBS Radio.
The Washington Post first broke the story, and Ell tells the Post that she spoke out about the station — a rarity for artists in country music, where country radio holds most of the cards to determine their commercial fate — because she felt like she was being unfairly singled out because she's a woman. Female artists have had a notoriously difficult time gaining traction at country radio in recent years.
"It felt like, all of a sudden, you can’t be a powerful female with goals and dreams and date another powerful person," Ell said on Monday (June 19). "It’s frustrating to me because I feel like it shouldn’t matter what a guy or a girl [does] in their free time — that shouldn’t affect their business."
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"It seems like women are having an extremely hard time getting on the radio as it is," adds Ell. "Females are criticized for other things than just the music. It’s hard being a woman in a male-dominated industry. And I just don’t think what happened to me is an isolated thing."
Jon Loba, the President of Broken Bow Records — home to artists including Jason Aldean and Dustin Lynch and recently released Ell's new EP, Worth the Wait — didn't want to be drawn into a discussion about whether a male artist would have been treated the same way, but he did acknowledge to the Post, "There are absolutely stations out there that have verbalized that because of the relationship, they weren’t going to play [Ell’s new music], or they’re going to wait significantly longer than they normally would to play it. And that’s what drives me absolutely mad, that she’s punished for that."
Ell's post went viral after the Post's story, and within a few hours KNCI apologized and reached out to reschedule Ell's appearance, calling their cancelation a "bad decision."
Ell tells Nashville's Tennessean newspaper that she wants to move past the incident.
"Everyone makes mistakes," she said. "There’s so many people around the situation who are amazing and … who have supported me from the beginning of my career. What happened a few days ago wasn’t ideal for anyone, but … I’m sure we can find something to smooth it over."
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