Luke Bryan Admits Women Get Shorted in Country Music, Gives Thoughts on Why
Luke Bryan stands up for his lady friends. He’s the reigning Entertainer of the Year, has the No. 1 album and is the country singer in the genre right now — but although he’s riding high, he admits it’s a lot more difficult for his fellow female country pals to find the same success.
The numbers are shocking, actually. Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart includes just one lone solo female artist — Carrie Underwood and her newest single ‘See You Again’ — in the Top 25, with a whopping 19 songs by solo men. In fact, Taylor Swift is the last solo country female to have her first two singles reach the Top 10 — and that was in 2007.
Entertainment Weekly asked Bryan to weigh in on this struggle, and he readily admits that country women do get the short end of the stick. “It’s disappointing that it’s so tough for a female artist to break. I don’t know really the demographics of why that is and what makes that so tough on women,” he says.
“I just feel like I don’t know what can be done to solve it. I think historically it’s always been that way a little bit,” Bryan adds. “It feels like now is the toughest time ever for women, but I would imagine it’s always been pretty damn crummy.”
Although the singer is perplexed on why men are so dominant in country music, he does have a few ideas. Female singers in their teenage years have a more difficult time hitting up the bars and honky tonks, especially at such a young and vulnerable age.
“Overall in country, it’s a different deal because it’s tough for a girl to, at the age of 16, start hitting the honky tonks. It’s just… [sighs] that the landscape in the minor leagues for women are tougher in country,” Bryan reveals.
Additionally, the expectations for country women versus male singers are vast — especially when it comes to appearances. That makes it tricky to do radio tours, as Bryan explains, “My radio tour, back when I was singing two shows a day, I’d have to wake up, throw on a hat.”
“In my opinion, the girls that make it, they can wake up early at 5AM, throw a hat on, roll into a radio station, hang with the guys,” he continues. “They kind of have to be able to hang with the guys but also be feminine and pretty, and it’s just a tough dynamic when you talk about that aspect…. Some girls on radio tours, it will take them two hours to get all dolled up to do three songs for a radio guy.”
Getting glammed up for two hours definitely doesn’t sound like Bryan’s kind of party. And while his answers don’t solve anything for aspiring country women, if he could, it seems he’d change the landscape of country music for his female friends.