Lucy Hale has just made her debut in country music with the release of 'Road Between' on Tuesday (June 3). One of the most successful women in country today, Carrie Underwood, has some advice for the newcomer, and it's pretty darn good.

“Just be strong,” Underwood advises. “Country music is definitely in need of more really strong females.”

The lack of women in country has been on the radar of the industry for a while, and even superstars like the 'Blown Away' singer admit there's a problem, and there's a shortage of females on top of the charts -- with some startling facts to prove it. That's why Underwood's advice to Hale is so poignant -- and will hopefully embolden one more talented songstress to hit the country music scene in a big way.

Hale isn't a stranger to the empowerment that happens when women join together. Her hit show 'Pretty Little Liars' portrays some very strong female friendships, and she's all about it. "We live in a society where females are very hard on each other," Hale tells TIME.

"For me, I think it’s cool to see four different, very independent girls still be there for each other despite all the chaos that’s going on in their lives. It sets a strong tone. Friends are everything, and female friends are everything. Girls are too hard on each other, and I think the show sets a good message."

If Hale can bring that sense of camaraderie and tenacity to country, it will work well in her favor.

She's an undeniable country fan, explaining, "I knew what genre I wanted. I’ve never doubted country music -- I’ve always wanted to do that. But when you’re making a first album, you have the ability to do whatever you want. You only get one first album, and you have to set the stage and tone for the rest of your musical career. No pressure or anything! I just wanted it to be a really clear picture of me."

Hale, Underwood, Lambert, Taylor Swift, and so many others are among female country artists who are being strong and staying true to themselves. Hopefully, that number will only continue to grow.