The top eight artists in terms of most weeks spent at No. 1 on country music airplay charts between 2010 and 2019 are all men. In fact, the Top 10 are all men, and the Top 15, and the Top 20 ...

The last 30 seconds of this bar graph video shows how far down you need to go to find a woman in country music. Of course, this isn't new information (the #Tomatogate conversation has been active for over five years), but it's evidence that while there have been some new female hitmakers in 2020, there's a long way to go before we reach gender equality.

Maren Morris, Ingrid Andress and Gabby Barrett are three women in country music who've scored Billboard Country Airplay No. 1 hits this year, with "The Bones," "More Hearts Than Mine" and "I Hope," respectively. Andress and Barrett both hit No. 1 with their first radio single. Morris' song continues to dominate the Hot Country Songs chart in a way not seen for a female artist since Taylor Swift.

Ashley McBryde, Carly Pearce, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood are four more inside the Top 20 or close this week (May 29). Whether this is true progress or coincidence remains to be seen — there needs to be compatible data with regards to festival lineups, streaming playlist inclusion and other media to fairly claim success over the long term — but a new thread has emerged.

The economic crunch brought on by the coronavirus pandemic could set this conversation backwards. All artists will feel the impact of smaller marketing budgets, but where an established headliner may have to settle for a Top 5 hit instead of a No. 1, a less established female may miss the Top 40 altogether. That can damn a promising career. Few things are as dangerous as being labeled as unreliable.

So we present this information in hopes fans and insiders will keep the heat on decision makers in 2020 and beyond, just as it feels like a time to celebrate. By comparison, there were four female solo artists in the Top 20 most popular artists (in terms of weeks spent at No. 1) in the decade ending with 2009, six in the 1990s, and five in the 1980s. True equality has never existed in country music, but we can do better.

Who Spent the Most Weeks at No. 1 in the 1990s? 

17 Songs From Women in Country That Demand Your Attention in 2020:

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