Singer Carrie Underwood is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. She is a Grammy-winning artist that has released multiple No. 1 albums and singles, and she has headlined several top-grossing tours. All this after winning the fourth season of American Idol in 2005.
Underwood has also had success in her personal life. She has been married to former NHL player Mike Fisher since 2010, and their son, 3-year-old Isaiah, will become a big brother next year as she is currently pregnant with her second child.
However, the 35-year-old thinks the country music world is still a man’s game.
“I feel like shutting that door on ‘women don’t want to hear women’ because that’s B.S.,” she told Elaina Smith in a brand-new interview for her podcast, Women Want to Hear Women.
“Even when I was growing up, I wished there were more women on the radio, and I had a lot more than there are today. You think about all of the little girls that are sitting at home saying, ‘I want to be a country music singer.’ What do you tell them? What do you do? How do you look at them and say, ‘Well just work hard, sweetie, and you can do it’ when that’s not the case right now?”
She’s right. For the week of September 1, Billboard‘s Top Country Albums chart is dominated by men. Cole Swindell’s All of It sits in the No. 1 position. The highest-ranking female artist holds the No. 22 slot. And guess who it is? Yep, it’s Underwood with her compilation album Greatest Hits: Decade #1, which was released nearly four years ago, in December of 2014.
In total, in the Top 50 positions, there are only five female vocalists: Underwood, Taylor Swift (Nos. 31 and 37), Marren Morris (No. 32), Kelsea Ballerini (No. 40), and Kacey Musgraves (No. 43).
The September 1 Hot Country Songs chart is similar. While Bebe Rexha’s collaboration with Florida Georgia Line, “Meant to Be,” tops the chart, she is not traditionally known for being a country musician. Another collaboration is in the No. 3 slot, Jason Aldean and Miranda Lambert’s “Drowns the Whiskey,” but the first solo female artist on the list charts at No. 17, Underwood’s “Cry Pretty.”
“I see so many girls out there busting their rear ends,” Underwood continued to tell Smith. “These strong women, who are supertalented and totally deserve it, [are] not getting the same opportunities [as men]. How to change it? I don’t know.”
Actually, Underwood is doing something to try to help change that. Her upcoming Cry Pretty Tour 360, which will launch May 1, 2019, in Greensboro, North Carolina, will feature an all-female lineup. She’s taking the duo Maddie & Tae and the trio Runaway June (Naomi Cooke, Hannah Mulholland, and Jennifer Wayne) out on the road with her as her opening acts. Hopefully, the exposure will open more doors for the two groups — and for all women interested in pursuing a country music career.