Reba McEntire Confronts The ‘Bro Culture’ That Permeates Modern Country Music

Reba McEntire says that country music these days is permeated by a “bro culture” that not only cheapens the music, but limits the accomplishments of women in the industry, Yahoo Entertainment is reporting.

If you’re a fan of country music, you may have noticed that it can sound repetitive. At least, that’s what Reba tells PBS NewsHour‘s Amna Nawaz. Specifically, too much of it comes from a place of guys singing about doing country things.

“Well, it’s the bro trend. Bro, let’s go down to the river and catch some fish. And everybody’s a good ol’ boy. And that’s the bro music.”

That culture that favors men shuts out women from the country music industry, she says.

It’s not the first time Reba has called out the country music industry for shutting out women. As Yahoo Entertainment reported back in February, Reba, like so many other women in country music, was aghast that the lack of women’s representation at the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards. Specifically, she was dismayed that the list of nominees for Entertainer of the Year was all men and no women: Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban.

“It doesn’t make me very happy because we’ve got some very talented women out there who are working their butts off. I’m missing my girlfriends on this list.”

She wasn’t alone in her complaint: country music fans all over Twitter also mourned the lack of women nominated for the Academy’s top awards.

Even more noteworthy, as Reba pointed out, was the fact that the Grammys — which recognize to top acts across multiple genres of music — awarded women in country music heavily this year. Specifically, female country music artist Kacey Musgraves cleaned up at the Grammys, winning for Album of the Year (Golden Hour) and Best Solo Country Performance (“Butterflies”), among other awards.

Reba says that the lack of recognition from their own industry simply means that women like Kacey and herself will simply have to work harder to get what is theirs.

Elsewhere in her interview, which you can read in its entirety via PBS NewsHour, Reba said that she’s hoping that new country artists will help return the genre to its roots.

“I think it’s kind of going away from that a little bit. I would really like it to get back to the real strong country, the country of Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Mel Tillis. I miss that kind of country.”

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