Jennifer Nettles used her November appearance at the CMA Awards to spotlight the lack of female artists on country radio, sporting a white and pink Christian Siriano suit emblazoned with the message “Play Our F****** Records, Please and Thank You.”
She also christened the hashtag #EqualPlay, and now she’s written a new essay for Glamour detailing more about the issue.
“It is beautiful how one spark can set a flame — hopefully — a movement,” she offers. “I’m calling it #EqualPlay to underscore equal pay, because it’s the same gender pay gap that’s happening across so many industries and in our culture at large.”
The Sugarland front-woman goes on to cite the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, which looked at the top 500 country songs from 2014 – 2018. Of those, only 16-percent were by female artists.
She goes on to point out the average age of women on country radio is 29, while the average age for men is 42.
“That says a lot about what we value socially,” Jennifer says, “the pressures that are put on women in terms of ageism and beauty. It also tells me that women aren’t offered the same support to be able to continue their careers.”
“If you’re working in the music business, your life is very much dependent on travel,” she explains. “Touring is really the only way to make a living anymore.”
She continues: “So if you’re a working mother who doesn’t have the resources to support your family and take your child with you, you’re suddenly presented with a high-stakes proposition: Am I going to be gone for months at a time without seeing my child?”
Jennifer goes on to outline her new partnership with Secret Deodorant to help fight the disparity. You can read her full essay online at Glamour.com.
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