On last week’s Billboard Country Airplay chart there were 3 women in the top 30. The highest was Shawna Thompson of Thompson Square. Next up was the fast rising Miranda Lambert and next was Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry.
That’s slim pickings if you’re a fan of women artists in country music.
What happened with country music and how did we get here?
A History Of Great Women In Country Music
Since the beginning of country music there have been amazing female artists. When we look back on the best country artists of all time we think of singers like Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and many, many others.
Country music fans have been blessed with amazingly talented women. Turn on the classic stations on your radio including SiriusXM and you’ll hear some of the greatest country songs of all time sung by female singers.
Country Music Cycles
There have always been a few cycles in country music. One of the cycles is the switching between modern and classic sounds. In the 80s there was a big push of modern sounds with heavy production. Then that kind of wore out with the fans and more traditional artists came to popularity. Then it kind of switched back to the modern sound.
There are also trends that come and really take things over like the outlaw trend in the ’70s, the ’80s rock trend about five years ago and the hip hop trend that’s going on right now.
But another trend has been the push and go of women and men. It seems like there are times when women really come on strong in country music and push the men out of the way.
In the late ’90s it was really starting to happen again with acts like Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks and a few others really becoming the biggest acts country had to offer. I mean, Shania’s Come On Over album is not only one of the best selling country albums of all time; it’s one of the best selling albums of all time…period.
And like it not, the Dixie Chicks were selling more albums than just about any act in the late ’90s and early ’00s.
I think what we’re in right now is just a little down trend of having more men on the charts than women.
But there is plenty of hope.
The Current And Future Female Country Stars
Miranda Lambert is one of the best artists in music today. She’s not only one of the best in country music. She’s one of the most popular and most talented artists in all music. She’s writing great songs. She’s picking great songs. And after her early struggles to have big singles on the charts, she’s having hit after hit now.
Kacey Musgraves is kind of a controversial figure in country music right now, but she’s a force. She’s making a new kind of country music and millions are loving it. Look out for her in the future.
As far as pure singers go it doesn’t get any better than Danielle Bradbery. I don’t think there will ever be a voice like Patty Loveless or Martina McBride again, but Danielle has one of those pure, amazing voices that sounds good on just about any song.
These are just a few of country’s brightest female stars and that doesn’t mention the artists that have been around and are still out there making great music like Sara Evans and Jennifer Nettles.
We’re in a little downturn for women in country music, but there are still signs of a strong female presence on the charts for the future.
Who will be the stars of the future?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.