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Carrie Underwood Says Women ‘Get the Short End’ at Country Radio

Carrie Underwood
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

It’s no secret that there are different expectations for female country artists than there are for men, and Carrie Underwood has decided to speak out about the issue.

In an interview with Billboard, Underwood talks about how difficult it is for women to make the country radio charts — only three of the top 25 artists on Billboard’s Top Country Songs in 2012 and 2013 were women.

“You would think that we would be farther along in the thinking about women in country music,” Underwood says. “I like to think things are getting better, but then I see stats like [the one cited above] and realize that women really do seem to get the short end.”

Underwood was one of the women who made the Top 25 list both years, along with Taylor Swift and Miranda Lambert, but she hopes more women will be joining them in the next year.

“There is certainly not a shortage of talented ladies out there that want so badly to get their fair shot in this business. But there seems to be only room for only a few,” she says. “[But] there seem to be so many male singers out there who can be viewed as similar, and there seems to be plenty of room for all of them … we see new male artists have their first single reach No. 1 on the charts, but it generally takes a female a lot longer to build momentum.”

One reason could be that women tend to record songs with more substance and less of a party theme than their male counterparts. But Underwood also notes a different expectation in the industry for women than for men.

“It seems women are expected to be so much more than men, which means we have to work that much harder,” she says. “We’re the ones under the microscope. We’re expected to sound perfect. We’re expected to look perfect all the time. We’re expected to be style-setters, whereas the boys roll onto the stage in their jeans, T-shirts and baseball caps. I don’t know what we all can do to change this. But I do hope it does change. I would love to see more women making their mark in the music that I love so much . . . There are so many more out there just waiting for their shot. I hope they get it!”

Next: The Top 10 Carrie Underwood Songs

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