Martina McBride on Radio Consultant’s Comments: ‘I Just Think It’s Dismissive’
Though she didn't intend to become the spokesperson against music industry consultant Keith Hill's sexist comments about women on country radio, Martina McBride was one of the first to voice her disapproval, and now, she's elaborating more on the subject in her ever-graceful, classy and concise way.
McBride appeared on CBS News via video chat and says of Hill's advice to "take females out" on country radio in order to boost ratings, "I just think it's dismissive, to be honest, to say that females don't like hearing other females on the radio."
The singer explains that some of the biggest artists of all time have been female artists, and it's all about finding a connection with the audience. In fact, McBride believes that comments like Hill's end up being dangerous because they turn an observation into a self-fulfilling prophesy.
"Then you have record companies that don't invest in female artists or sign female artists as much, thinking they're not going to get the return in investment or get played on the radio. You have songwriters who aren't writing songs for females as much because they don't get played on the radio," McBride says. "So it just kind of becomes this self-fulfilling prophecy, and it's a really dangerous kind of statement to just make a blanket statement like that."
While many female artists have spoken out about Hill's remarks, including Jennifer Nettles, Laura Bell Bundy and Miranda Lambert (who called it "the biggest load of bulls--t I have ever heard"), McBride acknowledges with a laugh, "It's interesting, it's been pretty quiet from the male artists supporting the females."
Still, in the interview, McBride stays relatively mum about whether or not male artists should speak up, stating that the controversy was just ignited about a week ago, and she doesn't like to "say what people should or shouldn't do."
"When I posted on Facebook, really I didn't set out to be the spokesperson for this," the 48-year-old admits. "I read the statement and thought, 'I wonder if people know this is what goes on behind that scenes, that this is the formula for programming country radio,' and clearly, they did not know it and passionately disagree with it."
For McBride, if the information about how female listeners were being portrayed -- and the formula behind radio plays -- is brought to light and receives more awareness, she will be happy. At the end of the day, she says, she wants to hear music that is relatable.
"I feel like country music is about relatability. And as a female myself, I love to hear people sing songs that I can relate to, that speak about my life, that make me feel that I understand what I'm going through," McBride says. "That's what the beauty of country music has always been for me, is relatability."
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