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Vince Gill Talks Bro-Country, Lack of Women in Country Radio

Vince Gill
Beth Gwinn, Getty Images

Vince Gill is arguably one of the most iconic artists in country music. The singer-songwriter has sold more than 26 million albums and had over 40 charting singles, with 25 landing in the Top 10. The Oklahoma native ruled the charts through the ’90s, becoming one of the most successful artists of his generation.

So if anyone has the right to add a voice to the ongoing debate of whether current hitmakers like Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean and their ‘bro-country’ music still fits in the genre, it would be Gill. And he says it’s time to put the argument to rest.

“Everybody wants to knock all these songs, and, yeah, they’re a lot the same, but go back to the early ’60s and there were songs about trucks then too,” he tells Rolling Stone Country.

The Country Music Hall of Fame member says that artists could learn plenty from today’s biggest stars.

“They’re very inclusive of all things and everything,” he observes. “And I admire the hell out of that. I wish my generation had more of that. But of the people who were really knocking it out of the park, it didn’t. If you want to take that core of artists throughout the ’80s and ’90s, do I go pal around with Garth [Brooks] or Alan [Jackson] or George [Strait]? No … My generation didn’t have it.”

The 57 year old might be supportive of the new wave of music on the radio, but he’s less supportive of the way women seem to be all but banished from the airwaves.

“I think the women in general are making the most intriguing records, the most intriguing songs,” he says. “Why is radio so completely opposed? … Look at the history that women have provided this music. It’s every bit as important as anything the men have done. It’s grossly unfair, and grossly one-sided. But there still have been periods of time in country music’s history where it was very one-sided. You go back to the ’50s, and Kitty Wells was a lone ranger. And then along comes Dolly [Parton]  and Loretta [Lynn] and Patsy Cline, and it blows up a little more.”

Gill reveals he is working on a new album, which will be a different direction than any of his previous albums, including his critically acclaimed 2011 disc ‘Guitar Slinger.’

“I want to make a record of all these songs I’ve written that are darker than they should be,” he reveals. “Subjects that most people go, ‘Oh, I don’t really want to hear a song about abused children…’”

Gill is maintaining a busy tour schedule through the summer. See all of his upcoming shows here.

NEXT: Top 10 Vince Gill Songs

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