There’s some positive news regarding female artists receiving airplay on country radio. Kelsea Ballerini’s “Miss Me More” has climbed to No. 1 on the Mediabase chart and Trisha Yearwood’s “Every Girl In Town” is the veteran artist’s highest chart debut. While neither occurrence is likely to quell critics of the format’s gender imbalance, they do provide a glimmer of hope.
“Miss Me More” marks Ballerini’s fifth No. 1, having previously reached that plateau with “Legends” – also from her sophomore effort “Unapologetically” – and the first three singles released from debut album “The First Time.” Ballerini is the first female artist to have a No. 1 hit at country radio in 15 months and she lately appears to have a monopoly on that distinction. The last female country artist to do so was Ballerini herself, which she accomplished with “Legends” in February 2018. “Miss Me More” currently sits at No.2 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, up from No. 3 last week.
“Special thanks to country radio for all of the support on Kelsea,” Black River Senior VP of Radio Promotion Mike Wilson said in a release. “You have been big supporters of this song since you first heard it, and now, this is the icing on the cake.”
Meanwhile, Yearwood said she’s surprised by the embrace of country radio for her latest release. “I probably shouldn't say this, but I'm very surprised to be one of the women that's on the radio right now,” Yearwood told PopCulture.com. “I'm really excited about it.” The track debuted at No. 21 on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart, Yearwood’s best career chart debut to date. “Every Girl In Town” is the highest Country Airplay start for a solo woman in 2019, Billboard reports. The song debuted at number 38 on the Mediabase country chart.
One of country radio’s biggest proponents of female artists getting fair play is Premiere Networks-syndicated country morning host Bobby Bones. Bones was spotted wearing a shirt that read “Support Female Artists” at the recent CMT Awards.
“For me for the last three, four years or so, it's been a big priority of mine,” Bones told PopCulture.com. “Not just playing them on the radio or putting them on as guests, but I take them out as support on tour. I introduce them to label heads.” Bones also singled out former radio programmer, now CMT Senior Vice President of Music Strategy, Leslie Fram as one who has been vocal in her support of female artists in the country music field.
Bones will join Ballerini and country artist Thomas Rhett as hosts of the upcoming CMA Fest TV special, August 4 at 8pm on ABC.