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Carrie Underwood has called out the lack of female artists on country music radio.
The 35-year-old singer shot to fame as the winner of American Idol in 2005, with her debut album Some Hearts becoming the best-selling solo female debut album in country music history.
However, in an interview with Women Want to Hear Women podcast, the Before He Cheats hitmaker addressed the lack of female representation in country radio and insisted more needs to be done to support rising female stars.
"I feel like shutting that door on ‘women don’t want to hear women’ because that’s BS (bulls**t),” Carrie told host Elaina Smith when asked what needs to be done about the gender disparity in country music. "Even when I was growing up, I wished there were more women on the radio. And I had a lot more than there is today. Think about all of the little girls that are sitting at home saying, 'I want to be a country music singer.' What do you tell them? What do you do? How do you look at them and say, 'Well, just work hard, sweetie, and you can do it,' When that's not the case."
Carrie's comments come after Nashville-based newspaper The Tennessean revealed just 10.4 per cent of the songs that received country radio airplay (not including duets with men) were by female artists in 2017, a drop of almost three per cent from 2016's 13 per cent tally.
In addition, Carrie maintained that there are "so many guys out there" landing number one spots on the country music charts, whereas women are struggling to even get noticed.
"And then these strong women who are super talented that totally deserve it are not getting the same opportunities. But how to change it? I don’t know. How do we change it?" the pregnant singer, who is expecting her second child with husband Mike Fisher, added.
Carrie is already taking matters into her own hands by recruiting country music duo Maddie & Tae to join her on her Cry Pretty Tour 360, which kicks off in May 2019. And she's hoping the move will send a powerful message to the country music community.
"It’s good when women support women," she asserted. "And I feel like the more we do of that and the more normal it is, why would I not want to take women out on the road with me? Why would anybody feel like, 'Oh, well I’m a girl, so I better have a guy?'"