Sara Evans spoke to HL about her fight to get her music on mainstream country radio, that has been dominated by what she calls ‘bro country.’
Getting female country singers on country radio has been a long fight that is far from over. In recent years, country icons like Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert and Jennifer Nettles have called on country radio to close the gender gap when it comes to female music representation on the FM airwaves. Another country staple, Sara Evans, spoke to HollywoodLife in an EXCLUSIVE podcast interview surrounding her Born To Fly book release, and revealed her personal battle with country radio throughout her career.
“Mainstream country radio no longer plays new music from me or most women, and I’ve been praying and waiting for that to go back to the way it was when I had hit records. The saddest thing that anybody can say to me is ‘I’m glad to see that you’re back with a new album,’ or ‘Sara Evans has made a return to country music,’ when I never left — they just don’t play women,” Sara explained on the podcast.
While the “Born To Fly” singer wants to be on the mainstream, modern country airwaves, she believes the genre has become “too polarized” to ever get back to what it was. “It should just be called bro country and then another genre called Nashville Music,” Sara said. “There’s some great music coming out of Nashville, and so many great writers, but you’re just not going to hear them on mainstream country radio. We need somewhere else to go.”
While some female country singers argue that their female fans want to hear them on country radio, and it’s the male radio execs who have been calling the shots for too long, Sara disagrees. “Female fans love the bro country guys. That’s the only thing I can think is that they they love these guys. They think they’re sexy… I think it’s just because the bro country guys are cute, and the female country fans just go gaga over them,” she admitted.
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When the ACM-award winner got her start in the industry in the ’90s, she said the country music genre was notable because of the lyrics and now, it appears the main focus is the “beat.” “I released a song called ‘Suds In The Bucket’ (’04) which was a silly song but it’s still brilliantly written about the woes of parents losing their daughter to a boy that she ran off with. And then you have songs like ‘A Little Bit Stronger’ or ‘A Real Fine Place To Start’ that are just high quality lyric songs and those don’t get played anymore,” Sara explained. “For almost a decade we’ve missed so many women that would have been amazing influences in this genre.”
Listen to the full podcast interview with Sara Evans on the HollywoodLife podcast and be sure to get her new memoir, Born To Fly and the re-release of her album Copy That, available now.