Brandi Carlile and other female country stars praise CMT's new 'equal play' policy: 'Cowgirl up'

After growing complaints from stars like Kelsea Ballerini and Kacey Musgraves that country music is overlooking women, Country Music Television (CMT) has announced on Tuesday that it will promote equal play, vowing to offer “complete parity between male and female artists” on its channels.

“Time is really up,” Leslie Fram, senior vice president of music strategy, tweeted of the move. “All the talk about what can be done to support females in country music needs to transform to action.”

While some social media users are grumbling about CMT’s stance — with one likening it to “affirmative action in country music” and others complaining that the network is ”pushing agendas” rather than playing “what people want to hear” — women in the business are saying it’s music to their ears.

Singer Brandi Carlile, who last week addressed sexism in country music during an appearance on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, thanked CMT for “leading this charge” and urged country radio stations to “cowgirl up.”

Other female performers — but in the country music genre and out — also praised CMT for “taking a stand.”

CMT’s push for equal play comes after stars like Jennifer Nettles, Shania Twain and Maren Morris called out gender disparity in their industry.

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