In 2012 and 2013, only three solo female artists topped the Billboard Country Song charts: Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, and Miranda Lambert. And in an article last week in Billboard, Carrie was asked about the issue...and had some pretty straightforward things to say.
"We see new male artists have their first single reach No. 1 on the charts, but it generally takes a female a lot longer to build momentum," she griped. "I know that I am an exception to this, but I [also] know that if I hadn't made my place in country music via 'American Idol,' I probably could have tried to make it for the rest of my life and never made any progress."
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Carrie also pointed out that the current country music landscape favors men: "I don't think women can get away with the partying, beer-drinking, hungover, truck-driving kind of music that a lot of the guys have gotten away with lately."
photo: Rolling Stone
"Bro country" sensation Luke Bryan told Entertainment Weekly last year that it was "disappointing" how tough it was for a female artist to break these days, citing the pressure to wake up early and roll through radio tours looking glam and gorgeous. Carrie seconded this in her Billboard interview. "We're expected to be style-setters, whereas the boys roll onto the stage in their jeans, T-shirts, and baseball caps," she noted.
[Related: Kacey Musgraves: From "Nashville Star" to Grammy Star]