Kacey Musgraves calls out country radio station for not playing women back to back: 'Smells like white male bull****'

Kacey Musgraves is speaking out after a country radio station admitted it won't play female artists back to back. (Photo: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid)

Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini are calling out country music radio stations for not giving female artists enough airplay.

The singers spoke out after Variety journalist Chris Willman tweeted about Los Angeles country station 105.1 playing a song by Gabby Barrett, followed by a Ballerini tune. Willman, struck by hearing female performers played back to back in an industry frequently under fire for overlooking women, cracked, “Can’t they get fined for that?”

While Willman’s remark was sarcastic, there does appear to be a crackdown on playing female singers — and even co-ed country groups like Little Big Town — uninterrupted. The Twitter account for 98 KCQ in Saginaw, Mich. admitted that it won’t play “two females back to back.”

“We cannot play two females back to back,” the station’s since-deleted tweet read. “Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female. I applaud their courage.”

Though that tweet, posted on Wednesday, is no longer up, the locally owned radio station addressed critics in follow-up tweets, explaining that “pop audiences are more ... forgiving of their female singers” and adding that it currently plays “more females than we did, say, five years ago.” The station argued that the issue lies with country music as a whole, and agreed with critics who called it unfair.

The tweets caught the attention of Ballerini, who blasted the policy as “incredibly disappointing.” She also gave a shout-out to female country stars like Carrie Underwood and Maren Morris.

“The conversation continues, Kelsea,” 98 KCQ responded. “I am not alone in this. And neither is the music industry (Oscars). Women deserve their share of the airwaves ... Does this mean I have to return my Kelsea Ballerini CDs”

Kelsea Ballerini (pictured with Musgraves in 2017) called the ban on back-to-back female performers "incredibly disappointing." (Photo: Kevin Mazur/ACMA2017/Getty Images for ACM)

Musgraves was also unimpressed, tweeting, “smells like white male bull**** and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me.”

“You are my favorite artist Kacey,” the station tweeted back. “I always pull for you when a new single comes out. Your music has meaning. I am not kissing up. Just speaking truth.”

In subsequent tweets, the station said its playlists are pre-scheduled but insisted it was manually adding more women.

Ballerini and Musgraves aren’t alone in calling out country radio. Shania Twain has slammed stations as “ageist” by overlooking performers like Reba McEntire, while Jennifer Nettles called for “equal play” at the CMAs in November. And in September, Martina McBride accused Spotify of discriminating against female singers by not promoting them as “recommended” artists as much as their male counterparts.

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