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Kacey Musgraves, Kelsea Ballerini Call Out Country Radio Stations For Apparent Sexist Airplay Rules

EASTVALE (CBSLA) — Country music stars Kacey Musgraves and Kelsea Ballerini took to Twitter Thursday after a Michigan-based country music station tweeted it could not play two female singers back-to-back.

It all started when Chris Willman, an editor for Variety, sent out a sarcastic tweet after hearing two female singers played back-to-back on Los Angeles-based station Go Country 105 FM.

"And then you have this station come into my Twitter feed and say, 'No, actually, that's a real rule,'" Willman said.

In the since-deleted tweet, a Saginaw, Michigan station, 98 KCQ Country, said, "We cannot play two females back to back. Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female. I applaud their courage."

"I think that's what really set people off was to see someone finally admit it," Wilman said.

Willman said it has long been an unspoken rule at some country stations.

"I have heard about it," Christine Martindale, a radio personality for Go Country 105, said. "A lot of stations don't play females back-to-back, and it's a shame."

Martindale said Go Country 105 listeners request female artists just as frequently as male artists. But a song data study found that for every 9.7 songs by male artists played, only 1 song by a female artist was played in 2018.

"Radio passes the buck to their listeners to say listeners don't want to hear women that much," Willman said.

But some powerful female artists were speaking out against the Michigan's station tweet.

The pair received an outpouring of support from fans and friends, including a response by the official account for the show "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee," which shared a video from a recent segment on sexism in country music.

And, at least for this country music lover, who sings the song was less important than the song itself.

"As long as I like the song, I don't care what they're playing," Jessica Moe said.

And Martindale agreed.

"It just matters how it makes people feel," she said.

And Martindale said there are so many up-and-coming women in country music who deserve to have their music heard — just as much as men.

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