The Girls ‘Round Here All Deserve a Listen

USA Today has a good point. The list of CMA Awards nominations is packed with girls’ names. And yet when you turn on country radio, the names you hear are mostly guys’. There’s really no explaining the phenomenon, but it’s interesting to theorize why it could be happening.

One such theory is that girls like guys. Meaning, with a mostly female demographic, country radio is just playing what those listeners want. Or could it be that guys like girls? That the men in the industry — who are doing much of the CMA voting — have a fondness for the female singers that garnered so many nominations? Again, I have no idea. These are just some of my thoughts.

The newspaper also points out Taylor Swift and Kacey Musgraves each have six nominations, and Miranda Lambert has five, but only Lambert was among country radio’s 20 most-played country acts of 2013. And curiously, Jana Kramer and Sheryl Crow had more country radio airplay than Kelly Clarkson, yet Clarkson is right up there on the list of CMA nominees for female vocalist of the year. Are Kramer and Crow nominated? Not at all.

As for the guys, wrap your head around this: Hunter Hayes and Jake Owen had more airplay this year than Swift or Musgraves, but received no CMA nominations. None. So they win at radio, but just not the CMA Awards?

All this probably means is that there’s just no correlation between radio airplay and industry awards. But then you have to ask yourself, which one matters more? If you’re an artist, do you push for nominations or radio play?

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.