Miranda Lambert has some frank words for the country music community when it comes to female artists’ representation.
This week, The Washington Post published an interview with Lambert in which she talked about her most recent No. 1 hit, the Jason Aldean duet "Drowns the Whiskey.",” which they’ll perform on Wednesday’s CMA Awards.
“Yes, I had to sing with someone with a penis to get a No. 1,” Lambert, 35, said.
Before “Drowns the Whiskey” topped Billboard‘s Country Airplay chart in August, Lambert hadn’t notched a No. 1 on that chart since 2013, with her Keith Urban collab “We Were Us”; she’d previously topped the chart with “Over You” (2012), “Heart Like Mine” (2011) and “House That Built Me” (2010).
“I do like this person, Jason Aldean, a lot … so it was a great song with an old friend,” Lambert added. “It is interesting that I haven’t had even a Top 20 in a long, long time. And then it goes No. 1 because it’s a dude. But you know — if we went and looked at how many singles or records were sold for the Top 10 songs right now, I’d probably triple it on record sales. So it doesn’t matter.”
Indeed, Lambert’s most recent album, 2016’s The Weight of These Wings, was certified platinum last year, selling more than one million copies.
Despite her chart appearances over the years, Lambert has become a Nashville powerhouse with two Grammy Awards, 23 Academy of Country Music Awards and 13 Country Music Association Awards. And Wednesday night, the singer is nominated for three more CMAs: favorite female vocalist, as well as single of the year and musical event of the year for “Drowns the Whiskey.”
Women’s representation on the radio and in country music has been an important discussion for years. In 2015, a male radio consultant sparked a renewed vigor in that conversation when he compared female artists to “tomatoes” in a “salad” of male artists, since dubbed “Tomato Gate.”
“I feel like shutting that door on ‘women don’t want to hear women’ because that’s BS,” Underwood said on the Women Want to Hear Women podcast in September.
“Even when I was growing up, I wished there were more women on the radio. And I had a lot more than there is today. Think about all of the little girls that are sitting at home saying, ‘I want to be a country music singer.’ What do you tell them? What do you do?” the expectant Underwood continued. “How do you look at them and say, ‘Well, just work hard, sweetie, and you can do it,’ When that’s… not the case right now.”
The 52nd annual CMA Awards air Wednesday, Nov. 14 from Nashville at 8 p.m. EST on ABC. PeopleTV, the advertiser-supported OTT streaming service from PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly, will live stream its Country Music Association Awards pre-show, “PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly Red Carpet Live: CMA Awards,” beginning at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT. The show will wrap before the ceremony begins at 8 p.m. ET.