Why Bobby Bones New Female-Only Approach Is So Important

Bobby Bones, host of the aptly named The Bobby Bones Show in the US, is set to launch a radio show that features playlists comprised solely of females. SO many feelings about this. It’s 2018. It shouldn’t be necessary to take these steps to have to separate genders on national radio. But it is. There would be uproar if a station said they would only play males, but they’re essentially already doing just that.

 Bones wrote in a tweet that has since been deleted, that he always said he would do this if the environment didn’t change. It hasn’t and it needs to, if not just to highlight how outrageous the whole situation is.

The majority of my favourite country acts are female. Maddie and Tae, Carly Pearce Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Lindsay Ell, Carrie Underwood, I could go on.  So why does the country music industry think people don’t want to hear music made by women? And in particular – that women don’t want to hear music from other women?

Maren Morris is one of the artists who often speaks out on the topic and she’s right, but how to change that perspective? Why does the country music industry have such a problem with women? It’s not a new issue, and many artists speak out about it regularly but nothing seems to change.

It’s 2018. At the time of writing, in Billboard’s Country Airplay chart 7 out of 60 songs are from female solo artists, none of these are in the Top 10. A further 2 songs come from a band that includes a female member – e.g. Little Big Town, and another 3 are songs by male country artists who have a non-country female artist featuring on the track, e.g Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha’s ‘Meant To Be’. By not giving female country artists the airplay for their songs, they don’t get the exposure they deserve and thus have less sales and streaming meaning they end up even further down on the charts. This problem isn’t specific to the country genre, it’s industry wide. 3 songs in the Top 20 of Billboard’s Hot 100 come from female solo artists while another 3 feature female artists as guests on a male’s track. Somethings gotta give.

As someone who looks to females in the industry for motivation of perhaps pursuing music and songwriting, to have Bobby Bones doing something like this is really cool. Hopefully we will get a taste of the new show in the UK in some form or another.


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