The biggest names in country music have not been afraid to compete against each other over the years, trading blows on social media, making up at awards shows, and more.
In 2015, several female artists banded together to hit back at radio hosts Keith Hill amid his comments about why he plays more male artists on the air. The controversy was dubbed “Tomato-gate.”
“If you want to get ratings on country radio, take women out. “This is because mainstream country radio generates more quarters from female listeners at a rate of 70 to 75 percent, and women like male artists,” Hill said at the time. “The expectation is that we will have a primarily male format with a smaller female cast component. …Trust me, I play great female records, and we have some right now; They’re just not the lettuce in our salad. The salad is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith urban and such artists. The tomatoes in our salad are the females.”
Martina McBride, Miranda Lambert, Sarah Evans, Jennifer Nettles And Kacey Musgraves were among those who spoke up. In 2016, McBride told Billboard: “If you sing and write good songs, I don’t care what gender you are or if you’re transgender – if it’s a great song, it should be played.”