When it comes to country music duets and collaborations, some of the best of all-time feature male and female country artists as a powerful team. From Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash to Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, these classic pairings were still alive and well up into the mid-aughts with the likes of Brad Paisley and Alison Krauss and even Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, so what’s happened in the last few years? Why are established male country singers almost exclusively collaborating with female pop acts versus female country artists?
In the last year or so alone, pop stars Bebe Rexha, Elle King and Pink have appeared on the country charts with No. 1 hits. This comes at a time when only six different women have notched No. 1 hits on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart since 2013. When established artists like Keith Urban and Dierks Bentley choose pop artists as duet partners they are taking away opportunities for country women to be on country radio. Even Chris Lane chose to collaborate with Tori Kelly versus a female country artist.
All of this to say, if country music fans want to hear more women on country radio they should probably start telling the men of country music to step up and collaborate with the ladies in Nashville.