NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Listening to music has never been easier than it is right now. All you have to do is head to the internet where you can log in to a streaming service and listen to your heart's content.
That's what Country music superstar Martina McBride did yesterday. She was on Spotify listening to new music from Sara Evans when she decided to create a playlist named "Country Music," And that's when she realized something was wrong.
Spotify gave her 10 suggestions of songs to add to her playlist, and they were all songs by men. Thinking that was strange, McBride refreshed the list, only to be presented another 10 men, and she documented the whole thing on her Instagram story.
It took her 14 refreshes to finally get a woman on the suggestion list, Carrie Underwood, meaning Spotify suggested more than 140 songs by men before a single song by a female was suggested. McBride was upset about the situation and took to Instagram to voice her opinion on the matter.
McBride posted, "I just have no words. My heart is pounding. I can't remember when I've been this mad."
She continued in another post, "Is it lazy? Is it discriminatory? Is it tone deaf? Is it out of touch? @spotify what.is.it??? Please help me understand."
McBride went on to say "I'm not doing this for me obviously. I'm sure I won't show up on any recommendations anytime soon after today. I'm frustrated for my sisters. For all the great female artists who are making fabulous music. For all the female writers. And MOST OF ALL for every little girl out there who doesn't hear this music And doesn't know that SHE CAN GROW UP AND DO IT!!!"
McBride posted music that had been released recently from female artists that she thought could be included in suggestions, including new music from The Highwomen, Tanya Tucker, Trisha Yearwood, Kelsea Ballerini, Sheryl Crow, and Miranda Lambert.
The posts blew up on social media with many people surprised by what had happened to McBride, and while the posts were largely targeted at Spotify, it's an issue that is widespread in Country Music: the under representation of women.
It's a vicious cycle. Women aren't signed to record labels because they aren't played on radio because they aren't streamed because they aren't booked on big tours. All of those factors impact the others, creating a spiral effect.
It's an issue that many say will only change if talked about, and McBride started a new conversation with her posts.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to Spotify for a comment on this story, but never received a response.