March is the month dedicated to women, and it’s a month with so much to celebrate within the country music community. Right now, two solo women occupy spots in the top 10 on radio, which is a rare feat in this genre; Kelsea Ballerini, Ingrid Andress, and more are set to release highly anticipated LPs in the coming weeks; and on March 8th, which is International Women’s Day, NYCountry Swag is hosting its Babes, Booze & Brunch event featuring Songs & Daughters’ Madison Kozak, an event for women celebrating women. In honor of all of the amazing women making waves in country music, we compiled a list of our favorite women who are ruling Nashville and beyond from center stage and backstage.
Leslie Fram, senior VP of Music Strategy at CMT is one of the most influential and incredible women in country music. She has dedicated her career to promoting all artists, no matter their gender, race, or sexuality and help them to succeed in this genre. She has helped initiatives like CMT Next Women of Country, Change the Conversation and #EqualPlay launch and is continuing to introduce change so great music can be heard. Read more about Leslie Fram and her initiatives in our Woman of the Month feature and find her here on Instagram and Twitter.
Mickey Guyton is not only one of the best singer-songwriters to come out of Nashville, but she has also made it her mission to use her platform to help people. She is a woman of color and is actively helping country music become more diverse. She makes sure to post her #WCWs and incredible clips of songs written/sung by black women, using the hashtag #blackgirlsrock, every week. Her new single, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” is a stunning, gut-wrenching plea to society that all women can relate to, and it’s a song so good radio should be lined up ready to play it. Guyton is proving that it’s her time to shine and that 2020 is the year of women. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.
Kelly Ford is one of the morning radio hosts at NY’s Country 94.7 and is not only so fun to listen to on-air, but she has used her platform to do incredible things. In February, she spearheaded a campaign to get Valentine’s Day Cards to the troops, helped host a radiothon for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, where they raised over $400,000 and has been vocal about increasing airplay for women on country radio. She is one of the voices of the tri-state area, but she uses it to help the world beyond New York. Read more about Kelly Ford and her journey into radio in our Woman of the Month feature, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter here.
Savana Santos is a part of the girl-trio Avenue Beat, and the three girls have created a fresh take on country-pop, using the lyrics to be relatable and the production to get the songs stuck in your head forever. Not only does Santos have a hand in writing all of their songs, but she is responsible for the production of all of them too. There are very few women who sit in the producer’s chair right now, and it’s inspiring to see that a new generation is taking charge. You can find Santos on Instagram, and you can find Avenue Beat here.
Hailey Whitters is one of Nashville’s brightest rising stars. She just finished touring with Maren Morris and is currently touring with Jordan Davis in support of her debut album The Dream, which she helped produce, and is making singer-songwriter leaning country in a genre that’s very pop-leaning currently. She does all of this while being unsigned, which is rare in a radio-driven genre. She is an incredible songwriter and has a beautiful voice, and it’s about time people start to remember her name. To keep up with Whitters, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
When you look at the CMA Triple Play award recipients this year, you will find that each winner has something in common: they are all men. It’s crazy to see that list, because there are so many amazing women making ground-breaking music, and one of them is Laura Veltz. She is the writer behind songs like “Speechless” (Dan + Shay) and “The Bones” (Maren Morris) to name a few and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-out songwriters in town. Next year without a doubt her name be up on that list where it belongs. You can find her here on Instagram.
Who has time to headline arenas, be a member of the Grand Ole Opry, write amazing songs and still make sure her voice is heard in country music? That would be Kelsea Ballerini, who is about to release her third album, kelsea, on March 20th. She has been one of the genre’s most prominent stars in the last few years, and she has been making history and great records while fighting for equal play and learning how to get involved with current issues that are important to her, like the fires in Australia or stricter gun laws in America. She’s using her voice for herself and those who feel silenced. Make sure you’re following Ballerini on Instagram and Twitter.
Last but certainly not least on this list is Nicolle Galyon. She is an award-winning and chart-topping singer-songwriter, responsible for hits like “Tequila” (Dan + Shay) and “Automatic” (Miranda Lambert); she has a three-song EP, featuring songs like Lady Antebellum’s “It Ain’t Pretty”; and Galyon is also a label executive for her all-female record label Songs & Daughters. She discovered and signed Madison Kozak, who will be performing at NY Country Swag’s Babes, Booze & Brunch event this Sunday. She is soon launching her own podcast, and without a doubt holds the title for Instagram Mom of the Year. She is the definition of an inspiring woman ruling country music. Follow her on Instagram to keep up with all things songwriting and Songs & Daughters.
Tickets are still available for Babes, Booze & Brunch and we’d love to celebrate International Women’s Day with you!
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