Kelsea Ballerini Shares Disappointment After Country Radio Station Admits They ‘Cannot Play Two Females Back To Back’

Kelsea Ballerini is taking a stand for herself and her peers after a country radio station admitted programmers at the…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

January 16, 2020


9:59 am

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Kelsea Ballerini; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Kelsea Ballerini is taking a stand for herself and her peers after a country radio station admitted programmers at the station aren’t allowed to play two females back to back on the air.

The superstar took to Twitter to share her thoughts after Chris Willman, a features editor at Variety, took to the social media platform to share his thoughts after hearing two women played back to back on the radio in Los Angeles.

“I turned on the 105.1 country station in L.A. just now, and they were playing the new song by Gabby Barrett, and then, without any pause or interruption at all, they went into a Kelsea Ballerini song,” he wrote. “Can’t they get fined for that?”

98 KCQ, a radio station located in Saginaw, Michigan, chimed in with a Tweet that caught the attention of Ballerini and hundreds of country music fans.

“We cannot play two females back to back,” the station wrote. “Not even Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town against another female. I applaud their courage.”

The “Homecoming Queen” singer quoted the station’s tweet and shared her thoughts on the disheartening statement.

“To all the ladies that bust their asses to have half the opportunities that men do, I’m really sorry that in 2020, after YEARS of conversation of equal play, there are still some companies that make their stations play by these rules,” she wrote. “It’s unfair and it’s incredibly disappointing.”

Ballerini went on to stand up for her fellow female country artists, writing, “ALEXA PLAY LBT LADY A CARRIE MIRANDA KACEY CARLY GABBY MAREN INGRID RUNAWAY JUNE M&T LAUREN. ALL IN A ROW.”

After a fan pointed out that she forgot herself, she added, “AND ALSO ME. hahaha.”


Tweets to 98 KCQ poured in, with many fans sharing their disappointment over the situation. When a fan directly asked the station why they couldn’t play country females back to back, they replied, “It’s really hard to pinpoint. A numbers game in the library of music. The number of songs by males outnumber females (that’s the total library, new music and gold). But manually adding Taylor, Maren Morris, and Kelsea is happening. I did not say we are not ADDING female songs.”


The radio station’s Tweet is taking off and many other female artists are chiming in with their thoughts.

Always one to speak her mind, Kacey Musgraves held nothing back in her response to the situation. “Smells like white male bullshit and why LONG ago I decided they cannot stop me. ✌?,” she wrote. “And yet, they can play 18 dudes who sound exactly the same back to back. Makes total sense.”

Mickey Guyton, who recently released a female empowerment anthem called “Sister,” voiced her opinion on Instagram, writing, “We cannot sit idly and do nothing. If we do then we are part of the problem. This is actually gender discrimination. Any other work place this would be an HR issue. Please stand with us and fight for us.”

Artists such as Caylee Hammack, Karen Fairchild, Kassi Ashton, Cassdee Pope, Lindsay Ell and Kelleigh Bannen responded to Ballerini’s Instagram post about the issue, each applauding her for taking a stance and sharing their thoughts on the issue. Fans can read more HERE.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.