HomeEntertainmentMusic2020 CMT Music Awards: Why Is Jennifer Nettles Receiving the Inaugural ‘Equal Play Award’?

2020 CMT Music Awards: Why Is Jennifer Nettles Receiving the Inaugural ‘Equal Play Award’?

by Jennifer Shea
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Grammy-winning singer and producer Jennifer Nettles will become the first woman to receive the CMT Music Awards Equal Play Award this Wednesday evening.

Nettles got the award for her outspokenness and advocacy for women in country music, the network said, according to Variety.

Nettles on Radio Play

On its website, CMT said Nettles has worked to get more female voices played on country music radio stations. Her goal is to see the day when men and women are balanced equally in radio play. 

“As a proud part of the beautiful legacy of women in country music, I am honored to be the first recipient of the award,” Nettles said in a statement. “I look forward to celebrating the contributions of women, and all marginalized communities within the country music format.

“I am motivated in encouraging the non-artists, executives and investors in the industry, to do the same. There is much work still to be done.”

Nettles also pushed out a promotion for the awards on her Twitter account. “Tune in Wednesday at 8/7c @CMT,” she tweeted.

Nettles has spoken out about the effects of less frequent radio play. A study released in February found that in 2019, women made up just 10% of country radio spins. 

“There is a systemic bias that has happened,” Nettles told “Today With Hoda and Jenna” this March. “Where adages like ‘Oh, women don’t want to hear other women’ have actually turned into business policies of ‘We don’t play two women back to back on country radio.’

“So the ecosystem has now been made so toxic. These artists, women artists don’t get the support on radio, then they don’t get the support on tour… it’s a cycle, a really vicious cycle.”

Fashion Statement

Nettles also attended the Country Music Association Awards last November.

The artist was clad in a white suit with a pink train that read, “Play our f—-n records, please and thank you” and “Equal play,” Yahoo! Entertainment reported.

The Sugarland singer is also active in several charities. Further, Nettles works with 4-H and Outnumber Hunger. She said she grew up learning the importance of giving back.