After being in the country music industry for nearly four decades, Shania Twain has some thoughts about how the genre has evolved over the years.
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While speaking to CNBC recently, Twain stated that country music has regressed for female artists. “The music industry going back 20 years ago, 30 years ago, was primarily more dominated by men,” the singer and songwriter explained. “You know, male executives, most of the studio musicians were men, most of the managers were men, it was just more male-dominated in every sense. So being taken seriously as a woman was a challenge.”
Shania Twain then recalled how she had to brace herself when entering rooms with her female manager during the early stages of her career. She said she experienced sexism as well as other challenges that male artists weren’t coming up against. The country music hitmaker further revealed she ended up dealing with criticism over her creative decisions and being “too sexy.”
“Those were all challenges in my way,” she continued. “But I just, you know, I persevered, and I had to be relentless.”
Shania Twain also shared that as she continued her career, she could see some progress. “First of all the genre and my fans, my music was appealing to a very broad audience, very open-minded fans. They were embracing my way of making my music and my way of visualizing my music through photography and videos.”
Shania Twain Said Country Music Has Regressed and Finds It More Difficult For Women to Find Space in the Genre
However, as she noticed progression, Shania Twain said that in recent years, she has seen country music regress when it came to women in the genre. “I find it’s more difficult for women to find space, to find room,” Twain stated. “It’s sad to see it but it’s very true.”
The country music star said that fewer new female artists are emerging in country music. She pointed out charts are typically dominated by men. Sometimes women manage to get on the charts, but through collaborations with men. “So that is definitely not, you know, an even playing ground,” she declared. “Nowhere near it.”
As Twain points out the obstacles female country music artists experience, she admitted she doesn’t know the reason behind the challenges. “There is no real reason that’s for sure, there’s no legitimate reason. I can’t really put my finger on why they’re making it so difficult for women, or you know why they’re not giving them that space. They’re certainly good enough, it’s just not an even playing ground right now.”
In regards to the best thing about her music career, Shania Twain added that it’s telling her story about personal and career growth. “It’s always been very important for me to self-express, and since I’m a woman a lot of my perspectives do come directly from a female perspective.”