Reba McEntire Speaks Out Against ‘Bro Trend’ in Country Music in 2019 Interview

by Jennifer Shea

Country music experienced a “bro trend” in recent years, country superstar Reba McEntire said, and it represented a break from traditional country music.

In a PBS News Hour interview in 2019, McEntire spoke out against what she saw as male chauvinism in the country music industry. It all started when the Academy of Country Music nominees for Entertainer of the Year were all men, for the second year in a row.

“Disappointing,” McEntire told PBS. “Didn’t surprise me. But when anything like that happens, I just know us gals, we gotta work harder, and support each other. We gotta get in there next year. It’s gotta change.”

Reba McEntire Speaks Out Against ‘The Bro Culture’

In the interview, McEntire seemed to attribute the dearth of female nominees to what she called “the bro culture.”

“It’s the bro trend,” she told PBS. “You know, ‘Hey bro, let’s go down to the river and catch some fish.’ And everybody’s ‘good ol’ boys’ and that’s the ‘bro music.’ I think it’s kind of going away from that a little bit [now]. I would really like it to get back to the real strong country. The country of Merle Haggard, Conway Twitty, Ronnie Milsap, Mel Tillis. I miss that kind of country.”

McEntire expanded on that sentiment in a chat with Newsday that April. She said she was optimistic that “the girls” were ascendant, despite their setbacks that year. The bro trend will pass, she implied.

“It’s all cyclical,” McEntire told Newsday. “Sometimes country’s more traditional, sometimes more contemporary. Sometimes they’re playing more men, sometimes more women.”

 Newsday suggested that male dominance of country music awards was because men had been driving ticket sales in recent years. However, it did not offer any evidence to back that up.

McEntire Airs Concert Special, Chats With Fans

Tomorrow, McEntire is streaming a concert special on YouTube. The special, “All the Women I Am,” airs at 7:30 p.m. CST.

It will feature a concert that McEntire performed live at the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana back in 2011. The concert was part of the country singer’s 20th arena tour.

“2011 was the last time we got to go out and play a big arena tour, and I’m so glad we captured this show on film,” McEntire said. “I know it’s not the same as being there in person, but I hope this gives my fans something to enjoy until we can get back out there on the road safely.”

When the concert special premieres, McEntire will also participate in a live chat with fans on her YouTube channel.

McEntire has twice before used YouTube to stream concert specials for her fans since the coronavirus pandemic hit. It’s a nice reminder of what awaits country music fans on the other side of the pandemic.

Watch the full PBS interview here: