Luke Bryan Hopes to ‘Make Good on All the Talk’ of Supporting Female Country Artists
As an A-list artist, Luke Bryan plays to an enormous fanbase, leading tours and performances that his audiences quickly sell out. That platform comes with a lot of power, and backstage before his headlining Nissan Stadium performance on the final night of the 2019 CMA Fest, the singer reflected on how he and megastars like him can help address the bias female artists face as they work to grow their careers in the music industry.
"It's obviously being talked about. I think that's rule No. 1: Get people talking about it," Bryan explains. "So with me, it's something that we've talked about, when we go to book Crash My Playas and Farm Tours and stuff."
It's not lost on Bryan that his current 2019 Sunset Repeat Tour features an all-male lineup. "I know I'm kind of an offender this year, because I have Cole [Swindell] and Jon Langston [out on the road.] I don't have any girls this year," he continues.
Recent Crash My Playa and Farm Tour years have been male-dominated too, with Lauren Alaina as the sole female artist listed on 2019's Crash My Playa bill, and an entirely male lineup for 2018's Farm Tour. Supporting acts for this year's Farm Tour hasn't been announced yet, nor has the full 2020 Crash My Playa bill, but Bryan has shared that one of the event's co-headliners will be Jason Aldean.
In 2019, the conversation surrounding equal opportunities for women on tour as well as on the radio has only gotten louder. Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Maren Morris and Kelly Clarkson have all recently helmed all-female tours.
Some of the genre's biggest male stars have featured women in their tour lineups, too. Keith Urban tapped Kelsea Ballerini to join his Graffiti U World Tour in 2018, Dierks Bentley partnered with rising artist Tenille Townes on the 2019 Burning Man Tour, Aldean brought Carly Pearce to his 2019 Ride All Night Tour, and Eric Church carved out time in every stop on his Double Down Tour to highlight backup singer-turned-duet partner Joanna Cotten.
Although Bryan's lineups feature fewer women than some of his peers, the singer says that he pays attention the issue of inequality at radio and on the road. "It's definitely a conversation that we do always [have], and even going forward. We're always making sure that we're doing our, I guess, due diligence ... and not missing out on a talented woman out there, a talented young lady that's up and coming," he goes on to say.
Conversation is an important first step, but that's no substitute for taking action. "Obviously, a lot of people are talking about it, and it's up for talks. But you gotta make good on all the talk, too," Bryan adds.
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