It’s been a tough several years for females trying to break into country music. Throughout 2016, though, newcomers like Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini and Cam have seen success with No. 1 singles, GRAMMY nominations and headlining tours of their own. The year also included numerous duets that put many women on the map and the airwaves, so much so that we’re certain 2017 will allow the women to take over the genre. Below are our top five indications why 2017 will be the year of the female.
1. Maren Morris: Barrier Breaker
Maren Morris closed 2016 with several television performances, including a spot on Saturday Night Live, the announcement of her first-ever headlining tour and four GRAMMY nominations — making her the most nominated act in the country genre. Suffice it to say, 2017 will be a very good year for the singer/songwriter and Morris taking the reins is allowing for other females to break down the barrier as well.
2. Women Road Warriors
The aforementioned Morris will kick off her Hero Tour in February but she is far from the only female act on the road. Miranda Lambert previously announced her Highway Vagabond Tour with Aubrie Sellers while Martina McBride will take along special guest Lauren Alaina for her Love Unleashed Tour. Additionally, the men are bringing the female star power along with them as Brad Paisley personally requested guitar slinger Lindsay Ell to join his 2017 tour while RaeLynn will assist Blake Shelton on the road.
3. GRAMMYs Highlight Female Talent
Females lead the country categories at the 59th annual GRAMMY Awards. Brandy Clark, Loretta Lynn and Maren Morris are nominated for Best Country Album along with Sturgill Simpson and Keith Urban while four of the five artists nominated for Best Country Solo Performance are women including Clark, Morris, Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood. Additionally, the all-genre Best New Artist category sees Ballerini and Morris representing the country genre.
4. Increase of Female Voices On Radio
This year saw Kelsea Ballerini achieving her second and third consecutive No. 1 single with “Dibs” and “Peter Pan” respectfully. As 2017 draws near, Ballerini could soon notch her fourth career No. 1 with “Yeah Boy” from her debut album, The First Time. An impressive feat, she is just one artist giving more female perspective on radio. Acts like Lauren Alaina and her empowering new single “Road Less Traveled” as well as RaeLynn’s “Love Triangle” offer a female point of view and heartfelt lyrics that radio’s been missing as of late. Add Morris, Runaway June, Mickey Guyton, Cassadee Pope, Carly Pearce, Underwood and Lambert to the mix and 2017 is shaping up to be one of much promise.
5. Resurgence of Legendary Lady Acts
Dolly Parton toured the globe with her 2016 Pure & Simple Tour and Reba McEntire hit Vegas with her residency with Brooks & Dunn, which extends into 2017. Meanwhile, Shania Twain has been hinting at a new album for quite some time now and we’re thinking 2017 is finally the year. Also, Faith Hill will be back on the road with the Soul2Soul The World Tour 2017 with husband Tim McGraw. This marks Hill’s first tour in a decade and country fans couldn’t be more excited to see her back in the spotlight. Trisha Yearwood continues another year hitting the pavement with her husband, Garth Brooks, while Loretta Lynn will also tour through mid-2017.
As 2016 comes to a close, we’re ready for 2017 to bring on the ladies!