If you were to come up with a list of some of the most well-known female country stars of today, names like Carrie Underwood, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini and Reba McEntire would likely come to mind.

But, none of those people have been nominated for Country Artist of the Year at the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards. In fact, no women are represented in that category at all this year. The Country Artist of the Year nominees are Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Sam Hunt, Luke Bryan and Jason Aldean.

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So when a radio station shared a poll asking fans who they thought would take home the prize in that category, country star Cam felt inclined to speak out.

Cam didn’t share her winner prediction. Instead, she re-tweeted the poll and aired her frustrations over the lack of female representation in the category, as well as the gender disparity in her chosen musical genre as a whole.

“The majority of country listeners are female (actually true) but apparently we prefer listening [to] male singers so we can ‘dream about them being [our] boyfriend’ (actually said to me),” wrote Cam, whose current single, “Diane,” is at No. 44 and rising on “Billboard’s” Country Airplay chart. “Sure hope #iHeartAwards picks the hottest one, cause that’s all my lady-brain can understand,” she added in her Feb. 20 post.

Many followers who read Cam’s sarcastic yet thought-provoking remark chimed in with their own opinions. And when one person agreed that women do, indeed, prefer to listen to men, because “they actually relate the songs and artist to their fantasy lovers, especially single, lonely and cheated-on females,” Cam retorted, “Only a dumb person buys music solely based on their sex drive.”

The “Burning House” singer, then, backed up her claim by adding, “That’s not the majority of listeners and isn’t driving sales. I’m saying female consumers are being underestimated/incorrectly blamed for the lack of female artists.”

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In hopes of furthering the dialogue, Cam continued, “It’s educating the gatekeepers about the false biases they have. Not all women listen to music the same way (duh, there are billions of us). So they should find new predictors (not just gender) for what women will buy/stream and hire more women to help with these insights.”

Of course, the iHeartRadio Music Awards isn’t the first or only awards show to favor men in the top country category. In fact, last year, only males competed for the Entertainer of the Year prize at the CMA Awards.

So, do you think women should be presented with more award opportunities in country music? We’d love to hear your thoughts. The 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards air live at 8 p.m. ET on March 11 on TBS, TNT and truTV .

Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride, Cam at the American Country Countdown Awards Photo by Vince Bucci/Invision/AP
Nashville-based writer and Rare Country contributor Melinda Lorge has always been passionate about country music. Follow her @MelindaLorge and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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