Women Fill Entire Categories in Country and Rock as Grammys Reset the Scales for Gender-Imbalanced Genres

For once, the country music patriarchy is riding shotgun.

Country may be renowned as a genre where the women do not always get a fair shake, but you would not guess that from how the nominations for the 2021 Grammys shook out. Female solo artists or bands with women as primary lead singers accounted for all five of the nominations in the best country album category. Moreover, female-fronted material was awarded four out of five slots in two other categories, best country song and best country solo performance. That 80-to-100% imbalance is, of course, pretty much the exact inverse of what a fan of the music will hear on the airwaves.

If the Grammys were making a statement, the Recording Academy wasn’t just making it in country. There was a similar readjusting of the scales happening in some of the rock categories. For best rock performance, all six nominees are women or have a female lead singer. Best rock song and best alternative album are also female-dominated, with women commanding three out of five slots in those two divisions.


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