Jennifer Nettles calls out country music radio with resolute CMA Awards red carpet look

USA Today Entertainment 3 weeks ago

Jennifer Nettles made more than a fashion statement on the CMA Awards red carpet Wednesday night in Nashville.

The Sugarland star wore a white suit with a pink cape designed by Christian Siriano emblazoned with a feminist message: 

"Play our f*@#!n records, please & thank you."

On the back, it read, "Equal play."

The art featured on the suit is by artist Alice Mizrachi, Nettles said.

On the red carpet, Nettles said her choice of outfit was inspired by the opportunity to take the conversation about women in country music "beyond the applause" and toward real change.

"People do want to hear women's stories," Nettles said. "It's a fallacy to say that they're going to turn the channel."

The unequal treatment of women in country is a long-standing, much discussed issue, with radio play often cited as the primary concern.

Nettles would like to see women represented equally on country radio and in playlists.

"Just play it. It's that simple," she said.

This year, a trio of women are hosting the CMA Awards: Carrie Underwood, Reba McEntire and Dolly Parton. 

The show is slated to open with a performance of 14 women, including Nettles. 

Maren Morris has the most nominations with six, and for the first time, a woman is nominated for musician of the year (Jenee Fleenor).

Yet only one woman is nominated for Entertainer of the Year (Underwood), and a woman hasn't won the award since 2011 when Taylor Swift took it home.

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