ACM Awards: Artists Draft Their Favorite Females for EOTY

All the artists at Sunday’s (April 7) ACM Awards red carpet were quick to name their favorite female artists they’d like to see win the organization’s top honor of entertainer of the year.

Backstage, Reba McEntire, who won the award in 1994, said that the 2020 show will be a different ceremony with the launch of the ACM’s new the Diversity & Inclusiveness Task Force. The initiative will examine the barriers and biases affecting women and underrepresented groups in country music.

Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne said it best on the red carpet when he said Nashville is always crawling with undiscovered talent that has yet to be heard.

“What a lot of people don’t know is that you live in Nashville,” he said, “you actually see the females that are trying to make it, and it’s even more disheartening when you see that. And some of the most incredible talent in the world actually don’t succeed in any genre, and girls have it 10 times as harder in every shape and form possible. I think it’s time to realize that we can’t do it without girls. Girls can’t do it without us. We literally need each other to make this world go round and let’s treat it that way. But I would like to see a lot more recognition not only in the entertainer of the year category but from radio, as well.”

A sea change is on the horizon with 2019’s women-led tours. The summer’s major all-genre festivals like Woodstock, Bonnaroo, Coachella and Lollapalooza have each booked female Americana and country artists including Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Margo Price and Kacey Musgraves.

Here are some of the genres’ game-changing women you must see live this year:

  • CMT Next Women of Country Tour

    Cassadee Pope, an inaugural member of the CMT Next Women of Country program, will headline the initiative’s 2019 tour starting April 11 with performances by Clare Dunn and Hannah Ellis. For the first time in the tour’s history, Pope will take it for an overseas run with five UK concerts scheduled in May.

  • Kelsea Ballerini

    Fresh off Kelly Clarkson’s Meaning of Life tour, Ballerini launches the Miss Me More tour Thursday (April 11) in Salisbury, Md. with Brett Young and special guest, Brandon Ratcliff.

  • Brandi Carlile

    Carlile’s 2019 tour to support the Grammy-winning By the Way, I Forgive You resumes tomorrow (April 12) in Dallas.

  • Jessie James Decker

    Decker’s three-month tour with the Sisterhood Band launches tomorrow (April 12) in Denver, Co. and runs through June 1 in Houston.

  • Miranda Lambert

    Lambert’s Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour returns in September with Morris, Elle King, Pistol Annies, Tenille Townes, Ashley McBryde and Caylee Hammack. The tour starts Sept. 13 in Uncasville, Conn. and wraps on Nov. 23 in Greensboro, N.C.

  • Maren Morris

    Morris’s GIRL world tour continues through November with stops in Australia, Europe and North America.

  • Kacey Musgraves

    As the Recording Academy’s reigning album of the year victor, Musgraves takes the Oh! What a World Tour to Australia and Japan in May after her Coachella performances April 12 and 19. She is the only country artist on Coachella’s all-genre lineup.

  • Margo Price

    Currently anticipating the birth of her daughter, Price will be back on the road with Chris Stapleton starting July 9 in Allentown, Pa.

  • Amanda Shires

    This human is the epitome of a rock star. Her tour supporting 2018’s To the Sunset continues through November.

  • Carrie Underwood

    Underwood’s Cry Pretty Tour 360 kicks off May 1 with Runaway June and Maddie & Tae in Greensboro, N.C. The initial North American schedule has shows running through Oct. 31 in Detroit.

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.