Kacey Musgraves & Those Archaic Deficits

Kacey Musgraves has never really been one to sugarcoat things. So if you ask her what’s the hardest part about being a woman in music, she will give you the straight-up, honest-to-God truth. And it’s that there isn’t much equality between male and female artists.

When People asked Musgraves about it, this is what she said is the hardest part(s): “Unequal pay, unequal festival billing, unequal radio play. Having to work that much harder to overcome all of those unfortunate and archaic deficits.”

And overcome, she has. Musgraves is nominated four Grammy awards this year, which means that she could go home with trophies for album of the year and best country album for Golden Hour, best country solo performance for “Butterflies” and best country song for “Space Cowboy.” Golden Hour also won the CMA Award for album of the year in late 2018.

All of that without any consistent support from country radio.

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About a year ago, when Musgraves was on the verge of releasing Golden Hour, she’d told me that she intended to make it an album about all the ways you can love and all the ways you can live in a relationship. “I wanted it to be a well-rounded album,” she’d said. “So it’s just songs about life through my lens, I guess.”

It’s also her most personal album she’s ever made. “Also — so much great music was released this year. I really believe that art is thriving. Being nominated alongside great albums that garner way larger sales numbers and radio play is extra special for me.

“It lets me know that hard work does pay off, and also that people just want to connect to music that makes them feel something regardless of what genre it’s labeled under.”

She also had some advice for her younger self. “Stop. Tweezing. Your. Eyebrows,” she said, probably as a joke but also very sage advice.

The 61st Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from Los Angeles on Sunday (Feb. 10) at 7 p.m. CT on CBS.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She’s based in Chicago, but she’s always leaving her heart in Nashville.