Keith Urban performs “Female” on the 51st annual CMA Awards on the Bridgestone Arena. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
On Wednesday, Keith Urban launched a track known as “Female,” a ballad about respecting girls that was impressed by the current flood of badual badault and harbadment allegations that began with Harvey Weinstein.
It was an uncommon transfer, partly as a result of nation music is sort of by no means this well timed — in Nashville, songs can take years to get from the songwriters to artists. But “Female,” written by established hitmakers Shane McAnally, Nicolle Galyon and Ross Copperman, was penned shortly after the explosive New York Times story that detailed the accusations towards the famed Hollywood producer. Urban stated he heard it the subsequent day and it was “instant love.”
[CMA Awards: Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood make fun of President Trump in monologue]
After “Female” was launched, there was a sharply divided response on social media. Some individuals, particularly these within the nation business, cherished it and known as it “a game changer” and “bold.” Other takes ranged from “mansplaining” to “atrocious” — significantly regarding the refrain, which ticks off descriptions of girls (“Sister, shoulder, daughter, lover … secret keeper, fortune teller, Virgin Mary, scarlet letter.”) Very completely different reactions continued into Wednesday night time, when Urban carried out it through the Country Music Association Awards.
Still, regardless of how you are feeling in regards to the ballad, it’s an essential track to have in nation music proper now from one of many greatest stars within the style.
First, it’s more and more uncommon for nation stars to be outspoken about scorching button points. Artists have shied away from something controversial on this previous 12 months’s political local weather, for concern of alienating followers or seeing backlash. And though Urban didn’t write the track, he made this monitor a precedence — he stopped work on his new album to file it. As an influential Nashville determine, Urban has the facility to encourage different artists to file songs with a message.
“When somebody laughs and implies that she asked for it, just cause she was wearing a skirt,” Urban sings through the second verse, “Is that how that works?”
Plus, one of many greatest points in nation music over the previous couple of years is the dearth of illustration for girls, significantly on the radio — there are presently simply 5 feminine singers on the Top 50 nation songs chart. While the subject might have made nationwide information in 2015 when a radio advisor suggested nation stations to “take the females out” for greater rankings, girls in Nashville have ceaselessly mentioned the challenges they face in a male-dominated business.
A couple of recent singers, equivalent to Kelsea Ballerini and Maren Morris, have been capable of escape on nation radio, an awfully tough activity for any artist. But given that almost all of hits are from a male perspective, it’s merely refreshing to have a track — and “Female” already acquired some radio play on Wednesday — that makes an attempt to supply a distinct perspective.
“When you hear somebody say somebody hits like a girl, how does that hit you? Is that such a bad thing?” Urban wonders within the first verse. “When you hear a song that they play saying you run the world, do you believe it? Will you live to see it?”
Urban’s spouse, Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman, has labored with Weinstein on a number of films. When the allegations about Weinstein began, she launched a press release that applauded “women who speak out against any abuse and misuse of power.” Kidman was in a foreign country on Wednesday, so didn’t attend the CMA Awards — Urban instructed Billboard that he was additionally affected by the track’s message as a result of, “as a husband and a father of two young girls, it affects me in a lot of ways.”
Copperman, one of many songwriters, stated the thought for “Female” originated whereas he and his co-writers had been studying the information in regards to the Weinstein scandal.
“We’re in a room and we’re like, ‘What can we do about this?’” Copperman stated, in line with the Los Angeles Times. “And that’s the one thing we can do is write songs.”
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