Top 10 Tomatoes Currently On Country Radio
As you may have heard, recently country music was enveloped in a firestorm after a radio consultant named Keith Hill said that women were the tomatoes in our salad, and men were the lettuce. In other words, that country radio should play less women, not more. Many artists and fans have come out against Keith and the radio establishment, complaining of sexism and in turn encouraging female solidarity. While hopefully this controversy will see more women being played on the airwaves, here’s a rundown of the top 10 ‘tomatoes’ who have made headway on the charts in the past couple of months, if only a little.
- Ashley Monroe ‘On To Something Good’
Traditional-leaning critics’ darling Ashley Monroe returned recently with ‘On To Something Good’, the lead single from her anticipated third album ‘The Blade’, and a concentrated effort to have a radio hit. Still in Ashley’s quirky country style, it takes more of a pop turn and is perfect for summer listening, celebrating moving on from bad times and embracing the good. The song has peaked at #53 but is due to continue to rise.
- Cam ‘My Mistake’
Another new artist to grace the airwaves, California native Cam brings a west coast breeze to country radio, as the folky pop summer song ‘My Mistake’ reminds everyone that women are allowed to have drunken one night stands without regret, too (it’s not as seedy as it sounds). Fans have really taken to her sunny vibe, leading it to peak at #52 but potentially with an opportunity to climb higher.
- Kacey Musgraves ‘Biscuits’
Although ‘Biscuits’ debuted all the way back in February as the lead single from Kacey Musgraves’ highly-anticipated sophomore album ‘Pageant Material’, it’s failed to take off at radio and sports a current peak of #41. This is despite impressive sales and critical acclaim from her last record, not to mention crossover appeal, so perhaps the song’s traditional, folky leanings has held it back. It also includes the line “pissing in my yard”, which may have made some radio stations hesitant to play the track about minding your own business and doing your own thing.
- Jana Kramer ‘I Got The Boy’
After ‘Love’ failed to chart beyond the top 60, Jana continued her sophomore comeback with new single ‘I Got The Boy’. With overwhelming reaction from fans for being a ballad sadly remembering a high school sweetheart who got away, and her best response from critics to date, buzz has managed to lift it to a top 40 peak. It’s been there for a few months, but hopefully will see renewed interest now.
- Mickey Guyton ‘Better Than You Left Me’
As possibly the most successful black woman in the format ever, or at least for a very long time, Mickey Guyton has broken boundaries from the beginning. Her debut single ‘Better Than You Left Me’ broke the record for number of first week radio adds for a debut artist, and although the song’s rise has been slow since then, critical buzz and enthusiastic fan reaction has pushed it to #35 so far. With something of a soul vibe, the empowering track remembers how an ex-boyfriend devastated her, but now he’s come back around she’s in such a better place and can easily reject him.
- Reba ‘Going Out Like That’
Reba McEntire was back in 2015 with a new label (Nash Icon) and a new single (‘Going Out Like That’). Shortening her public moniker to her first name only, Reba promised to storm up the charts and remind us all why she’s Queen. The track was not her best material, being decidedly modern and something of a party track, but even that hasn’t been enough to lift it into the top 30 (it currently sits on the cusp).
- Maddie & Tae ‘Fly’
After reaching #1 with their bro-country kiss-off debut single ‘Girl In A Country Song’ last year, the young female duo Maddie & Tae have released their second single ‘Fly’. A sweet country pop song about finding the strength and courage to achieve your dreams despite setbacks, it has received positive reaction from their young female fans, giving them a peak inside the top 30 and still rising.
- Miranda Lambert ‘Little Red Wagon’
Miranda Lambert has had an odd year. Her most recent album ‘Platinum’ has already won a few awards and has sold well as she stands at the peak of her commercial career. And yet her singles haven’t done very well, and her label has floundered on choosing the right songs to release. ‘Automatic’ reached #3 in Spring 2014, but her duet with Carrie Underwood on ‘Somethin’ Bad’ only made top 20, and they almost released ‘Smokin’ And Drinkin’’ (a duet with Little Big Town) before making a U-Turn and sending sassy, rockabilly number ‘Little Red Wagon’ to radio in January. However, the song has been pretty polarizing, with some fans falling in love with it and others vehemently against it, and the track eventually peaked at #16.
- Kelsea Ballerini ‘Love Me Like You Mean It’
Kelsea Ballerini has been something of a break-out star. Her Taylor Swift-esque appeal in her youth-driven songs about boys set to a poppy, almost R&B country style, has enabled her debut single ‘Love Me Like You Mean It’ to slowly climb the charts. It’s currently peaking at #8 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, although it’s managed to crack the top 5 at Mediabase and is still rising. Could it reach #1?
- Carrie Underwood ‘Little Toy Guns’
Carrie Underwood finds herself at the top of this list for being the highest charting female of the whole lot with their current single. ‘Little Toy Guns’, a big, dramatic track about a kid wishing his parents were fighting with little toy guns instead of angry words, has peaked at #5 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. It’s still rising, so hopefully Carrie will be able to push it to #1, especially since a solo female hasn’t had a #1 on radio since Carrie herself took ‘Blown Away’ to the top spot in November 2012. Yes, it’s been two and a half years.