Jennifer Nettles will receive the first-ever CMT Equal Play Award.
During tonight’s CMT Music Awards, the Sugarland singer will be recognized for her ongoing fight for equality on country radio.
“Jennifer Nettles is that rare artist who speaks her truth, calling out injustice wherever she sees it,” says CMT senior vice president Leslie Fram. “Her commitment to equal female representation across the board in the music industry embodies the spirit of our Equal Play Initiative and makes her the perfect recipient of the inaugural CMT Equal Play Award.”
Nettles has never held back in standing up for fellow female country singers. At last year’s CMA Awards, she made a bold fashion move to push for equality in a white Christian Siriano pantsuit featuring the words “Equal Play.”
The head-turning look also featured a hot-pink train displaying a female Venus symbol and “Play Our F*@#iN Records Please & Thank You” written across it.
“As a proud part of the beautiful legacy of women in country music, I am honoured to be the first recipient of the CMT Equal Play Award,” Nettles tells CMT. “I look forward to celebrating the contributions of women, and all marginalized communities, within the country music format, and I am motivated in encouraging the non-artists, executives and investors in the industry, to do the same.
She adds: “There is much work still to be done.”
Back in January, CMT joined the fight for equality by announcing all of its music video programming will consist of at least 50-per-cent female artists.
“Time is really up in 2020! All the talk around what can be done to support females in country music needs to transform into action, once and for all,” said Fram.
Effective immediately all music video hours on CMT and CMT Music channels will have complete parity between male and female artists. That means 50/50. #CMTEqualPlay
— CMT (@CMT) January 21, 2020
This year’s awards are also celebrating artists who collaborated in a country crossover, awarding first-time CMT nominations to Halsey, Marshmello and Gwen Stefani.
The 2020 CMT Music Awards air Wednesday, Oct. 21.
See the full list of performers and presenters below.