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Shania Twain calls for more inclusivity in country music at 2023 CMT Music Awards

Written by on April 3, 2023

Shania Twain called for the country music business to become more inclusive during an appearance at the 2023 CMT Music Awards on Sunday.

While accepting the Equal Play Award at the ceremony in Austin, Texas, the Canadian superstar took the opportunity to urge industry leaders to spotlight diverse and underrepresented artists.

Referring to her 1997 hit track Man! I Feel Like a Woman, Shania noted that she “had no idea at the time that it would become an undercurrent of a decades-long career”.

“It’s amazing how just one statement can empower so many. And Man! I Feel Like a Woman has been adopted by an array of fantastic communities all around the world and become such a genuine path of power for women in country music, which brings me so much joy,” she said. “Thank you to CMT for pushing the Equal Play agenda and always supporting me.”

Shania went on to insist that she believes there is a future where “all-inclusive country music” is a reality and promised to “champion the many outstanding country artists that are not currently played, streamed, toured or awarded at the level they deserve”.

“This is a genre of music with a rich history that raised and nurtured my own songwriting and performance and recording career from childhood. Currently, the industry standard does a real disservice to this,” the 57-year-old continued, before praising the likes of Lindsay Ell and Mickey Guyton. “My hope is this opportunity and spotlight impresses you much and lights up the careers of these very talented people on their journey. I will continue to do my best as a trailblazer. Together, let’s ensure all our fellow artists get equal play regardless of gender, age or race.”

Previous recipients of the Equal Play Award include Jennifer Nettles and Linda Martell.

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