On Monday, March 28, Nashville’s all-female, singer-songwriter collective, Song Suffragettes, will celebrate its 8th anniversary with two performance rounds featuring 11 singer-songwriters as well as performances by country superstar Kelsea Ballerini, who will be presented with the Song Suffragettes’ “Yellow Rose of Inspiration Award” for her contributions to the songwriting community. Tickets to the show at Nashville’s The Listening Room Café are on sale now at the Café’s website; the show will also stream live on the Song Suffragettes YouTube channel.
Hit songwriter, and frequent Ballerini collaborator, Nicolle Galyon, will interview the “Yellow Rose” honoree, and discuss many of the songs that have inspired the nearly 350 women who have performed on the Song Suffragettes stage through the years. Ballerini is only the fourth woman to receive this honor after esteemed songwriter/publisher Liz Rose (2019), hitmaker Laura Veltz (2020) and singer-songwriter extraordinaire Ashley McBryde (2021).
From her wildly popular albums The First Time, Unapologetically, kelsea and ballerini, Ballerini has achieved 25 RIAA certifications and seven #1 singles including “Miss Me More,” “Peter Pan,” “hole in the bottle,” and “half of my hometown” which recently hit #1. An accomplished songwriter, a Grand Ole Opry member and a CMA and ACM award winner, Ballerini will also co-host the upcoming CMT MUSIC AWARDS, as well as perform.
Sharing the Song Suffragettes stage with Ballerini on March 28, the first songwriter round will feature TMWK Records artist Kalie Shorr hosting a performance round featuring Ava Suppelsa, Autumn Nicholas, Ava Paige and first-time Song Suffragette and Republic Records recording artist Lanie Gardner.
The second songwriter round of the evening will be hosted by Song Suffragettes alumna Lauren Hungate and feature singer-songwriters Caroline Watkins, Emily Brooke, first-time performer Peytan Porter and BMG recording artist Madeline Merlo. Both rounds will feature Song Suffragettes’ long-time resident cajon player and musical savant Mia Morris who will be playing her 144th show that night and performing two of her own originally penned songs.
Song Suffragettes was founded in 2014 to create a community of like-minded female singer-songwriters whose talent would shed more light on the systemic music industry disparities faced by female creatives. Unfortunately, despite an increase in awareness about the discriminatory behaviors in the established Nashville ecosystem, opportunities for women in music are still egregiously lacking.
Dr. Jada Watson, professor at the University of Ottawa and principal researcher, SongData, indicates that of all the songs played on country radio by female artists in 2021, songs by women received just 14% of the annual airplay – 0.02% of which were spins for songs by Black women. Just 18 (13.4%) of the 134 songs that charted in 2021 were by women, 6 of which reached the top 10 (4.5%), and 4 of which topped the chart (3%). Women are also underrepresented as songwriters on charting songs, with just 3 (2.3%) written solely by women in 2021 versus 93 songs by men-only writing collabs. This type of programming does not just influence how labels sign, promote and support artists, as Dr. Watson reflects, but these figures show that it impacts the entire ecosystem, perpetuating and reinforcing racial and gender inequities within country music. Visit SongData.ca to access past reports on representation in the country music industry.
Notwithstanding the existing inequalities, many Song Suffragettes alumnae have gone on to successful careers including Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce (“Every Little Thing”), Lainey Wilson (“Things A Man Oughta Know”), Tenille Arts (“Somebody Like That”) and GAYLE (“abcdefu”). In fact, of the heavily curated singer-songwriters who have played the show, 25 have gone on to receive recording contracts and more than 50 have landed music publishing deals.
For more information, visit SongSuffragettes.com and follow @SongSuffragettes on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and TikTok.
About Song Suffragettes
Song Suffragettes is a collective of female singer-songwriters that performs every Monday night at The Listening Room Café in Nashville, Tenn. In almost seven years, Song Suffragettes has showcased over 300 talented women out of over 1,900 who have submitted to play the show. With weekly sell-outs and a mantra of #LetTheGirlsPlay, Song Suffragettes vocally combats wide-spread discrimination against women in the music industry by giving female talent a place to play, grow and evolve with fellow creatives. Since its inception, 25 Song Suffragettes women have gone on to receive record deals and over 50 have landed music publishing deals. With over 4.3 million views on their YouTube channel, Song Suffragettes was named by Billboard magazine as one of “Next-Gen Nashville: 16 People, Places and Things Shaking Up Music City”. In August of 2020, Song Suffragettes partnered with the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission – funded by U.S Congress – to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment with special shows featuring Maddie & Tae, Lindsay Ell, Runaway June and Ashley McBryde. Featured in Forbes, ELLE, USA Today, Washington Post, Grammy.com, Boston Globe and on PBS NewsHour and NPR, Song Suffragettes continues to fight for female talent to be heard throughout the country and beyond. SongSuffragettes.com
About Kelsea Ballerini
Kelsea Ballerini has consistently made history. With the release of her debut album The First Time (Black River), she became “the only female country artist to hit #1 with her first three consecutive singles from a debut album.” She has logged four back-to-back Top 10 entries on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, including the platinum-selling The First Time , gold-selling Unapologetically , gold-selling kelsea , and ballerini . With 25 certifications from the RIAA to date, her catalog boasts a string of essential smashes such as the double-platinum “Miss Me More,” “Peter Pan,” the recently certified platinum “hole in the bottle” with Shania Twain and “half of my hometown” feat. Kenny Chesney, which marked Kelsea’s seventh #1. Among dozens of accolades thus far, she has garnered two GRAMMY® Award nominations, won two ACM Awards, two CMA Awards, and has received multiple career nominations from the ACM Awards, American Music Awards, CMA Awards, CMT Awards and People’s Choice Awards. Most recently, Kelsea earned nomination for “Music Event of the Year” for the 2022 ACM Awards as both artist and producer of “half of my hometown” feat. Kenny Chesney. This marks Kelsea’s first ACM nomination as a producer. She concluded 2021 as the “#3 most-played female artist on country radio” and CMT “Artist of the Year” in addition to picking up “Musical Event of the Year” and “Video of the Year” at the CMA Awards for the gold-certified “half of my hometown” with Kenny Chesney. Expanding her sphere of influence, she released her first original book of poetry Feel Your Way Through, and Dolly Parton tapped her to star in the audiobook of Run, Rose, Run. It’s no wonder NPR proclaimed, “Kelsea Ballerini is definitely one of the most influential women in country right now… she’s defining the sound of the genre.” She also was inducted as a member of the famed Grand Ole Opry in 2019. At the time, she notably was the Opry’s youngest member, in its nearly 100-year history, since being founded in 1925. Kelsea Ballerini is ready to continue making history in 2022 and beyond.
About The LSS Group
Guided by three women with almost 100 years of collective experience in financial services, The LSS Group serves the wealth management needs of business owners, real estate investors, C-Suite executives and family offices, as well as the unique requirements of those in the entertainment industry. The Group has organized its practice to harness synergies and leverage the global resources of RBC Wealth Management. Their strategic partnership, where investment advice and service are paramount, is based on a foundation of quality, integrity, transparency, and collaboration. In addition, The LSS Group is the first-ever presenting sponsor of Nashville’s esteemed all-female, singer-songwriter collective Song Suffragettes.