Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Country Radio Plays Soar For Kacey Musgraves After GRAMMY Wins
Kacey Musgraves had one heck of a night at the 61st GRAMMY Awards. Not only did Golden Hour win Best Country Album and her songs "Space Cowboy" and "Butterflies" win Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance respectively, but she took home the coveted Album Of The Year award.
And it seems like the GRAMMY effect is taking over. Billboard reports that 53 country stations have picked up Musgraves' latest single "Rainbow" after her label MCA Nashville serviced it to Country, AC, Hot AC and Triple A radio. Several country stations began adding playing the song last week, leading up to the GRAMMYs, and the song debuted No. 58 on the Country Airplay chart posted Monday.
"We decided on the single and the timing based on what we felt would be a great moment on the awards show. We asked all of our programmers to tune in and watch, but also asked them to spend time with the song," Executive VP Of Promotion at Universal Music Group Royce Risser told Billboard. "There were some key folks out there that were very strong advocates and very vocal about Kacey’s importance at radio. That certainly helped our efforts.”
With such wins, in and out of country category, which Musgraves dominated, taking home four golden gramophones, it is no surprise that country radio is proudly blasting her, but it is because country radio hasn't played much of her music at all in the past. Many of her singles from her past albums stayed in the 20s, 30s and 40s on the charts. Musgraves has been open about the struggle she has faced with country radio.
"I love country music; it has my heart. If radio wants to play [my music,] of course, that will make me happy," she told Refinery29 in 2018. "But getting anyone to like or to play the music will never affect the way that it comes out. It will be what it will be, and I have to have hope that this music will spread by word of mouth because people connect to it. That is more powerful than any radio signal, really."
But more airtime for Musgraves goes beyond the artist. Her win is also a major statement for women in country radio who have faced a lack of representation on country radio, which Carrie Underwood and other female country artists have been outspoken about.
But some feel the GRAMMY attention has been the right time to play Musgraves on the radio.
"It felt like the time was right to put it on the radio and see what we got," Program Director of Chicago's Big 95.5 Lance Houston told Billboard. "I thought it was a great song and I know Kacey hasn't had a ton of success at country radio for a variety of reasons, but at the end of the day a good song is a good song and deserves to be played, and I think that's where this falls."