It's no secret in Nashville that male artists have been
overshadowing their female counterparts for a while now. No female act has reached the top of the charts since Terri Clark did it in January, 2003, and this week's Radio and Records Top 50 only contains singles from 11 females.
But there is hope for a little more equality. A stellar new group of
female artists is hitting mainstream radio. Michelle Poe, Jessi Alexander, Rachel Proctor, Julie Roberts, and Amy Dalley are having some early success. However, no female artist has made a
bigger splash than Gretchen Wilson, who is releasing her debut album with Sony's Epic Records this summer.
"The hottest new artist to hit country music in a long time is about
to break records on the country radio charts, and I wanted to give you a heads up,'' publicist Anita Mandell of Sony told me last week about Wilson.
The next day, Wilson's debut single, "Redneck Woman," charted at #37 on Radio and Records. This week, the single jumped to #30 and was added by more radio stations than any other single. Her video, which features cameo appearances from Kid Rock and
Tanya Tucker, will appear on CMT for the first time tomorrow night.
It's hard to believe it could get much better for Kenny Chesney, but
he kicked off his Guitars, Tiki Bars & A Whole Lotta Love tour at Houston's annual Livestock Show & Rodeo, and he attracted 70,668 fans.
At long last, Joe Nichols is ready to release his second album.
"Revelation" will be Nichols' followup to his smash debut, "Man With A Memory." It will be in stores on June 29. His first single off the album, "If Nobody Believed In You," will be shipped to radio
stations next week.
Congratulations to Trace Adkins, whose current album, "Comin' On
Strong," has been certified gold for selling 500,000 copies. The album was released in December.
And Dierks Bentley's self-titled debut album has struck gold. The
Arizona native saw his first single, "What Was I Thinkin'?," hit No. 1 on the charts. His second single off the album, "My Last Name," has now moved into the Top 10.
And while I'm at it: Montgomery Gentry's "My Town" has hit platinum
status for sales of more than 1 million copies. The duo's next album, "You Do Your Thing," will be in stores on May 18.
RCA Label Group's Arista Nashville has added Grammy-award winning artist Rebecca Lynn Howard to its roster.
Howard is best known for her hit "Forgive." Her band also includes
former Toledoan Will Mandell.
In case you haven't tuned in to the USA Network's "Nashville Star,"
Ohioan Brent Keith has advanced to the final 10 contestants.
Keith, who lives near Dayton, sang Brooks & Dunn's "Ain't Nothing
'Bout You" last week and earned praised from the judges.
Joe Nichols will be a guest on this week's show tomorrow night on
USA. It airs at 10 p.m.
The eventual winner of the show earns a recording contract from Sony Nashville.