Brandi Carlile calls out NRA, sexism in country music in new song 'Cowgirls'

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Brandi Carlile called out the country music community for its pro-gun stances, alleged sexism and lack of female stars in the genre in her powerful new song, "Cowgirls."

Carlile, 38, performed the tune at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, Calif., over the weekend and introduced the song with a speech about what she said is the backwards nature of the current country music scene and how her band, the Highwomen (which includes Maren Morris, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby), are eager to shatter the glass ceiling in Nashville.

“My first three concerts were Judds concerts, y’all, at a fairground just like this one, and oh my God, I loved the Judds and Trisha Yearwood and Tanya Tucker and Rosanne Cash," she told the crowd. "And I mean, really, I was only allowed to listen to country music to a certain age in my house. We were kind of rural people and that was just our lifestyle. And I was so incredibly lucky to have so many women country singers to help tell the story of the other half of the human race."

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She continued, “I noticed recently that country music is having this weird issue that’s kind of countercultural and strange with the times, that there’s just not that many female country singers. The ones that are there are great: I love me some Miranda Lambert all day long, and Maren Morris, but there’s just not enough of us."

"And so the Highwomen have come to try to open that door up … if we can get it open a little bit and just get our foot in there," she said. "This isn’t a Highwomen song, but I wrote this song about this … This isn’t a Highwomen song, but I wrote this kind of a tongue-in cheek song to the boys in the country music industry.”

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In the tune, Carlile croons, “Yeah, get ‘em while they last / The NRA can kiss my country a--,” then sweetly sings, “I hope your vintage guitar will take you where the wild things are / I hope you find your true voice there… / And if they’re going to call you an outlaw, live fast and die young / Well, those songs have already been sung / By better men… / Now that you’re just pissing in the wind / It’s time for you to let them cowgirls in.”

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The Highwomen dropped their first music video, "Redesigning Women," on Friday. Their self-titled debut album is due in September.