Country music star Luke Bryan said he wants more women to be nominated for the Academy of Country Music Awards’ top honor and feels it’s his duty to incorporate more women in his shows.
Bryan, a former ACM Awards host who is a contender for this year’s Entertainer of the Year made the comments in an interview with BuzzFeed News’ Profile. The host of this year’s ceremony, country legend Reba McEntire, has been publicly critical about the lack of women nominees for the top award.
"It doesn’t make me very happy because we’ve got some very talented women who are out there working their butts off,” McEntire, who won Entertainer of the Year in 1994, told CBS This Morning. “I’m missing my girlfriends on this."
The ACM awards have presented Entertainer of the Year since 1970, but only 10 of those wins have been women. Past winners include the likes of Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, Shania Twain, The Dixie Chicks, Carrie Underwood.
“Somebody like Reba has to stand up and say to the Academy of Country Music, and in all forms of, you know, country music award shows,” Bryan said. “But I can say it does just get a little bit tricky when it is all naturally a male-heavy heavy format.”
“There are so many women out there that should feel the right to speak up,” Bryan added. “And I think it's my duty … to start incorporating more women into my shows.”
When asked if he thinks he will win Entertainer of the Year, Bryan’s answer was a clear yes.
“I've worked hard, I've done my done my due diligence. I should win, but I always, you know — going in nominated for Entertainer [of the Year] is just a huge honor. And I always go in just ready to have fun,” he said.
The 54th annual ACM Awards will air live from Las Vegas on April 7 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.