Here's why radio stations are banning Little Big Town's latest, 'Girl Crush'
Country music group Little Big Town is facing some hefty backlash this week thanks to their latest song, “Girl Crush.”
As the Washington Post notes, the song is “a powerful ballad about a woman envious of her ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend.” In spite of the song’s sentiment, the lyrics did not fair well with listeners in Boise, Idaho. When the song premiered on country music station 104.3 FM, upset listeners accused the program of “promoting the gay agenda” and even threatened to boycott the radio station. The song has since been pulled from radio stations across the country.
So, what are these lyrics that have listeners up in arms? Little Big Town’s female vocalist, Karen Fairchild sings, “I want to taste her lips, yeah cause they taste like you / I want to drown myself in a bottle of her perfume / I want her long blond hair, I want her magic touch / Yeah cause maybe then, you’d want me just as much / I got a girl crush.”
Aside from the song’s title, Fairchild thinks the “taste her lips” lyrics might be the reason for listeners’ outrage. Nonetheless, she’s still in shock over this unprecedented fiasco telling the Washington Post, “That’s just shocking to me, the close-mindedness of that, when that’s just not what the song was about. But what if it were? It’s just a greater issue of listening to a song for what it is.”
Despite the fan backlash, folks in the country music community have stood up in support of Little Big Town. Country singer Charlie Worsham encouraged fans to be more critical of the “boozy objectification of women” in today’s country music. Radio show host, Bobby Bones, said in a recent interview with the band, “It shouldn’t even matter if it’s a lesbian song, is the first thing.”
The song was written by a trio of female song writers (power to women writing songs!) Liz Rose, Lori McKenna and Hillary Lindsey, and Fairchild first heard it at Rose’s house during what she referred to as a “girls’ writers day.” We kind of love that and thinking of that back story and all the woman power in here makes us love the song even more.
In spite of the song’s success on iTunes, radio play for “Girl Crush” has been comparatively low. As the Washington Post noted, the song is “No. 4 on iTunes, but lags at No. 33 in radio rankings.” This isn’t the first time same-sex references have conjured up radio play controversy, though. Kacey Musgraves’ gorgeous song, “Follow Your Arrow” experienced a similar radio play struggle due to the lyrics, “Kiss lots of boys / Or kiss lots of girls / If that’s something you’re into.”
This backlash, though arguably unwarranted, does open up a dialogue about country music and its limitations. An anonymous program director from Texas wrote a post for the music blog For The Country Record, encouraging country music fans to keep an open mind. “Country music fans, please try to have an open mind about songs you are hearing on the radio today and if you don’t like them, that’s fine. But don’t not like them for the wrong close-minded reasons.”
In spite of all the controversy, the band maintains a positive attitude. In fact, Fairchild hopes that “Girl Crush” will have a lasting impact on opening up country music to new topics. We do too.
Have a listen to “Girl Crush,” below: