Women out there, are you feeling just a little like our position in the world is backsliding lately? In the US, the current administration is knocking off our job and health protections one by one, and we only have to look at the latest stats out of Hollywood to see female filmmakers are having trouble with numerous glass ceilings.
Well, the news today isn’t great, as Gary Trust of Billboard just confirmed something pretty shocking: there are no female artists in the current top 10 of Billboards “Top 1oo” list.
What’s even crazier is that Billboard hasn’t has a male-only list since February of 1984.
Let’s try to look on the bright side of this, though: while the statistic is shocking, it does mean that women have been ON the Top 10 list for more than 30 years without a break. In other segments of the industry, a lack of female representation has made making top 10 lists all but impossible.
In film, the last year without a woman in the top 10 highest-grossing movies was…2016.
So overall, it’s great that women are so frequently represented at the top of the music charts.
But why the big downward shift right now? According to Trust, it’s just a numbers game.
“Selena Gomez (with Kygo), Julia Michaels, Anne-Marie (with Clean Bandit and Paul) and Alessia Cara (with Zedd) rank at Nos. 11-14, respectively. So, if, say, Nos. 10 and 11 were reversed, we likely wouldn’t even be discussing this topic right now.”
Moreover, the music experts stresses this is an exception, rather than the rule.
And, as Billboard editorial liaison (and Chart Beat Podcast co-host) Trevor Anderson recently analyzed, women’s share of Hot 100 No. 1s in the 2010s is at a nearly all-time high (46 percent, up from 22 percent in both the ’60s and ’70s, and not far off the 49 percent pinnacle of the ’90s).
He also notes that huge artists like Adele and Sia had albums out recently that have completely their chart run, knocking a few major players out of the game as they work on their next projects.
So deep breath before you belt out that song, ladies. The music industry may have it’s own problems with pervasive sexism, but this scary chart looks like a short-term thing.