A sense of inclusion in Nashville occasionally manifests in a socially conscious single. This is nothing new for country music, which has a long history of “message songs,” some forward leaning (Loretta Lynn
’s feminist “The Pill
”), some arguably not so much (Merle Haggard
’s “Fightin’ Side of Me”). In the 2010s, a song like Kacey Musgraves
’ openly pro-lgbt “Follow Your Arrow” can move the genre’s needle in a significant way even without becoming a radio hit, while a more vaguely worded statement from a major artist, like Luke Bryan
’s “Most People Are Good,” hits No. 1 — an indication that, as Variety further explores in this week’s issue, Nashville has a growing thirst for diversity, on and off the record.
“Whenever somebody tries to force something down someone else’s throat, it’s always ill-received,” says radio personality Blair Garner
. “The ones that really excite me are the