Vince Gill likes his salad with an extra side of estrogen.
The country veteran is speaking out in favor of country music's female singer-songwriters, and it's clear that he gives them more credit than radio consultant Keith Hill, who recently called them the "tomatoes" to their male counterpart's "lettuce."
"I could go on and on and on and on and name you about 50 great female artists,” Gill told the Houston Press. “To me, they’re making much more … interesting records. They’re saying more things I’d prefer to hear, lyrically and song-wise, and that’s compelling.”
Known for his collaborations with an array of esteemed country queens, including Reba McEntire and Alison Krauss, the Grammy winner has long held female musicians in high regard. The fact that they aren't in heavier rotation on radio, he says, is "one of the greatest tragedies in this stretch of life for me."
Gill's comments come on the heels of a country music uproar, during which Hill's "tomato" analogy provoked a rebuttal from some of Music Row's biggest stars. Martina McBride fired back with a lengthy Facebook post, while Miranda Lambert slammed Hill with a tweet letting him know that was "the biggest bunch of BULLS*** I have ever heard."
"If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out,"- Keith Hill This is he biggest bunch of BULLSHIT I have ever heard.— Miranda Lambert (@mirandalambert) May 28, 2015
After causing contention with that salad reference no one can stop talking about (it even has a name: #SaladGate), Hill spoke out once again and definitely did not try to curb the controversy.
“I’m not going to make any apology for using the tomato analogy, as some have counseled me,” he told Country Aircheck. “What I want is to understand why they are so angry. And it’s because they think we [the country music industry] are sexist. And you know what, we are.”
Still, Gill hopes to see more female artists recognized on country radio, not just the tried and true. Some of his latest work involves producing Knoxville native Ashley Monroe's upcoming album The Blade, and Gill musician tells NewsOK.com that he's "rooting for her to really hit a lick."
Should you doubt the fierceness of country's females, check out this video of Miranda Lambert ruling the Academy of Country Music Awards earlier this year.