Becky Hill Voices Frustration Over Secondary Treatment of Female Musicians on Radio

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The ‘Gecko (Overdrive)’ singer speaks up after learning that male artists receive more 51 per cent airplay than their female counterparts in the United Kingdom.


Becky Hill is furious a new report reveals female musicians receive significantly less radio airplay than their male counterparts in the U.K.

The Gender Disparity Data report, compiled by music industry consultant Linda Coogan Byrne and Nadia Khan, of Women in CTRL, found that male artists accounted for 51 per cent of the songs given airplay, and mixed-gender collaborations made up 30 per cent, in the period surveyed between 1 January and 15 August.

“Whether it is about what they look like or what they write about in their songs, or how they conduct their day-to-day lives, it would appear that women need to be more than just talented to be accepted and successful,” Hill told The Guardian. “I felt like my voice and songwriting was being used for success, but my name and face were very much treated as secondary to the producer’s fame,” said the singer/songwriter whose male collaborators include Sigala, and Dutch DJs DJ Tiesto and Oliver Heldens.

“This impacted overall public knowledge of my artistry, and so still to this day people don’t recognise my name, yet they know my catalogue.”

The survey also looked at the 20 most played songs by British artists on 31 UK radio stations in the year to 1 June, with just 10 per cent of the most played songs by British artists on BBC Radio 1 and on Radio 6 Music during the 12-month period, by female acts. On BBC Radio 1Xtra the figure was 14.3 per cent and on Radio 2 it was 40 per cent.

Commercial radio stations Bauer Media, Absolute Radio and Kerrang! and Global Media’s Radio X had no female acts among their top 20 most played songs by British artists.

A spokesperson for Radio 1 said the station was “committed to doing more to support and celebrate a diverse range of music across our platforms, from festival slots right through to the playlist, with an average of 45 per cent of playlisted songs featuring female artists”.

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