Compared to recent years, all-female country tours abound in 2019: Carrie Underwood has mounted her ambitious Cry Pretty Tour 360, with opening support from Maddie & Tae and Runaway June. Miranda Lambert's Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars Tour, also featuring Maren Morris, Elle King, the Pistol Annies, Tenille Townes, Ashley McBryde and Caylee Hammack, returns in September. And Morris launched her own headlining trek, Girl: The World Tour, featuring Hailey Whitters, Kassi Ashton, RaeLynn and Cassadee Pope, early in the year.

"It was amazing. It was so electric, the energy," Pope gushes to The Boot, looking back at the latter trek. "It was just me and Maren [during the shows I performed at], so people were in there early, and they were there for my set. She brought me out for [her song] "All My Favorite People," which was really fun. It's a really fun song, and she and I are really good friends, so it felt authentic singing that with her."

For Pope, the experience was one of several all-female jaunts she's been a part of in 2019. She also headlined CMT's 2019 Next Women of Country Tour, and performed on the first day of the 2019 Country LakeShake Festival in Chicago, Ill., which was dedicated entirely to women performers. Pope admits that part of the beauty of that day's lineup was that it didn't call attention to that fact; rather, it simply treated an all-female bill like the normal occurrence it should be.

"It really was special," Pope recalls. "And you could tell that the fans felt like it was special. Apparently it was the best-selling day of the weekend."

Women continue to face bias in the music industry, especially at country radio, but Pope points out that touring is among the most integral parts of her career. "Obviously everything matters, every aspect of our careers matters, but, to me, one of the most important things is touring. That is the age-old way of getting your music heard," she explains.

"That's where you make the face-to-face connections. That's where you hear how fans are relating to your songs, and you see them reacting to your songs," Pope adds. Sure, it would be great to see more recognition for female artists at radio, she says, but the most important pay-off comes from keeping her head down and doing what she knows how to do best.

"If the rest happens, great. If it doesn't, that's not what makes or breaks my career," Pope reflects. "I'm gonna continue to go out on the road."

Modern Country Music's Female Trailblazers