Jennifer Nettles made a fashion statement on the CMA Awards red carpet in November that became the topic of conversation throughout the evening. The powerhouse Sugarland vocalist took a chance and made an edgy statement about the slanted playing field female artists face at country radio, and she's not done yet.

Nettles bravely stepped out, using her outfit to call for gender equality to ensure equal play for all artists during Country Music’s Biggest Night.

The country singer believed the piece, a Christian Siriano pantsuit that bore the words “Play our f---in' records please and thank you,” would have a very specific impact that would inspire the conversation to go further. Though many fans were supportive, Nettles' message was meant for the industry.

“There was definitely a spirit of support, and I think my peers that were there that night felt seen,” Nettles tells Taste of Country.

Although Nettles is appreciative of fans who request her music and choose to listen to women in country, she says it’s time for the industry to step up and put their voices together to support equal play for everyone. She has joined with Secret deodorant for a new campaign to amplify these issues and make them stronger and loud enough to be heard across the country.

Secret recently held a nationwide Instagram casting call, in which women had the opportunity to enter to win annual memberships with the non-profit Women in Music and mentorship opportunities with women in the industry.

One of the women who entered will have her music featured in a future Secret campaign. The deodorant brand is now fully committed to featuring music written and performed by female artists for all future campaigns in support of equal play.

“They really want to have an impact to support [women] in the music industry," Nettles states. "Equal work, equal sweat, equal play."

Nettles hopes this campaign allows all women to realize the power of talent, and that the gifts they have are worth fighting for. The 45-year-old especially wants those listening to protect a woman’s place in the business, promote her no matter what’s going on in her life, and contribute to her skill set.

Nettles credits Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood for helping spotlight women and taking females out on the road with them in 2019.  She believes all women deserve to be heard, whether it’s on the radio or in an amphitheater on tour.

“As for anything in life, as a woman, you’re going to have to work twice as hard, so go ahead and prepare for that,” she tells us.

2020 is going to be a big year for Nettles. The singer, songwriter, actress and producer will continue to put herself out there in all aspects of her career while working on films, two solo projects and hitting the road with Sugarland partner Kristian Bush.

“Kristian and I, we just recorded some new music. We’re going to go out a couple months this summer and tour, so you’re going to get some new music from Sugarland in 2020,” Nettles reveals.

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