Kacey Musgraves has been a fierce champion of equality in the country music world since she first hit Nashville, bravely writing and recording songs such as "Follow Your Arrow" and "Good Ol' Boys Club." As the only woman with a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2018 CMA Awards, she notes that gender equality is still a big issue in the industry, and something needs to change.

Musgraves took home the CMA's New Artist of the Year trophy in 2013, and in a recent interview with Billboard, she says the culture hasn't evolved since then: "Five years later, we’re still all focused on how many females are or aren’t included. I can’t say exactly why this is still an ongoing issue, but the current formula or way music is serviced and pushed in modern country music just doesn’t allow for equality," the "Space Cowboy" singer says.

From her perspective, Musgraves adds, the baseline problem is fear: "the fear that money will be lost if something different doesn’t succeed," she notes. Musgraves goes on to say that there are many deserving female artists who are writing varied music in a genre that she sees "opening its mind," but they're not being embraced equally.

"Though I’m extremely honored to be nominated, I have to say that the number of females included still doesn’t satisfy me -- especially considering the fact that I feel that we’re in a current time where more females are making good music," says Musgraves, who explains that she has "the biggest heart for country music" but insists that the system needs a makeover.

"There are many caveats to the current system that need a thorough rebuild," Musgraves continues. "I’m hoping we can get back to a musical world where talent and uniqueness got you further than politics ... Can you imagine what that landscape could sound like? What future generations it could inspire?"

Musgraves' CMA-nominated latest album, Golden Hour, was released on March 30. She has plans to hit the road for her Oh, What a World Tour this fall, after spending the summer on tour with Harry Styles.

The 2018 CMA Awards will air live from Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 14. The show is scheduled to begin at 8PM ET on ABC, with Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood returning as co-hosts for an 11th year.

The Boot will be staying up late covering the most buzzed-about winners, fashion and moments at the 2018 CMA Awards. Readers can watch along with us by checking back to TheBoot.com for the latest CMAs headlines, liking The Boot on Facebook and following The Boot on Twitter.

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