Country Music News

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 05: Shane McAnally performs during the 2013 CMA Songwriters Series at the CMA Theater on November 5, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Following its debut on the CMA Awards, Keith Urban‘s song “Female” has been heralded by many as a welcome rebuttal to the long list of sexual harassment and sexual assault-related storylines in recent weeks. The song also has its critics, however, who’ve accused its writers of everything from “mansplaining” to poor songwriting (watch such a clip from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert here). Shane McAnally, one of the song’s writers, is now clarifying its intentions.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the veteran songwriter says that the concept grew out of a conversation with his co-writers about their young daughters. “They all want to be superheroes,” Shane tells the newspaper. “They believe they can save the world at this age. Sometimes you write songs, and there’s a lot of laughs in it. This song, we felt a responsibility to them: What do we want them to expect? ”

The song features a list of descriptors that folks like Colbert have humorously chided, but Shane says the reasoning behind that list is simple. “We’re listing off what women have meant to us,” he continues. “It really was just trying to cover the gamut of the good and the bad. The scarlet letter thing really is the part of the lyric that hit me the hardest in that list because that’s what’s going on with women being condemned when all these allegations come out. You’re getting the eye roll when it comes up, people are like, ‘How many people are going to come out?’ And I’m like, ‘Well, as many people as it happened to, I hope.”

Have a second listen at Keith Urban’s “Female” here. Read more in the Los Angeles Times here.


Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.