Keith Hill: 'I Have Now Received Death Threats' For Country Radio Comments
May 29, 2015 at 11:19 AM (PT)
Country radio consultant KEITH HILL tells THE TENNESSEAN he’s received death threats as a result of his insensitive comments earlier this WEEK, referring to female artists as “The tomatoes of our salad.” That quote appeared in a piece published TUESDAY (5/26) and penned by RUSS PENUELL of our friends at COUNTRY AIRCHECK.
What started out as an attempt at helpful, fundamental tips on music scheduling turned sideways when HILL poorly articulated his point that playing predominantly male artists is the correct path to ratings success. HILL employed a food analogy, saying of females, “They're just not the lettuce in our salad. The lettuce is LUKE BRYAN and BLAKE SHELTON, KEITH URBAN and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females."
Social media among the Country music world has buzzed about the “tomatoes” reference since then. On THURSDAY, (5/28) HILL told THE TENNESSEAN, “I have now received death threats by e-mail, all because I said this is how you get higher ratings on Country radio.”
Meanwhile, longtime Country consultant and COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAMER JAYE ALBRIGHT posted to her FACEBOOK page of HILL’s assertion, “He is simply wrong. You could make a case that males sometimes don't relate to specific songs put out by women and that does cause more releases by men to do better on average what the typical female hit does, but I have never seen any evidence that women do not like songs by females!"
Additionally, CMT SVP LESLIE FRAM said in TODAY’s TENNESSEAN, "I can tell you that working and programming radio for over 20 years, this is simply not true. Top 40 is primarily a female format and the majority of artists on their chart are women. This posting is taking us 20 steps backwards. It's an insult to every female artist in the format."