Home / Arts & Life / Bye, Bro. In Country Music, It’s the Year of the Gentleman.

Bye, Bro. In Country Music, It’s the Year of the Gentleman.


Thomas Rhett is part of country music’s shift away from bros toward gentlemen.

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for Acm

The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music criticism, trends and news.

For most of the 2010s, country music has been undergoing a gender crisis in plain sight: most of the prominent male singers were bros, with unimaginative perspectives on the dynamic between men and women, and female singers were shunted to the margins.

Nashville’s compromise solution? Gentler men. Make that: gentlemen. Singers like Thomas Rhett, Brett Young, Michael Ray, Brett Eldredge, Chris Lane and more have been softening and sweetening country music’s bruising masculinity into something a little more polished, in which women are placed on a pedestal, and men place their emotional needs second.

On this week’s Popcast, Mr. Caramanica discusses how this change does and doesn’t help the genre’s gender imbalance with Natalie Weiner, a staff writer at Bleacher Report, freelance music writer and former associate editor at Billboard.

Email your questions, thoughts and ideas about what’s happening in pop music to popcast@nytimes.com.

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