Ahead of ‘Never Will’, Ashley McBryde recounts the hurdles and sexism she faced early on

ABC/Image Group LAAshley McBryde will drop Never Will on April 3, her fourth career studio album and second release on a major label. She’s now a rising star with fans all over the world, but Ashley tells U.K. trade publication Music Week that just a few years ago, she was an independent artist keeping track of earnings from bar halls and tips in a handwritten cash book.

Even though she’d heard about the double standards imposed on female artists, Ashley didn’t truly understand the scope of the problem until her own radio tour.

“I thought about the horror stories about the imbalance and thought, ‘Surely it’s not that bad? It can’t be that bad!’…It is definitely that bad,” she continues. “It’s, ‘If you have a beard and a ball cap, here’s your record deal; here’s your number one — if you don’t, we’re barely going to recognize you even have a voice.’”

Plus, the people closest to her own career seemed to want Ashley to change her look, advising her to slim down by going for two runs a day. 

“If I had time to run twice a day, I still wouldn’t, because I hate to run,” Ashley declares.  “Of course, I want to be healthy, but at the time I wasn’t any bigger than a twig anyway.  They were still trying to have me lose X amount of weight because, ‘If we’re gonna take photos, the camera’s gonna put that weight back.’ And, ‘We love your curly hair, but it’s too curly — can we put our own curls in?’ I was like, ‘Okay, I’ll try anything.’” 

Fortunately, Ashley’s found a way to find success on her own terms. Her single, “One Night Standards,” cracked the Top 40.

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