The Academy of Country Music Awards is coming up this Sunday and prominent female music artists have made it clear that they are sticking together. 

Earlier this week, the website The Tylt released an online poll asking fans to vote for the most iconic ‘American Idol’ winner, either Kelly Clarkson or Carrie Underwood. Rather than allowing the poll to come between them, both stars had kind words to say in an exchange on Twitter:

Unfortunately, this was not the only time this week that country music fans were encouraged to take sides. Similarly, a Twitter poll asked "Which female artist are you most looking forward to see perform at this year's #ACMAwards?” In a post on Instagram, Kelsea Ballerini shared her thoughts:


This made me really bummed today. Since I put out my first single over 4 years ago, every interview includes some form of question about the females in country music… or the current lack thereof. so we swim upstream and wear ourselves out trying to be heard and finally see the charts start to mention a few more of our names, the categories recognize a few more of our songs, and even start to cheer each other on. but then there’s something as simple and seemingly harmless as this, that sets us back. it takes the dozens of talented, determined, hard working, kind women that want to continue the incredible marks on the genre the woman before us have made, and it makes us feel like there’s only one spot available. so then there’s tension. And insecurity. and this magical bond that females have when we truly, actually want each other to win…it gets compromised. It makes me sad because I feel it. Heck, it makes me insecure. It makes me feel tension in a room where there is another girl that is successful. It makes me awkward. It makes me overthink conversations. It makes me assume the worst. Which is actually CRAZY. this is definitely an instavent, because I just don’t want the new females in country music to be misrepresented to the fans or the media as the popular girls in high school that pose for photos like were bffs but secretly despise the one that dates the quarterback. And more than that, I don’t want US to feel like that. This isn’t mean girls, this is country music. Where you actually CAN sit with us.

A post shared by Kelsea Ballerini (@kelseaballerini) on

Apr 9, 2018 at 8:09pm PDT

Then, when a fan tweeted, “I can never choose between @KelseaBallerini and @MarenMorris. Like they’re both my girls,” this is how Maren Morris responded:

We can celebrate these tremendously talented women without comparing their accomplishments. Like Carrie Underwood said, instead of pitting women against each other, we should celebrate their success.

These responses ought to serve as a model of how we can lift women up in the face of mistreatment.