From Nashville — Music Talks with Hunter Kelly: Diversity in Country Music


Apple Music Country radio host and journalist Hunter Kelly continues his series of conversations with the industry’s most influential artists.

Country music is beginning to look more like America, but it still has many a road to travel. Hunter Kelly shifts his focus from Nashville’s mega-artists and songwriters to lead a panel on diversity in country music — what has needed to change, what has been gained, and the work still to be done.

Joining Hunter is a roundtable of artists, journalists, academics, and all-around stakeholders in country music. Among them are two standout performers: Rissi Palmer — singer, host of Apple Music Radio’s Color me Country, and a passionate voice for artists who have been marginalized in mainstream country music — and formidable emerging artist D’orjay The Singing Shaman, a Black queer Canadian forging her own path in the genre. Also on the panel: Country Queer founder Dale Henry Geist, lead researcher on the SongData project Jada Watson, and UCLA doctoral candidate Amanda Marie Martinez, completing her dissertation on race and the country music industry. Together they’ll discuss the need for showcasing diverse voices in country music, the platforms required to promote them, and all that needs to evolve in the industry. The talk will also include performance videos from Rissi and D’orjay.