Congratulations are in order to Maren Morris, who won the title of Album of the Year at the 2019 CMA Awards, alongside producers Greg Kurstin and busbee. The honor comes for her album Girl.

A tearful Morris dedicated the win to busbee, her longtime producing and songwriting partner who died on Sept. 29. "I would be really remiss if I didn't mention a huge facet of why this album sounds the way it does," she said before sharing her hope that the songs on Girl inspire busbee's daughters.

Morris' sophomore album came out on March 8. The first single off the project was its title track, which the artist co-wrote with Sarah Aarons (the same collaborator who produced her 2018 crossover hit "The Middle"). The singer has said that the song was inspired by a letter she was trying to write to a female friend during a time when their relationship was on the rocks. Maturity, reflection and a strong sense of community are dominant themes on the project, and Morris brought in a small handful of artist friends as collaborators: Fellow Highwoman Brandi Carlile and Brothers Osborne both appear as guest vocalists on the project.

After dropping the album, Morris promptly launched her Girl: The World Tour later in the same month. That run was one of a number of treks in 2019 that featured an all-female lineup; artists including Kassi Ashton, Cassadee Pope and RaeLynn all served as supporting acts during various portions of the trek.

Morris' Album of the Year win is bittersweet, as one of her closest collaborators is not here to celebrate the honor with her. busbee, who worked on Girl as well as Morris' first album, died earlier in 2019, after a short battle with brain cancer. Morris was among the first artists to post a remembrance of busbee on social media, writing, "This just doesn't seem fair. I will always love the songs and albums I was lucky to make with you, Busbee. Rest well, my sweet friend."

The winning record beat out several competitive nominees in the category, triumphing over Thomas Rhett's Center Point Road, Carrie Underwood's Cry Pretty, Dan + Shay's Dan + Shay and Eric Church's Desperate Man. Each year, the award goes to both the artists and producers behind the winning project, reflecting the hours of time, creativity and passion that goes into the making of such a milestone release.

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