Maren Morris: ‘We All Have So Much Room to Grow’ in Country Music Diversity
Maren Morris has done a lot of work and engaged in a lot of advocacy for diversity in country music over the last several years, and in a new interview with Ellen DeGeneres, she says she wants to see country music as a whole continue to grow moving forward.
Morris has been a passionate voice for equality in country music around issues of race, sex and LGBTQ inclusion, among other sociopolitical hot topics she's weighed in on over the last few years. In an appearance on Ellen on Thursday (March 11), she tells DeGeneres that she's aware of how comparatively privileged she is as a white woman in country music.
"I already sort of have this leg up, and even though there's a huge disparity of men and women in our genre, there's even more of a disparity between white women and Black women trying to be in country music," the previous Grammy winner and current nominee explains (quote via People). "There's so many Black women and men who adore country music and don't feel the door is open for them even a crack."
Morris says she's been engaged in doing "my own homework" on important social issues over the last few years, especially after the death of George Floyd. "I just feel like country music as a genre — we all have so much room to grow, myself included — but I think country music definitely is stepping up to the plate slowly but surely," she states.
She's aware that her views make her a social media target for those who disagree, but Morris is more concerned about what kind of impact she wants to have on her baby boy, Hayes, as well as the people in her immediate orbit. "For me, I just have to think about my son and the people in my circle going forward — who I write with, who I employ — and think, am I making room for everybody?" she says.
Morris also voices support for Brothers Osborne singer T.J. Osborne, who came out publicly as gay in February. Calling him "one of my first friends when I moved to Nashville," she says he's "so talented, so kind," adding, "for him to put it all out there, I'm not a sliver of that brave so I'm just really proud of T.J."
Morris is currently in Los Angeles, Calif., preparing for the Grammy Awards, which are set to air on Sunday night live from the Staples Center. She's nominated for Best Country Song for her multi-week No. 1 smash "The Bones," and she's also set to perform during the broadcast in a collaboration with John Mayer.
The 2021 Grammy Awards will air on CBS at 8PM ET, with Trevor Noah hosting.
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