Maren Morris Explains Her 2020 CMA Awards Shoutouts to Mickey Guyton + Other Black Female Artists
It's easy for artists to go blank when they get onstage to accept their trophies at awards shows, immediately forgetting everything they'd planned to say.
That's especially true during a normal year, with a packed house full of country fans watching them, but it's still true at a show like the 2020 CMA Awards, even though only nominees, performers and their guests were in attendance, Maren Morris admitted backstage in the show's virtual press room on Wednesday night (Nov. 11).
"So many artists, like Miranda [Lambert], have paid it forward for me as an artist -- Keith Urban, everybody who's brought me out on tour over the years ... You obviously wanna thank your team, the writers," she listed off.
"Luckily," she added, "I had the chance three times tonight to say everything I wanted to say."
Morris was one of the 2020 CMA Awards' biggest winners, bringing home trophies for Song and Single of the Year (both for her hit "The Bones") as well as Female Vocalist of the Year. When it came to accept her final trophy of the night, for Female Vocalist, she focused much of her speech on other women: the women who'd helped introduce her to music in the first place, and the contemporary artists who are often overlooked.
From the stage, Morris made special mention of the Black female artists who have inspired her, from Linda Martell to Mickey Guyton and from Rissi Palmer to Yola.
"I am such a fan of country and soul music. Discovering Linda Martell, and giving credit to people like Yola and Mickey Guyton, people that really should be more heard of," Morris explained. "I wanted to share this moment with women that don't often get the credit they deserve."
Over the course of 2020, Morris has seen massive career success, but she's become a new mom, too. The singer and her husband, fellow artist Ryan Hurd, welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Hayes, in March. With an infant at home, and amid the cultural tumult of the year, Morris hasn't always had time or energy for songwriting, but the singer says that when she does write these days, she does so with focus and purpose.
"Entering this extremely polarized season of an election year, and everything that happened this year with the protests, the riots, the murder of George Floyd -- I feel like when I have written, I haven't wanted to phone it in ... or perch on the fence," she continues. "The few times I have written, we've gotten some real s--t."
In fact, the singer recently released one of those songs, "Better Than We Found It," a song that Morris says she couldn't have written without her newfound perspective as a mother.
""Better Than We Found It" was literally pleading from a mother's heart, now, 'Please, can we leave this just a little bit better for our kids?'" she continues. "So that's kinda where my head's been at in the writing space."