Cassadee Pope, Raelynn, Kelsea Ballerini, Carly Pearce, Kacey Musgraves, Lucie Silvas — these are just a few of the country stars you’ll see popping up on Maren Morris’ Instagram, whether onstage making music on offstage making memories.
Why? Because when it comes to her girlfriends, there’s nothing that Morris wouldn’t do to show them her unconditional love and support.
“I don’t really find it a chore to do that because I grew up listening to amazing women on the radio and I feel like I’ve always been a girls’ girl — I’m still friends with my best friends from high school and junior high,” Morris tells CMT.com exclusively.
“There’s really something about the female spirit I’m attuned to and want to write for. So, when my friends are doing well and upping the bar, I want to shine a light and put it on them because it’s about paying it forward.”
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Another year, another album of @spaceykacey ‘s that is inspiring all kinds of feelings in me. You always remind me that you should never water your art down to appease others. And this cover is giving me 70s Emmylou/90s Natalie Imbruglia vibes. Kacey, you’re the quintessential Texas badass.
Paying it forward and just being a good person. It’s a competitive business, where real relationships can feel foreign and scarce, and friends can be turned into “competition” overnight in certain circumstances. It’s so easy to fall prey to the myth that “artists can’t be friends,” especially in the female realm where the stakes to be seen and heard are even higher.
But just look at these talented voices shattering that myth like true role models. In this circle, there is no time for judgment, only love.
“We all support each other,” Morris said, “and I think that’s how we’ve been able to prevail through such a drought of female representation at country radio.”
Now, about that problem — we’ll address that one with Morris next time.
Morris will be honored along with Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Ballerini, Hillary Scott, Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, and Kimberly Schlapman at the 2018 CMT Artists of the Year ceremonies, taking place Oct. 17 in Nashville. Icon Loretta Lynn will be honored as the Artist of a Lifetime during the show, which will air live at 8 p.m. ET/PT from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Additionally, on Oct. 17 CMT will stage an all-female artist takeover across its platforms, including music hours on CMT, the 24-7 digital channel CMT Music and CMT Radio’s widely-syndicated shows CMT Radio Live and CMT After Midnite to encourage and inspire increased female airplay on show day.
Additional performers, presenters and special guests for the CMT Artists of the Year special will be announced at a later date.