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Last month, Maren Morris announced that she was permanently leaving country music, the genre in which she has made her career. In an interview with the LA Times, Morris shared that she chose to distance herself from “a lot of the drama within the community,” instead choosing to direct her focus to her music.
“I’m trying to mature here and realize I can just walk away from the parts of this that no longer make me happy,” said the Grammy award-winning singer.
The announcement was accompanied by the release of a two-song EP, each with its own music video. Through these songs, Morris paints a picture of leaving a small town where she once held residence and moving on to new beginnings. It’s no mystery that the “small town” depicted is symbolic of the country music industry and a world that Morris has made clear she no longer wishes to be a part of.
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After the initial conversation with LA Times when Morris announced the career change, she was a guest on an episode of The New York Times’ Popcast podcast. During her conversion with Jon Caramanica and Joe Coscarelli, she was asked: Does that mean no more country radio, no more ACM’s, no more CMA’s?
“I asked to not submit my music. I don’t know if it’s forever, or if it’s just how I am feeling in this current state, but by not submitting my work to those [awards shows] to be nominated – I am not shutting off fans of country music, or that’s not my intention. It’s just the music industry that I have to walk away from,” – Morris responded.
Maren Morris made her debut in the country music scene in 2015 when she signed with Columbia Nashville and released her self-titled EP. Since then, Morris has been awarded five Academy of Country Music Awards, five Country Music Association Awards, and six BMI Country Awards, along with dozens of other nominations. Objectively, an artist with this kind of track record would be considered a success in the industry, which makes the decision to leave even more complex.
Watch the full conversation on the The New York Times’ Popcast podcast below.