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Maren Morris on Women in Country Radio: 'I Hope to Be a Good Example'

Maren Morris is one of a rising class of women who are fighting back against country radio's long-standing refusal to give female artists as much airplay as their male counterparts. While it's been a while since women ruled the charts – not since the '90s when artists like Martina McBride, Shania Twain, Faith Hill and more were at the height of their careers – Morris believes she is part of a movement that will, finally, give artists like herself and others time to shine.

"I think that it's a slow process but I think it is getting better," Morris shared with PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "I look at people like myself and Kelsea [Ballerini] and Carly Pearce, who just had a No. 1 a couple months ago. And Cam has this bad ass single out now, and Lauren Alaina. There's been a lot of people coming into the fold now that are getting noticed."

With bro-country having it's heyday for much of the first part of this millennium, at least, Morris adds that it's time for more variety in the country music genre.

"I still stand by that there's room for everybody," Morris maintains. "Because I think there's slowly but surely a lot more diversity on the radio than there was two years ago. Chris Stapleton has a Top 5, and he's never had a No. 1 as an artist. And so, that stuff makes me really, really hopeful for me to now be getting to say, 'I have my first No. 1 [with 'I Could Use a Love Song']. Even two years ago I think, I wasn't really expecting – a new artist, especially a women, does not expect that in their first go."

"I Could Use a Love Song" is the third single Morris released, all from her freshman Hero album. The song follows her debut "My Church," which peaked in the Top 5, and "'80s Mercedes," which landed in the Top 20.

"I so appreciate it, more now than I did two years ago, probably, even though it would have been exciting for 'My Church' to go No. 1," says the 27-year-old. "I think now getting to ring the bell just feels like it has a lot more weight because I really had to fail a couple times. So many things have gone right. But there have been a couple big wrongs and I feel really, really thankful that it's this one [at No. 1]. and that's a testament in itself that the radio is changing.

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"I hope that I get to be a good example of that and other women to and other men that sound different," she continues. "I think that there is room for everybody still and there's more space being created every year. It's cool to be in this changing time of artists right now."

Morris's latest single, "Rich," is from her still untitled sophomore album. Download the single on iTunes.