Maren Morris heard her name called three times during the CMA Awards on Wednesday night, winning Single of the Year and Song of the Year for "The Bones" and Female Vocalist of the Year. During her acceptance speech for Female Vocalist of the Year, her last of the night, she took the opportunity to highlight voices missing from this year's ceremony, naming several Black female country artists during her time at the podium.
"There are some names in my mind that I want to give recognition to because I'm just a fan of their music and they are country as it gets and I just want them all to know how much we love them back," she said after praising her fellow nominees and thanking her team. "Just check out their music after this. It's Linda Martell, Yola, Mickey Guyton, Rissi Palmer, Brittney Spencer, Rhiannon Giddens."
"Linda Martell. @IAmYola. @MickeyGuyton. @RissiPalmer. @BrittNicx. @RhiannonGiddens. There are so many amazing Black women who pioneered and continue to pioneer this genre... I hope you know that we see you." -@MarenMorris, accepting her #CMAawards trophy for Female Vocalist. pic.twitter.com/SGJwvsG48m— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 12, 2020
"There are so many amazing Black women that pioneered and continue to pioneer this genre, and I know they're going to come after me — they've come before me — but you've made this genre so, so beautiful," she continued. "I hope you know that we see you. Thank you for making me so inspired as a singer in this genre."
In the press room after her third win, Morris explained that she wanted to pay it forward in the same way so many artists have done for her and shine a light on artists who haven't received the same level of recognition.
"So many artists like Miranda [Lambert] for instance, have paid it forward for me as an artist and given me an opportunity," she told PopCulture.com and other media. "And Keith Urban, and everyone that's brought me out on the tour over the years. You obviously want to thank your team, the writers, and luckily, I got the chance three times tonight to kind of say everything I wanted to say."
"I think it's lonely when it's just you up there and you're just kind of in a blank and you thank the normal people," she continued. "I felt like tonight, I really am thankful and grateful for those women that have pioneered the way for me to get to do this. And I'm such a fan of country music and soul music. And so, discovering artists like Linda Martell and giving credit to people like Yola and Mickey Guyton, people that really should be more heard of. I just felt like as female vocalists of this year of 2020, I wanted to share that moment with these women that don't often get the credit that they deserve."