Maren Morris on Rare Success at Radio as a Woman: 'I Don't Know Why It's Me and Not Them'

Maren Morris has had unprecedented success at radio, with several Top 10 hits, including her recent No. 1 "GIRL" single. The Texas native is grateful for her success, but still bothered by the fact that other current talented female artists have yet to achieve anywhere even close to what she has accomplished.

"In spite of all the female music drought there's been at country radio, I have somehow been the most played woman in country music the last two years," Morris told Harper's Bazaar. "I don't know why it's me and not them."

The disparity between male and female artists has been an ongoing discussion for years, but it was Morris who decided to stop discussing and start acting, which she did with her all-female Girl: The World Tour.

"At some point we have to just stop talking about it. I try to prove through action," Morris said. "Like, 'Okay, if you're not going to play these girls, then I'm gonna bring them out on the road with me.' Cassadee Pope's been out. RaeLynn's out on the road with us now. I've got Kassi Ashton coming out, Hailey Whitters, a lot of up and comers that deserve to be on stage. We have a female tour manager, female bass player, female manager."

Morris has never been afraid of hard work, even from her early days playing all over Texas. Although that season wasn't necessarily easy for Morris, she learned a lot about tenacity and work ethic, even among the most trying of times.

"I like to say that everyone's an overnight sensation when no one's heard of them before," reflected the singer. "But you don't see all of those years of playing in sh--ty honky tonks, and being stiffed by the club owner and not getting paid, but playing the show anyway, and being essentially background music."

Morris might still be struggling like so many other artists, if not for the success of her debut single.

"I had a lot of doors slammed in my face, but one song can change everything, and that's what happened with 'My Church,'" Morris said. "There are a lot of gatekeepers that do not give the same time of day to a new female artist that they would do to a new male artist."

Morris is determined to prove that there is a place for female artists in country music, which is becoming easier to illustrate with the success of her current tour.

"It makes me feel really good to have so many women in the crowd, 'cause there's this very weird, untrue misconception, especially in country music, that women do not want to hear women on the radio," Morris maintained. "When I look out at my crowd, the majority are ladies. I just feel like we debunk that theory every night, because they're the ones buying the tickets, the merch, the songs, and singing so loud back to us."

Morris will continue to make sure her music, and music by her female friends, is being heard by as many people as possible.


"I think that's all that we can do, is go out and play the f---ing song," Morris said. "Little by little, the dial is going to shift, for the better."

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Steven Ferdman