Maren Morris Commends Fearless Female Musicians for Defying “Shut up and Sing” Expectations in Variety Changemaker Speech

Published by Cel Manero from Global One Media, Inc.

Maren Morris acknowledges and credits deserving individuals.

The 33-year-old singer-songwriter received the Changemaker of the Year award at Variety’s Hitmakers Brunch in Los Angeles on Saturday. During her acceptance speech, Morris, recognized for frequently speaking out against transphobia, homophobia, and various forms of discrimination, expressed feeling “overwhelmed” by the honor after being introduced by pop singer Maggie Rogers.

“The Middle” singer continued to reflect on her journey, acknowledging the achievement of her “childhood dream” of becoming a country singer. However, she emphasized the bittersweet nature of her success within an industry that she described as “deeply fractured” and, notably, centered on men to the detriment of other individuals producing comparable, and often superior, music.

Maren Morris shared her realization that publicly addressing these inequalities doesn’t always make one popular. Referring to her own experience, she noted that daring to criticize blatant misogyny, racism, and transphobia within the industry often leads to isolation, death threats, being labeled as ungrateful, accused of biting the hand that fed you, or dismissively told to “just shut up and sing.” Morris, who made headlines for calling out a transphobic comment by Brittany Kerr Aldean last year, highlighted the challenges of confronting such issues within the entertainment world.

In moments of backlash, Morris found solace in the stories of her musical heroines, including Taylor Swift, The Chicks, Sinead O’Connor, and Billie Holiday. She commended Swift for reclaiming ownership of her life’s work, The Chicks for critiquing a sitting U.S. president during the Iraq invasion at the peak of their country music career, O’Connor for spotlighting abuses within the Catholic Church, and Holiday for persisting in performing “Strange Fruit” in protest despite facing a racially targeted FBI investigation.

Acknowledging that she would never equate her experiences to theirs, Morris emphasized finding deep inspiration in the courage these women exhibited during their own moments of adversity when they were told to “shut up and sing.”

These courageous women taught Morris that in order to bring about any meaningful change, one must be a persistent advocate, even if it means being a “giant pain in the a–.” This is because challenging and dismantling a status quo involves making those in comfortable positions feel uncomfortable, as per Morris’s insight.

The singer of “Chasing After You” also recognized her recent choice to step back from country music, describing it as a hiatus to “figure out why I love making music again.” She referred to this as a “journey” that she is currently immersed in.

Expressing her love for making music, Morris emphasized that one doesn’t fight for something they don’t love. She noted that the only change she feels she can take credit for is the internal transformation within herself. If this personal change has resonated outward and positively impacted someone, she expressed feeling privileged and relieved that it has made a meaningful difference.

At the star-studded event in Los Angeles, the “My Church” singer spoke with Entertainment Tonight about the timeline for her next project. Morris, who filed for divorce from Ryan Hurd in October, mentioned that she’s currently navigating personal matters and is in the process of writing and processing through them.

Acknowledging that the timeline for her new project might take longer than expected, she emphasized the importance of giving herself the time to address significant personal aspects without rushing the creative process of delivering an album.

Regarding her personal life, Morris expressed anticipation for an empowering 2024 but mentioned that she plans to stay away from the dating scene for a while. When asked about her relationship status, she humorously replied that she’s not ready to mingle just yet, but the future remains open.