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Maren Morris is leaving country music and changing genres, revealing in a shocking new interview why she feels she can no longer continue in the industry where she started more than a decade ago. Fans are wondering what's next for the singer and why she would walk away from a successful career as a country artist.
Why Is Maren Morris Leaving Country Music?
The "Girl" singer told the Los Angeles Times in a candid September 15 interview that she wants to step back from the country genre due to too much "drama" and she wants to try something new.
“I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” she said of country music, adding, “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”
"Obviously, being one of the few women that had any success on country radio, everything you do is looked at under a microscope. You’re scrutinized more than your male peers, even when you’re doing well. So, I’ve had to clear all of that out of my head this year and just write songs. A lot of the drama within the community, I’ve chosen to step outside out of it," Maren explained.
"I’ve kind of said everything I can say. I always thought I’d have to do middle fingers in the air jumping out of an airplane, but I’m trying to mature here and realize I can just walk away from the parts of this that no longer make me happy," she continued.
Maren further talked about her decision to leave country music in an October appearance on The New York Times' “Popcast” podcast, revealing that she has asked for her music to no longer be considered for country awards.
"I couldn’t do this circus anymore — feeling like l have to absorb and explain people’s bad behaviors and laugh it off,” she said. “I just couldn’t do that after 2020 particularly. I’ve changed. A lot of things changed about me that year."
What Did Maren Morris Say About How Country Music Has Changed?
"After the Trump years, people’s biases were on full display. It just revealed who people really were and that they were proud to be misogynistic and racist and homophobic and transphobic," "The Bones" songstress revealed. She felt that it was causing country to become too aggressive and hate filled. "All these things were being celebrated, and it was weirdly dovetailing with this hyper-masculine branch of country music," Maren added, saying she calls the type of music "butt rock."
Did Maren Morris' Feud With Jason and Brittany Aldean Impact Her Decision to Leave Country Music?
Maren called out Brittany for her alleged transphobic remarks in August 2022 after the beauty influencer wrote in an Instagram post, "I'd really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life." Maren later responded in a tweet, "It's so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie."
"I’ve always been an asker of questions and a status quo challenger just by being a woman. So, it wasn’t really even a choice. I didn’t think of myself as a political artist. I just wrote songs about real life through a lens of deep respect for my country heroes. But the further you get into the country music business, that’s when you start to see the cracks. And once you see it, you can’t un-see it. So, you start doing everything you can with the little power you have to make things better," she told the publication.
Maren also took a swipe at Jason's controversial hit song "Try That in a Small Town."
"I think it’s a last bastion. People are streaming these songs out of spite. It’s not out of true joy or love of the music. It’s to own the libs. And that’s so not what music is intended for. Music is supposed to be the voice of the oppressed — the actual oppressed. And now it’s being used as this really toxic weapon in culture wars," she shared.
What Singers Does Maren Morris Admire When It Comes to Changing Genres?
"Certainly Taylor Swift. She’s been such a great friend over the years and has been really helpful in ways she probably doesn’t even realize in conversations I’ve had with her about everything you and I have been talking about," the Texas native told the L.A. Times' reporter. Taylor successfully crossed over from country to pop with her smash 2014 album 1989 and has gone on to explore folk and alt-country with her albums Folklore and Evermore.
She added, "On a more historic level, Linda Ronstadt. She’s weaved through so many different genres, and she just had one of those voices that can kind of fit anywhere because you believe her when she sings something." Linda was a pop-rock icon in the 70s who also performed in county, folk, jazz and Mexican traditional Mariachi genres.
Has Maren Morris Had Success Outside of Country Music?
Maren's 2018 pop collaboration "The Middle" with DJ and producer Zedd was a massive hit, reaching No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and ultimately surpassing 1 billion Spotify streams.