Maren Morris Applauds Beyoncé’s Country Crossover: ‘So Astounding and Important’

The Billboard Visionary Award winner applauded Beyoncé for “reclaiming country music to Black people.”

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

March 8, 2024

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Maren Morris; Photo by Gilbert Flores for Billboard

Maren Morris says she is “proud” of Beyoncé for making a statement with her recent shift from pop to country music with her viral hit, “Texas Hold ‘Em.” With this song, the Queen Bey made history as the first black woman to earn a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart.

On Wednesday, March 6, Morris attended the 2024 Billboard Women in Music Awards in Los Angeles, CA as both a performer and recipient of the Visionary Award. While strutting down the red carpet in a stunning nude, form-fitting dress with gold accents, she made sure to stop for a brief interview with Billboard to discuss the empowering event for women in music. 

Maren Morris; Photo by Gilbert Flores for Billboard
Maren Morris; Photo by Gilbert Flores for Billboard

Commending Beyoncé On Her Efforts To Reclaim Country Music

During the conversation, Morris expressed great pride for her fellow female artist and Texas native, who, much like herself, has broken down the barriers of music in order to express herself fully as an artist. 

“Gotta represent Texas in the house,” Morris told the outlet before adding that Beyoncé’s “very purposeful” way of “reclaiming country music to Black people” is “so astounding and important” because “they invented the genre.” 

“So [finger snap] slay,” she added. 

The “Humble Quest” singer also admitted to using “Texas Hold ‘Em” as the soundtrack to her getting ready process for the evening because it “gets me moving…She knows how to bring it to 11 every time.”

What Is The Billboard Women in Music Awards?

Hosted by award-winning actor and producer, Tracee Ellis Ross, at the YouTube Theater at Hollywood Park, the 2024 award show welcomed an abundance of rising stars and A-List artists, creators, producers and executives to highlight their contributions to the industry. 

Morris was invited to appear among the star-studded lineup of performers and special honorees that also welcomed Charli XCX, Ice Spice, Kylie Minogue, PinkPantheress, TEMS, Victoria Monét, Young Miko, and 2024 Billboard Woman of the Year Karol G. Additional attendees included Andra Day, Demi Lovato, Fletcher, GloRilla, JoJo, Lainey Wilson, Sofia Vergara and more. 

Lainey Wilson; Photo by Gilbert Flores for Billboard
Lainey Wilson; Photo by Gilbert Flores for Billboard

Morris’ Performance Celebrates The Fifth Anniversary Of Her Song, “Girl”

Being that the show was a pure celebration of women, it only made sense for Morris to perform her single, “Girl,” which was released on March 8, 2019.

“It really encapsulates what this evening is about,” she told Billboard, “Which is like, female empowerment, we’re bad-ass b–ches.”

Taking the stage for what she described as a “laid back” version of the track, Morris strummed her acoustic guitar while belting out the passionate lyrics. Her silky vocals were highlighted by the warm lights of the stage and the accompaniment of two musicians playing the keyboard and electric guitar. 

YouTube video

Visionary Award Recipient

When the moment came for her to accept her Visionary Award, Morris stepped up to the mic and offered a speech that was just as inspiring as her performance. 

“This is such an honor, Billboard. Thank you again. This is my second time here and I don’t really consider myself a visionary. I just have visions, I have delusions, so I appreciate getting a trophy for them,” she joked before getting more serious as she reflected on her past year of ups and downs, including her divorce from fellow country singer, Ryan Hurd. 

“I would not have been able to survive this past year of my life, not to get too serious, but this year has been a lot and the women in my life have truly banded around me and kept me upright. But my favorite thing about my team and just women in general is our visions, our ideas, our crazy theories, whatever it is, our ideas don’t just sit in a voice note. We figure out how to execute them on the phone with each other the next day, and we make them real. And I feel like we’re the best at that.”

She went on to share the utmost appreciation for the members of her all-female team, who she feels are the people who “have really kept me together” during the most trying times. 

After thanking Billboard once again, she ended her speech by saying, “This is such an honor and everyone that’s getting honored tonight deserves it so much. I’m a fan of all of them and I’m just excited to have a drink after this and enjoy the rest of the show. Thank you.”

Following her recent headline run, Maren Morris is gearing up to make several festival appearances throughout the summer. Additionally, she has been tapped to perform at an upcoming benefit show in Nashville’s Basement East, to help raise funds to rebuild Camp Wayfarer, a boys and girls summer camp in Flat Rock, NC that recently suffered a “tragic fire.”

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.