Maren Morris Recalls ‘Traumatic’ ‘American Idol’ Audition

Maren Morris is undoubtedly one of the hottest artists in country music right now. With a recent chart-topping single, a…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

September 5, 2019


2:39 pm

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Maren Morris

Maren Morris is undoubtedly one of the hottest artists in country music right now. With a recent chart-topping single, a whopping six CMA Awards nominations and the launch of the second leg of her GIRL: The World Tour, there seems to be no stopping the 29-year-old Texas native.

There once was a time, however, that Morris struggled with finding her place within the music industry. It was then that she turned to reality television with hopes to land a spot on a popular singing competition like The Voice or American Idol.

During her appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Morris revealed she once auditioned for “everything you can think of,” including America’s Got Talent, American Idol, Star Search, and The Voice.

“It was all a no,” she confessed, confirming she didn’t make it past the first round during any of the auditions.

She went on to share details of her “traumatic” experience auditioning for American Idol, which left her in tears.

“I have this very traumatic, vivid memory of auditioning for American Idol when I was 17, in Dallas, where I’m from. It was at the Cowboys Stadium. You know, you don’t see Paula and Simon and Randy in the first go audition,” she explained. “It’s like a stadium cattle call and you audition for like a 20-year-old producer who has like, probably no music cred. You just sing for like eight seconds and sing your heart out and then my entire group got cut. They’re like, ‘sorry, you have to take the walk of shame.’ I just remember being like 17 and I had to like walk through the walk of shame out to the parking lot and find my mom’s car and just cry on the way home with her.”

“But,” she continued, “I mean, it all worked out.”

Worked out is an understatement as Morris went on to become the most played female artist on country radio in 2017 and 2018. Now, she’s getting the last laugh.

“Honestly, the poetic justice of that whole thing is that now, people like audition with my songs on those shows, so I just get the check in the mail.”

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.