Maren Morris at 2016 CMA Awards: ‘I Feel Like the Tide Is Turning Here in Nashville’
Maren Morris won her first-ever CMA trophy on Wednesday night (Nov. 2), for New Artist of the Year. The 26-year-old beat out Kelsea Ballerini, Brothers Osborne, Old Dominion and Cole Swindell to take home the honor, and in the CMA Awards media room following her big win, the rising star admitted that she was "shocked."
"I think being in that category with friends of mine, and so much new talent up this year, when they called my name, I really was in genuine shock," Morris confessed to The Boot and other reporters. "I couldn’t quite get it together by the time I got to the microphone; I was just so overcome with emotion."
During her speech, Morris recounted how she spent the night of the CMA Awards in 2015: having a drink at the bar in the Palm, right across the street from where the awards ceremony was being held.
"That was one year ago," she reflected. "The first thing I thought about [after I won] was my parents in the audience, and everyone back home at their watching parties, and it hit me that it was real. I'm still processing it."
Morris also performed "My Church" during the CMAs' broadcast, as part of an almost three-and-a-half hour show that included performances by artists such as Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks and even Randy Travis.
"I feel incredibly lucky to have received this award at the 50th [anniversary of the CMA Awards," Morris admits. "I think there was so much tradition in the audience and so many icons, but at the same time, the reflection of the winners ... I feel like the tide is turning here in Nashville. Seeing people like Brothers Osborne win is huge ... It just makes me so happy that new blood is coming in and being recognized."
Morris earned acclaim for "My Church," from her freshman album, Hero, released earlier this year. Although she is a solo artist, Morris insists that the credit belongs to everyone who helped her start her musical career.
"I think it's a win for all of us," she notes. "Being a songwriter, coming from this community, we all win when one of us does. It's not a one-man job; it's a village that made this record happen, and made "My Church" happen."
Morris also took time to acknowledge all of the artists who have influenced her since she was a child growing up in Texas, listening to country music.
"I wouldn't be here without them paving the way. They said what they believed in," says Morris. "They didn't care what the trend was ... People are wanting to hear honest songs again."
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