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Maren Morris quits country music: Genre 'burning itself down'

Grammy-winning singer Maren Morris is quitting country music due to its racist and misogynistic roots, saying she has hit a dead end in her efforts to make things better. She criticized the industry for celebrating biases and being aligned with a hyper-masculine branch of country music. Morris released a two-track EP called "The Bridge" to express her departure from the genre.

Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Maren Morris, at the age of 33, made a significant announcement on Friday. She revealed her decision to quit the country music genre, citing her belief that the industry has regressed back to its racist and misogynistic origins. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Morris expressed her frustration, stating, "I thought I'd like to burn it to the ground and start over, but it's burning itself down without my help."

As Morris delved deeper into the country music business, she began to witness the flaws and cracks within the industry. Once these issues became apparent, she found it impossible to ignore them. Determined to make a difference, she utilized her limited power to instigate positive change. However, Morris, a vocal advocate for marginalized communities, now feels that her efforts have reached a dead end. Consequently, she has granted herself permission to walk away.

Morris firmly believes that if one genuinely loves a particular genre of music and notices problematic aspects, it is crucial to criticize them. She argues that anything as popular as country music should undergo scrutiny if progress is to be achieved. However, she admits, "But I've kind of said everything I can say."

Originally from Texas, Morris now resides in Nashville with her husband, musician Ryan Hurd, and their 3-year-old son, Hayes. She began to notice a shift in the industry "after the Trump years," where people's biases were openly displayed. She observed a disconcerting alignment between the celebration of these biases and a hyper-masculine branch of country music, which she humorously refers to as "butt rock."

Morris has not shied away from publicly condemning problematic behavior within the industry. In 2021, she publicly criticized Morgan Wallen after he was caught using a racial slur on camera. Additionally, she has been engaged in a feud with Jason Aldean and his wife, Brittany Aldean, since last year due to their transphobic remarks.

Morris has categorically labeled Jason's controversial yet popular new song, "Try That in a Small Town," as butt rock. The song has faced accusations of racism and being a pro-lynching anthem. She believes that people are streaming these songs out of spite rather than genuine enjoyment or love for the music. According to Morris, music should serve as a voice for the oppressed, but it is now being weaponized in toxic culture wars.

In her latest two-track EP, "The Bridge," Morris confronts her departure from the genre that has always been her musical home. In the song "The Tree," she expresses her frustration with filling a cup that has a hole in the bottom. In "Get the Hell Out of Here," she acknowledges her role in tending to the garden but neglecting to fill the well. Collectively, these tracks represent the aftermath of walking away from something that held great significance, the sense of betrayal she experienced, and the glimmer of hope she finds as she moves forward.

Maren Morris's decision to leave country music serves as a powerful statement about the industry's troubling roots. Her candidness and determination to address these issues head-on demonstrate her commitment to progress and inclusivity. As she embarks on a new musical journey, Morris's EP, "The Bridge," encapsulates the complex emotions associated with leaving behind something deeply meaningful and the hope that lies beyond.

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