Maren Morris has no time for negativity.
The country singer, who is not afraid to use her platform to speak out against injustice, has faced flack, but that's not what she's focused on. "You're always gonna have people that want to come for you if you say something that's like unpopular to them or their group think for the second," Maren, who is mom to son Hayes, told Ellen DeGeneres on the March 11 episode of her daytime talk show. "For me, its just like, you know what—I have to think about my son and the people in my circle going forward, who I write with, who I employ and think, you know, am I making room for everybody?"
As for the naysayers, they're not as loud as her desire for progress. "I don't care if someone on TikTok thinks I suck—it's not really my issue," she said. "I think I just want to exist in a genre that is working to be better."
While improvements are being made in country music—her social change anthem "Better Than We Found It" is nominated for an ACM Award for Video of the Year—Morris acknowledged not everyone feels included.
"I'm a white woman in country music. I already sort of have this leg up and, even though there is a huge disparity between men and women in our genre, there is even more of a disparity between white women and Black women trying to be in country music and there is so many Black women and men who adore country music and don't feel like the door is open for them even a crack," she pointed out. "I've just been doing so much of my own homework the last couple of years and especially, you know, since George Floyd, I just feel like country music as a genre—we all have so much room to grow, myself included."
Still, there is a silver lining for the beloved music. "I think country music definitely is stepping up to the plate," she added, "slowly but surely."
During the interview, Morris also praised fellow country star T.J. Osborne, who recently came out as gay, making him the first openly gay performer signed to a major country record label.
"I hope that him having the bravery to even do that has made a few more people that love country music that are gay feel like they have a home there, too," she said. "For him to put it all out there is just—I'm not a sliver of that brave, so I'm really proud of T.J."