Maren Morris Reveals the Real Reason She Left Country Music

Maren Morris shared that some “people's bad behaviors” led to her decision to step back from country music, sharing that she can’t "participate in the really toxic arms" of the Nashville scene.

By Alexandra Bellusci Oct 05, 2023 2:52 AMTags
Watch: Maren Morris Reveals Why She's Leaving Country Music

Maren Morris isn't looking to meet anyone in the middle when it comes to leaving country music.

A month after the "My Church" singer announced her exit from the genre, she is now delving into what led to her decision.

"I love living in Nashville, I have my family," Maren said during the Oct. 4 episode of The New York Times' Popcast podcast, per People. "There's a reason why people come there from L.A. and New York to write with us. It's because we have amazing songwriters there. That's not gonna change."

However, the "Girl" artist—who publicly called out Jason Aldean's wife Brittany over alleged transphobia last year—confessed that she could no longer defend certain actions in the country music scene.

"I couldn't do this circus anymore—feeling like l have to absorb and explain people's bad behaviors and laugh it off," she admitted. "I just couldn't do that after 2020 particularly. I've changed. A lot of things changed about me that year."

Maren Morris' Best Looks

But fans shouldn't fret, because the Grammy winner isn't going far. Maren explained that she isn't leaving the music industry all together, but instead is doing her own thing from now on.

As for what that looks like? Well, Maren confessed she asked for her music to no longer be considered at country music award shows, adding to fans, "Come with me if you please. Everyone's welcomed."

Back in September, Maren first shared the news of her choice to step back from her craft, due to not feeling as connected to the country crowd.

"The stories going on within country music right now, I've tried to avoid a lot of it at all costs. I feel very, very distanced from it," she told the Los Angeles Times. "I had to take a step back. The way I grew up was so wrapped in country music, and the way I write songs is very lyrically structured in the Nashville way of doing things."

Gary Miller/Getty Images

Clarifying that she wants to continue to record songs, Maren explained, "But I think I needed to purposely focus on just making good music and not so much on how we'll market it. A lot of the drama within the community, I've chosen to step outside out of it."

In fact, she just released a two-song project titled The Bridge Sept. 15. Giving a glimpse into part one called "The Tree," Maren wrote on Instagram in part, "Wrote this on the 10 year anniversary of my moving to Nashville. It's about a toxic 'family tree' burning itself to the ground." 

Meanwhile, part two, dubbed "Get the Hell Out of Here," is all about "the aftermath of the tree burning. Being quite literally burned out, this is a story of me feeling pulled in every direction, needing everyone else's understanding and acceptance but my own and how self-destructive that ultimately became."

Leaving her followers with words of encouragement, Maren shared, "Doing the right thing can feel lonely at times, but there are more friends than foes, so I finally quit making myself one of them."

One of those friends just might be Cassadee Pope, who along with Maren slammed Brittany Aldean last summer while defending trans rights. For a total recap of their feud, keep scrolling…


Brittany Aldean's "Tomboy" Comment

On Aug. 23, 2022, Brittany Aldean, wife of fellow country star Jason Aldean, shared an Instagram Reel of herself applying makeup. "I'd really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life."

Cassadee Pope Slams Brittany Aldean

On Aug. 26, Cassadee posted on her Instagram Story and Twitter, "You'd think celebs with beauty brands would see the positives in including LGBTQ+ people in their messaging. But instead here we are, hearing someone compare their 'tomboy phase' to someone wanting to transition. Real nice."

Brittany shared Cassadee's message on her own Instagram Story. "@cassadeepope wrote this about in me regarding my last reel," she wrote. 

Brittany Fires Back at Cassadee

In another post, Brittany vowed to "always support my children and do what I can to protect their innocence."

Brittany Doubles Down on Initial Comments

Brittany, who shares a 4-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter with Jason, continued, "The other day Memphis wanted to be a dinosaur and tomorrow Navy will want to be a cat. They're children."

She added, "Some parents want to be accepted by society so badly, that they're willing to make life-altering decisions for their children who aren't old enough to fully comprehend the consequences of those actions. Love is protecting your child until they are mature enough as an adult to make their own life decisions. Thankful my parents allowed me to go through my tom boy phase without changing my gender [sic]. Until then. Leave children alone!"

Maren Morris Enters the Chat

Meanwhile, Maren, who used to tour with Cassadee, tweeted, "It's so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie." Cassadee responded with nine laughing emojis.

According to Rolling Stone, on Jan. 6, 2021, hours after a mob of people loyal to then-President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol, Brittany shared on her Instagram Story an image of two of the rioters, alleging that it depicted "Antifa disguised as Trump supporters." The Associated Press reported that there was "no truth to alleged 'evidence' that Capitol rioters were Antifa activists."

"Karen Morris. Thanks for calling me Barbie," she wrote, adding a lips emoji.

Cassadee's POV

Cassadee later shared an Instagram photo of herself smiling from her recent trip to London. The singer traveled to the U.K. to perform at the Long Road Festival in Leicester.

"POV," she captioned her post. "Knowing you got under someone's skin you don't like in the first place."

Maren Doubles Down

While Cassadee did not mention Brittany by name, Maren fired back at Jason's wife and doubled down on her own nickname for her in the comments section.

"You know, I'm glad she didn't become a boy either because we really don't need another a--hole dude in the world," she wrote. "Sucks when Karens try to hide their homophobia/transphobia behind their 'protectiveness of the children."

She added, "F--k all the way off to Insurrection Barbie and the fellow IB's trolling this comment section with their hypocritical, hateful asses."

Cassadee responded to Maren with four queen emojis.

Amid the feud, Britney and the singers all received support on their social media pages from their respective fans as well as fellow singers.

Mickey Guyton responded to Cassadee's London post with four red heart emojis, while Joy Oladokun commented, "Proud of you! also people tend to say 'who are you' when you are winning and more talented than their dry ass fave. keep killing it."

Brittany Supports "Amazing Women"

Brittany did not respond to either of the singers directly but shared an Instagram video of Gabby Barrett performing onstage as the support act on Jason's Rock N' Roll Cowboy tour, captioning her post, "Now back to supporting amazing women."

Maren Expresses Support for LGBTQ+ Community

In an Instagram Story video, Maren said, "Check on your trans friends, check on your gay friends. Anyone that is in country music and had to look at that bulls--t today and feel subhuman, so check on your friends. Me and Cass are good. Thank ya'll so much for the love and support."

Maren Accuses Brittney of Being "Transphobic"

Later in the day, a Twitter user tagged Maren and Cassadee in a tweet, writing, "Lots of confusing, public fighting & jabs in the @cma world right now between women over politics. There are, from what we've always known, enough obstacles for all the ladies in country music. Maybe put down the phone & focus on the guitar. Just sayin'."

Maren responded on Aug. 27, "If it's confusing to you, it's because you think we're 'fighting' over politics. We're not. This isn't political. We're calling someone out for being transphobic and think it's hilarious. It isn't."

Candace Owens Enters the Chat

Meanwhile, Candace Owens traded insults with Maren on Twitter...

RaeLynn Enters the Chat

...and fellow country star RaeLynn shared on her Instagram Story a photo of herself and the conservative commentator posing with Brittany. She captioned her post, "Mama bears for life."

Jason's wife shared her post on her own Instagram Story, adding, "For life," with four strong arm emojis.

Ryan Hurd Enters the Chat

On Aug. 27, Maren's husband tweeted, "Scoring quick points by picking on trans kids isn't something that is brave at all. And I'm proud of Maren for sticking up for them. Badge of honor to have CO engage in completely normal discourse, too. Shut up and sing only applies to those who you disagree with."

Ryan added, "Getting a lot of people telling me our career is over, as if the last time she spoke up about something it disappeared. Honestly, we're pretty ok over here. Tours are good, got a 2 year old we love, we're f--king fine, and I promise she isn't going to shut up now."

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