Her unfiltered feelings have made her THE topic of country music news since its release.
As someone lucky enough to make it big and make lots of money from playing the game, she has often compared the country music industry as an “abusive relationship.” When chatting with the Los Angeles Times, she said the country music community was self-destructing, noting:
“I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over… but it’s burning itself down without my help.”
The article also concluded that her departure was due to:
“The country music industry’s unwillingness to honestly reckon with its history of racism and misogyny and to open its gates to more women and queer people and people of color.”
While many new outlets have been buzzing with the news, few artists have publicly responded save for John Rich, Ward Davis, and a few others.
Ward Davis, an independent country music, chimed in on her musical statements, noting:
“I read that Maren Morris announced that she has decided to quit country music. I do not mean this to be ugly, but you can’t really quit something unless you do it to begin with.
Like, I’m not going to quit being a real estate agent, and I’m not going to give up my rodeo career either. Just wouldn’t make any sense.”
Ward is known for his unfiltered opinion and Facebook rants (if you don’t know about his battle with the Hays, Kansas police department, stop here and then come back because that is some Grade-A entertainment) about what the hot topics in country music are.
After Ward made his statement earlier this week, Maren Morris’ husband, Ryan Hurd, made a public Instagram statement defending his wife:
“She deserves to be celebrated, not just tolerated. I love the response from people who don’t just love these two songs, they needed them. I knew it would strike a chord.
Most people would just shut up and keep collecting the paycheck because the wave of vitriol is real, and it’s hard. I’m so sick of watching my wife get the shit kicked out of her by the internet.
I’m sick of every talking head having some kind of stupid opinion about what she says. It’s the same every time, why are you surprised when she calls out something racist or homophobic, I’m sick of people getting rewarded for it.”
I mean, when you nominate yourself as the unofficial spokesperson for country music, and then use that soapbox to continually bash the entire industry, you’re naturally going to open yourself up to a lot criticism.
“To me, ‘The Bridge’ is beautiful and so rock and roll. She deserves a little sunshine for the burden she has carried for every artist and fan that feels the same way. I can’t wait for that first tour and to see all of the smiling and beautiful people who needed these songs and also need HER.
I can’t wait to make music that follows the same path, whatever that is. Feel free to leave a comment below to express your hatred or love for whatever I said, they will be duly noted, filed, sorted, and discarded.
Love you, MM. Keep on keepin’ on.”
Ironically, after telling fans to comment on the post, Hurd turned off the commenting ability on the post.
That being said, I am very interested in how his wife’s choice to depart country music impacts his career. Hurd has had his fair share of success as a songwriter in the industry, penning hits for however his only real success as a solo artist has come on a song that featured Maren.
So while she makes a dramatic exit from the genre, Hurd is still in the thick of country music business from multiple angles.
“The further you get into the country music business, that’s when you start to see the cracks. And once you see it, you can’t un-see it. So you start doing everything you can with the little power you have to make things better…
If you truly love this type of music and you start to see problems arise, it needs to be criticized. Anything this popular should be scrutinized if we want to see progress.
But I’ve kind of said everything I can say. I always thought I’d have to do middle fingers in the air jumping out of an airplane, but I’m trying to mature here and realize I can just walk away from the parts of this that no longer make me happy.
These songs are obviously the result of that… the aftermath of walking away from something that was really important to you and the betrayal that you felt very righteously.
But also knowing there’s a thread of hope as you get to the other side.”