The singer’s “God Bless the USA” is one of the most iconic songs of all time, an anthem that’s played at everything from sporting events to Fourth of July celebrations and has served as an anthem for America in her darkest times.
So naturally Greenwood didn’t take too kindly to Maren Morris, who recently announced that she was leaving country music, blasting the genre and other artists releasing songs that he sees as a reflection of America.
In an open letter posted to FoxNews.com, Greenwood blasted Morris for criticizing country music on her way out the door, saying that she doesn’t understand the genre:
“The millennial star claims that country music is having an “existential crisis” by tying itself so closely to patriotism, America and freedom.
However, that’s precisely what country music is all about!
To suggest that country music is “too patriotic” is to not understand country music at all. It’s in our very name: country music. Our music is written for love of our country, our heart for America.”
Greenwood also says that it’s not that country music has gotten too political, but that its songs reflect what’s going on across the country and the feelings of its listeners:
“Because country music is so closely tied to the heartbeat of America, it also happens to reflect what’s happening across the country at the very moment. As a result, it’s not that politics has infiltrated country music, it’s quite the opposite – music ends up reflecting the very conversations happening across the country today.”
He cites Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town,” a song that was heavily criticized by Morris for having “racist” undertones, as the result of feelings that Americans have had since the riots that took place in the summer of 2020 and the conversations surrounding defunding the police:
“For example, Jason Aldean’s song “Try That In A Small Town” wasn’t a racist tome. It was an outcropping of a three-year conversation, since the summer of 2020, about the change in the American landscape, law enforcement, the defunding of police, and the mass looting that soon followed and has become commonplace in towns across America today.”
And he compares the song to his own iconic hit, which he says was a reflection of the frustrations with the political climate of the late ’70s and early ’80s:
“These are the visuals country music bestows on America – stories of true grit, and patriotic stories that are a reflection of what’s truly happening in the USA today.”
Greenwood also calls out “liberal artists” who don’t understand the frustrations that many across America have with what they see happening in their country:
“For liberal artists to despise a genre of music due to its lyrics is to despise what is happening across America today. Placing the blame on former President Donald Trump or any other political group is misguided, as it’s not that politics has infiltrated the music – it’s simply that music reflects what is happening in the country.”
And while he thinks that Maren Morris should stay in country music to be a part of that conversation, Greenwood blasts the singer for trying to “cancel” artists – or country music itself – for songs that she doesn’t agree with:
“However, suggesting that individual country music artists (or the entire genre of country music!) ought to be “canceled” because you don’t like the lyrics is a slippery slope to censorship, free expression, and is out of line with the values of hard work, freedom, and grit that have made country music so great to this day.”
Greenwood is far from the only one to call out Maren Morris on her way out the door: Ward Davis made a tongue-in-cheek post saying that for Morris to leave country music, she would have had to make country music to begin with. And HARDY’s wife Caleigh said that if Maren feels so out of place in country music, maybe she needs to take a look in the mirror:
“I know the people of Nashville, and I know the people that are in the music industry, and I know country music, and they are beautiful people, and they are so kind. The country music industry is not far right. It is not at all…
A huge part of it is extremely liberal, and there are a lot of people with left-leaning views, and everyone gets along.
Honestly, that to me is one of the most special parts about the country music industry, is everybody has great characteristics and strong values, and people get along.
They’re kind-hearted people who are an open community, and I think it’s just a shame that if you feel that ostracized by Nashville, I think maybe there’s just some looking inward that you need to do.”
Aside from leaving country music, it was also revealed today (as first reported right here on Whiskey Riff) that Maren had filed for divorce from her husband of five years, Ryan Hurd.