Just kidding! In September, Maren Morris called the culture in country music "toxic" and said that she was leaving the genre. Now, though, she's doing somewhat of an about-face.
On the Nov. 7 episode of "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon," the "My Church" singer insisted that she's not leaving country music because it's in her soul. While describing her new EP, "The Bridge," Maren said two of her new songs express her thoughts on country music.
"I wrote these two songs — 'The Tree' and 'Get The Hell Out Of Here' — and I just felt like I was leaving some things in country music behind that didn't really, like, serve me anymore," she said. "And so, it felt like calling it 'The Bridge' felt like just the step to the next thing, whatever that is."
Keep reading for more on her current stance, which somewhat contradicts her previous comments…
Jimmy Fallon asked Maren Morris on "The Tonight Show" about headlines that indicated she was leaving the country music genre.
"Well, I don't think it's something you can really leave — because it's the music that's in me and that's what I grew up doing. It's the music I write — even if I've been sort of genre-fluid my whole career. You can't, like, scrub the country music out," Maren said. "So it was very, like, hyperbolic, but you know headlines are different than the things you actually say."
Jimmy then asked point-blank, "So you're not leaving country music?"
"No, no," Maren replied. "I'm taking, like, the good parts with me. And all are welcome. But, yeah, there were some, you know, facets of it that I didn't really, like, jive with anymore."
Maren Morris has never been a part of the country music establishment — particularly due to her views on politics and LGBTQ+ rights, which are unpopular in the traditionally right-leaning genre.
In September, she shaded the country music genre in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, saying, "I thought I'd like to burn it to the ground and start over. But it's burning itself down without my help."
On the Oct. 4 episode of The New York Times' "Popcast" podcast, Maren Morris — who recently split from husband Ryan Hurd — called county music a "circus."
"I love living in Nashville — I have my family. 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," she said. "I couldn't do this circus anymore — feeling like l have to absorb and explain people's bad behaviors and laugh it off. I just couldn't do that after 2020 particularly. I've changed. A lot of things changed about me that year."
She also addressed how the 2020 presidential election affected her during her recent interview with the Los Angeles Times: "After the Trump years, people's biases were on full display," she explained. "It just revealed who people really were and that they were proud to be misogynistic and racist and homophobic and transphobic. All these things were being celebrated, and it was weirdly dovetailing with this hyper-masculine branch of country music. I call it butt rock."
Maren Morris said that she began to feel like the country music world was "toxic" after she got backlash for her songs "My Church" and "80 Mercedes" from her 2016 debut album.
"Ironically, it was like, 'She's not country. Look at the way she dresses. Get the hell out of here. You don't belong here. This is not, like, Dolly [Parton],'" she said on "Popcast."
"I don't want to say goodbye, but I really cannot participate in the really toxic arms of this institution anymore," she added.