Since debuting on the country scene in 2015 with “My Church,” Maren Morris has grown into one of the biggest stars in country music. After many years of releasing hits, winning awards (including a Grammy,) and collaborating with some of the biggest names in music, fans have had ample time to get to know the country star. Although many people know she’s married to fellow singer Ryan Hurd and she isn’t one to be shy on social media, there are still some lesser-known facts about the singer.
Here are 10 things you may not know about Maren Morris.
- Her parents owned hair salon.
Morris was born in Arlington, Texas to parents Greg and Kellie Morris, who were hair salon owners. The singer says she spent much of her childhood at the hair salon owned by her parents. Not only did Morris grow up in their hair salon, but her parents are still in business today. Their salon, Maren Karsen Salon, is named after Maren and their other daughter Karsen, and it is currently open for business in Arlington, Texas.
2. She received her first guitar at age 12.
Morris grew up singing along to the radio, singing karaoke and loving country greats such as LeAnn Rimes and Patsy Cline, and it wasn’t long before she started creating her own music. Her father bought her a guitar when she was 12 years old, and she soon started writing her own songs on it. That eventually led the young singer to performing in bars and venues in her home state.
“I started playing all around Texas—any bar or club that would let me in there. I was the only kid in school that had a job on the weekends,” she says.
It’s clear that her father’s connection to music is still important to her, as she posted a throwback photo of the two of them playing guitar together earlier this year. “My father’s daughter,” she wrote.
3. She knew Kacey Musgraves before moving to Nashville.
Maren Morris took the plunge and moved to Music City when she was 20, and she knew at least one friend who lived there already: Kacey Musgraves. Morris has said that she and Musgraves knew one another “forever” back in their home state of Texas. She also says that she would often stay with Musgraves when she came to Nashville and the fellow Texan even gave her some songwriting tips.
“Kacey was writing songs in Nashville, so I would stay with her any time I came to visit,” she told Country Countdown USA. “I learned a lot from the business side what songwriters do in Nashville. Prior to that, I wrote songs alone, but she introduced me to co-writing, and I thought it was a fascinating idea, and now I prefer it.”
4. She auditioned for both American Idol and The Voice.
As a Grammy-winning, world-renowned singer, one would think a young Maren Morris would easily take home the trophy on singing competition shows such as The Voice and American Idol, but the truth is that she was actually overlooked by them. Morris shared that she was turned down by both of these shows, as well as America’s Got Talent, Nashville Star, and Star Search, prior to landing her record deal. Morris is of course happy with how things turned out, but she did send some friendly shade to the shows via Twitter not too long ago. In July, she retweeted a fan account tweet that reads, “Remember when Maren got rejected from American Idol, The Voice, and America’s Got Talent and now they use her music the shows for promo and audition songs.”
5. She released other albums before her major label debut.
Before Morris signed on with Columbia Records and released “My Church,” she had an extensive career as an independent artist. In 2005, she released an album called Walk On, in 2007, she released All That It Takes, and she released an album called Live Wire in 2011. It wasn’t until she released her independent, self-titled EP, Maren Morris, that she began receiving mass attention. The EP, which featured her soon-to-be debut single “My Church,” earned 2.5 million streams on Spotify and made a mark on the Viral 50 chart. It was that release that eventually led to her signing a record deal with Columbia Nashville.
6. She’s a successful songwriter for other artists.
Another thing that gained Morris attention in the mainstream country community was her songwriting skills. She has written many songs for other artists, with one of the first of these being “Last Turn Home,” which was recorded by Tim McGraw for his Sundown Heaven Town album. Kelly Clarkson also recorded Morris’ song, “Second Wind,” for her Piece By Piece album. Other artists that have recorded songs written by Morris include Brothers Osborne, Kree Harrison and Jessie James Decker.
7. She had a big hand in the music on ABC’s ‘Nashville’
Not only has Morris written songs for real-life artists, but she has also written many songs for the fictional country singers that graced TV screens on ABC’s Nashville. She wrote four songs that were sung by the show’s Aubrey Peeples, and she also wrote tunes for actors Connie Britton, Clare Bowen, Sam Palladio, Hayden Panettiere and Will Chase. These songs can be found on the many Nashville soundtracks.
8. She has struggled with postpartum depression.
In March 2020, Morris and her husband Ryan Hurd gave birth to their first child, Hayes Andrew Hurd, and in September, she revealed that she struggled with postpartum depression. She shared the details in an interview with CBS This Morning.
“I’m kind of coming through the tunnel now,” she said. “I feel back to normal. Fortunately, I was able to do phone therapy during the pandemic and people that love me around me were like, ‘Hey, if you feel like you’re drowning right now, there’s help.’”
She continued, explaining that the weight of becoming a new parent and doing everything right made her feel overwhelmed. In addition, having to cancel her tour and furlough her crew due to the pandemic also contributed to the depression she was feeling.
9. She deals with stage fright.
Although Morris has played on countless stages all over the world throughout her career, she still feels some anxiety before walking onstage for a performance. She told Women’s Health that stage fright still creeps up in her mind to this day.
“Some parts of it never go away,” she told the publication in 2019. “When I get out there and relax into it, I’m fine.”
She also revealed that she used to smoke as a coping mechanism, but now she opts to spend time with friends and loved ones after shows to relieve stress.
10. She doesn’t entertain internet trolls.
Maren Morris isn’t afraid to speak her mind on social media, and she has often been one to shut down internet trolls who criticize her image or her parenting. One example of this is when she responded to a commenter who took issue with Morris’ cleavage in a selfie she posted. The social media user’s comment was clearly mean-spirited and Morris simply responded with, “Girl BYE. Don’t let my boobs knock you on the way out.” Morris’ husband, Ryan Hurd, also stepped up to defend his wife against people who criticized her after she posted a photo of herself and their son on a lake float without life jackets.
“I’d just like to say, my wife usually doesn’t need me to defend her, but she’s a great mom, and my kid was not unsafe on a float in 1 feet of water being held by an adult with 5 people watching so she could get a picture,” he wrote on social media.