Maren Morris' breakout single "My Church" won Best Country Solo Performance at the 59th Grammy Awards, beating out songs by Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban. The song appears on the Texas singer-songwriter's debut album Hero.
"Oh my goodness, this is so crazy. Thank you to the Recording Academy. Eleven years ago I went to the first ever Grammy camp. It was the first ever time I flew on a plane by myself," said Morris in her acceptance speech, wrapping up with an emotional nod to her fans. "Thank you for giving me the most incredible year in my life."
Morris was also nominated for Best New Artist, Best Country Song and Best Country Album, which went to Sturgill Simpson's A Sailor's Guide to Earth.
"Six years ago I was in Utah working on a railroad and writing songs at night," Simpson said. "My wife made me quit that job and move to Nashville, so thank you, babe."
A Sailor's Guide to Earth, written in response to the birth of Simpson's son, beat out Loretta Lynn's Full Circle, Brandy Clark's Big Day in a Small Town and more mainstream nominees Keith Urban's Ripcord and Morris' Hero. "I guess the revolution will not be televised," quipped Simpson, nodding at his somewhat unexpected win occurring during the non-televised awards.
In two other country races, vocal group Pentatonix pulled off an upset win for their take on "Jolene" featuring Dolly Parton, and Lori McKenna's "Humble and Kind," a Number One country-radio hit for Tim McGraw, won Best Country Song.
"I sat at my dining room table and wrote a song for my kids one day," said McKenna through tears. "Tim McGraw made a moment out of this simple prayer for my kids, and I thank Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. They're a reason I have a job … Thanks for letting little songs like this make their way onto the radio."
Elsewhere, Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott and the Scott Family prevailed in both categories in which they were nominated: Best Contemporary Christian Music Album for Love Remains, and Contemporary Christian Music Performance for "Thy Will."
Duo Joey + Rory's Hymns was named Best Roots Gospel Album. The victory was bittersweet for Rory Feek: his wife and musical partner Joey Martin Feek died from cancer at age 40 on March 4th. Accepting the award in his trademark overalls, Rory Feek dedicated the trophy to Joey.
"My wife's dream was to make a hymns album, and she didn't have a chance to do it until she was diagnosed with stage four cancer. She'd sing her vocals in hotel rooms while she did chemo and radiation," said Feek, who promised his wife he'd attend the Grammys should they be nominated. "She told me, 'Remember, if we win, I'll know before you will."
Vince Gill also dedicated his Best American Roots Song victory to a fallen musical partner. "Kid Sister" was written about Dawn Sears, his bandmate in the Western swing band the Time Jumpers, who died from cancer in December 2014.
"I wish you all would have had the chance once in your life to hear the voice of the woman I wrote this song about," said Gill.
Other Americana winners included Sarah Jarosz, for Best American Roots Performance for "House of Mercy" and for Best Folk Album for Undercurrent. Soul singer William Bell won Best Americana Album for This Is Where I Live, his first album in 10 years.
Willie Nelson's tribute to the Gershwin brothers, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin, won Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.
Here are the complete country and Americana category winners:
Best Country Solo Performance
"Love Can Go to Hell," Brandy Clark
"Vice," Miranda Lambert
"My Church," Maren Morris - WINNER
"Church Bells," Carrie Underwood
"Blue Ain't Your Color," Keith Urban
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
"Different for Girls," Dierks Bentley featuring Elle King
"21 Summer," Brothers Osborne
"Setting the World on Fire," Kenny Chesney & P!nk
"Jolene," Pentatonix featuring Dolly Parton - WINNER
"Think of You," Chris Young With Cassadee Pope
Best Country Song
"Blue Ain't Your Color," Clint Lagerberg, Hillary Lindsey & Steven Lee Olsen (Keith Urban)
"Die a Happy Man," Sean Douglas, Thomas Rhett & Joe Spargur (Thomas Rhett)
"Humble and Kind," Lori McKenna (Tim McGraw) - WINNER
"My Church," busbee & Maren Morris (Maren Morris)
"Vice," Miranda Lambert, Shane McAnally & Josh Osborne, (Miranda Lambert)
Best Country Album
Big Day in a Small Town, Brandy Clark
Full Circle, Loretta Lynn
Hero, Maren Morris
A Sailor's Guide to Earth, Sturgill Simpson - WINNER
Ripcord, Keith Urban
Best American Roots Performance
"Ain't No Man," the Avett Brothers
"Mother's Children Have a Hard Time," Blind Boys of Alabama
"Factory Girl," Rhiannon Giddens
"House Of Mercy," Sarah Jarosz - WINNER
"Wreck You," Lori McKenna
Best American Roots Song
"Alabama At Night," Robbie Fulks (Robbie Fulks)
"City Lights," Jack White (Jack White)
"Gulfstream," Eric Adcock & Roddie Romero (Roddie Romero and the Hub City All-Stars)
"Kid Sister," Vince Gill (The Time Jumpers) - WINNER
"Wreck You," Lori McKenna, Felix McTeigue (Lori McKenna)
Best Americana Album
True Sadness, The Avett Brothers
This Is Where I Live, William Bell - WINNER
The Cedar Creek Sessions, Kris Kristofferson
The Bird & The Rifle, Lori McKenna
Kid Sister, The Time Jumpers
Best Bluegrass Album
Original Traditional, Blue Highway
Burden Bearer, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver
The Hazel and Alice Sessions, Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands
North By South, Claire Lynch
Coming Home, O'Connor Band With Mark O'Connor - WINNER
Best Traditional Blues Album
Can't Shake This Feeling, Lurrie Bell
Live at the Greek Theatre, Joe Bonamassa
Blues & Ballads (A Folksinger's Songbook: Volumes I & II), Luther Dickinson
The Soul of Jimmie Rodgers, Vasti Jackson
Porcupine Meat, Bobby Rush - WINNER
Best Contemporary Blues Album
The Last Days Of Oakland, Fantastic Negrito - WINNER
Love Wins Again, Janiva Magness
Bloodline, Kenny Neal
Give It Back to You, The Record Company
Everybody Wants a Piece, Joe Louis Walker
Best Folk Album
Silver Skies Blue, Judy Collins & Ari Hest
Upland Stories, Robbie Fulks
Factory Girl, Rhiannon Giddens
Weighted Mind, Sierra Hull
Undercurrent, Sarah Jarosz - WINNER
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
"Thy Will," Hillary Scott & the Scott Family - WINNER
"Trust in You," Lauren Daigle
"Priceless," For King & Country
"King of the World," Natalie Grant
"Chain Breaker," Zach Williams
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Love Remains, Hillary Scott & the Scott Family - WINNER
Poets & Saints, All Sons & Daughters
American Prodigal, Crowder
Be One, Natalie Grant
Youth Revival (Live), Hillsong Young & Free
Best Roots Gospel Album
Hymns, Joey + Rory - WINNER
Better Together, Gaither Vocal Band
Nature's Symphony in 432, The Isaacs
Hymns and Songs of Inspiration, Gordon Mote
God Don't Never Change: The Songs of Blind Willie Johnson, Various Artists