Maren Morris won her first Female Vocalist of the Year award at Wednesday night’s CMA Awards and used her time onstage to honor the under-acknowledged legacy of black women in country music with an emotional acceptance speech.
"Linda Martell. @IAmYola. @MickeyGuyton. @RissiPalmer. @BrittNicx. @RhiannonGiddens. There are so many amazing Black women who pioneered and continue to pioneer this genre… I hope you know that we see you." –@MarenMorris, accepting her #CMAawards trophy for Female Vocalist. pic.twitter.com/SGJwvsG48m
— CMA Country Music (@CountryMusic) November 12, 2020
“There are some names in my mind that I want to give recognition too because I”m just a fan of their music and they’re as country as it gets, and I just want them to know how much we love them back,” Morris said during her remarks, before going on to name Linda Martell, Rissi Palmer, Yola, Mickey Guyton, Brittany Spencer, and Rhiannon Giddens.
“There are so many amazing black women that pioneered and continue to pioneer this genre, and I know they’re going to come after me, they’ve come before me, but you’ve made this genre so, so beautiful. I hope you know that we see you. Thank you for making me so inspired as a singer in this genre.”
Earlier in the night, Morris accepted the awards for both Single and Song of the Year for her 2019 crossover smash “The Bones.”
Last month, Morris tweeted, “Come sing with us” to up-and-coming singer-songwriter Brittany Spencer after coming across her acoustic rendition of the Highwomen’s “Crowded Table” online.