Morris has been one of the true breakout artists in country music over the past two years, with the success of her debut single, "My Church," as well as her critically acclaimed debut album Hero. She's already a CMA winner from 2016, but her second straight nomination for Female Vocalist in 2016 shows she's moved into country music's biggest leagues.
Morris is a new type of country female for the modern age, and her success blazes an important trail at a very crucial time in country music, when females just aren't getting fair trade in the marketplace. That's just one of the reasons Maren Morris deserves to Female Vocalist of the Year in the 2017 CMA Awards.
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Maren Morris is part of a vanguard of younger female artists who will hopefully be able to reclaim the ground female artists have lost in the marketplace over the last few years. Nothing against the more veteran artists in this category this year, but this is a critical time for a younger artist like Morris to step forward and stake a new claim, both on the radio and at the big awards shows.
Morris can sing softly, but she truly shines when she climbs into her upper range to belt out a powerful song like "My Church." She can also maintain her power and projection in her midrange on a song like "Rich," a much rarer feat.
Morris debut album, Hero, features really powerful songs like "My Church," as well as fun songs like "80s Mercedes" and "Rich." But she displays even more range by drawing back and delivering a sensitive song like "I Could Use a Love Song," revealing a completely different side to her voice.
Morris brings a fresh, edgy young sense of not just music, but personal style to the CMA Awards. There are plenty of great female singers in country music, and all of the nominees are talented vocalists, obviously. But Morris just has a fresh energy about her that's exactly what the CMA Awards need right now.
The Category Needs New Blood
Female Vocalist of the Year tends to be a pretty static category with a short list of winners, and that's as it should be. But Reba McEntire and Carrie Underwood have both won Female Vocalist four times, while Miranda Lambert has won the category six times. A win from Morris would really help to shake up a category that's been predictable in recent years.