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Maren Morris Skips the 2024 CMT Music Awards After Genre Exit Drama

Maren Morris Skips the 2024 CMT Music Awards After Genre Exit Drama
Maren Morris Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Flipper's Roller Boogie Palace

Maren Morris was not present for the 2024 CMT Music Awards on Sunday, April 7, despite being nominated.

Morris, 33, confirmed her absence several hours earlier, noting she had a prior work commitment.

“Book tour week officially commences. Karina [Argow] and I are flying to New York tonight, so we’ll see you Wednesday at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square,” she said in an Instagram Story on Sunday, referring to her Addie Ant Goes on an Adventure children’s book.

The singer was nominated on Sunday alongside Hozier for CMT Performance of the Year for their duet of his song “Take Me to Church” during a September 2023 episode of CMT Crossroads. The pair competed against Amber Riley, Bret Michaels and Chris Janson, Carrie Underwood, Cody Johnson, Dierks Bentley, Dustin Lynch and MacKenzie Porter, Jelly Roll, Kelsea Ballerini and The War and Treaty in the category.

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Throughout her career, Morris has received 15 nods at the CMT Music Awards, but she has yet to take home a trophy at the ceremony, which was held at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas, this year.

Despite her success in the genre, Morris revealed in September 2023 that she was leaving country music. “I thought I’d like to burn it to the ground and start over,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “But it’s burning itself down without my help.”

Morris, who has been outspoken about issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community, race and more, added that she felt “very, very distanced” from the genre and she had “kind of said everything I can say” in an effort to change things.

Maren Morris Skips the 2024 CMT Music Awards After Genre Exit Drama
Maren Morris Taylor Hill/WireImage

The following month, Morris clarified that she was being “hyperbolic” and a complete exit from country music would be “ridiculous.”

“I felt like I don’t want to say goodbye, but I really cannot participate in the really toxic arms of this institution anymore,” she said on The New York Times’ “Popcast” podcast in October 2023, noting that she would not submit her music to country awards shows anymore. “I don’t know if it’s forever. … I’m not shutting off fans of country music, or that’s not my intention. It’s just the music industry that I have to walk away, a few factions, from.”

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Morris explained that she saw “the writing on the wall” when detractors began telling her, “You don’t belong here,” amid her advocacy.

“I think when I zoomed out, looking at hard-cold facts … this is getting significantly worse each year for people on the margins, and women in general,” she continued. “It’s not improved, it’s not even plateaued. It’s gotten worse.”

In November 2023, Morris called the possibility of becoming a pop star “hilarious.”

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“I’m not getting out of Dodge. I love living in Nashville, and I don’t consider myself an expat of country music,” she told Variety at the time. “There’s so many amazing people here making music that matters. I’m a piece of this town, and I want to make it better in the same ways I want the music industry to be better.”

Amid the drama over her career path, Morris also filed for divorce from Ryan Hurd in October 2023 after five years of marriage. The pair, who share 4-year-old son Hayes, finalized the proceedings in January.

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