Maren Morris is doubling down on her mission to make country music a more inclusive genre for LGBTQ artists and their fans.
The Texas-born singer-songwriter appeared on “RuPaul’s Drag Race” as a guest judge last week, where she apologized to the show’s contestants backstage for Nashville’s seeming reluctance to embrace the LGBTQ community.
“Based on country music and his relationship with LGBTQ+ members, I just want to say I’m sorry,” Morris said, as seen in a video shared by the official Drag Race Instagram account. “I love you guys for making me feel like a bold voice in country music. So I just thank you guys for inspiring me.”
The visibly emotional musician then added: “I’m going to cry.”
Morris was dragged into a social media dust-up last year after calling out Brittany Aldean, wife of country artist Jason Aldean, for comments directed at parents of transgender children. The exchange of headlines led Fox News host Tucker Carlson to call Morris a “crazy country music man.”
Carlson’s attempt at insulting paid off spectacularly, however, when Morris began selling T-shirts emblazoned with the remark as a fundraiser for Trans Lifeline and the GLAAD Transgender Media Program. He is reported to have been raised more than $100,000 for two advocacy groups.
Given the ubiquity of bro-country, which Rolling Stone described as “an explosion of songs about trucks, beer and women,” it’s perhaps not surprising that country is still widely viewed as a conservative genre compared to rock and pop. :
However, there are signs of a gradual shift in recent times. In 2021, TJ Osborne of the country duo Brothers Osborne became the first openly gay artist signed to major label EMI Records Nashville. Brothers Osbourne won their first Grammy last year for “Younger Me,” a song inspired by TJ’s release.