“It is so cool to be here with so many people who have influenced me as a songwriter and as a singer,” Maren Morris told the crowd at Billboard’s Women in Music event Friday (Dec. 9) in New York City.
Those influences include the likes of Shania Twain and Madonna, but even those music legends have to give props to country’s newest star. As the recipient of Billboard Women in Music’s Breakthrough Star award, Morris has done just that in 2016 with three hit singles, a No. 1 album and four Grammy nominations to cap off her breakout year.
While accepting her award at the event, Morris recognized the fact that her success is shining a light on country music again.
“It’s cool to be representing country music,” she said amongst her thank yous. “There has been a drought never lack of talent but just a lack of spotlight on that talent. Our hearts beat as one, and the women spotlight on it is so special.”
Prior to her speech, Morris did what she does best, picking up her acoustic guitar to sing a roaring rendition of her top 10 country hit, “My Church.”
Morris is one of several 2016 Women in Music honorees, headlined by “Woman of the Year” recipient Madonna and “Icon” Shania Twain. Also honored this year are Halsey (“Rising Star”), Andra Day (“Powerhouse”), Meghan Trainor (“Chart Topper”), Kesha (“Trailblazer”) and Alessia Cara (“Rule Breaker”).
Billboard’s Women In Music airs Dec. 12 on Lifetime.