After previously saying she may not attend the 2022 Country Music Awards due to tensions with Jason Aldean and Brittany Aldean, Maren Morris was indeed present at the ceremony Wednesday (Nov. 9) to celebrate her March LP Humble Quest‘s nomination for album of the year. She did, however, skip the red carpet, and instead posted a video of herself jamming to Taylor Swift‘s new song “Karma.”
In the video, posted to her social media accounts the night of the awards, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter shows off her shimmery, plunging neckline gown, her hair styled in long, beachy waves. Holding a bottle of champagne backstage at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena — where the CMAs were held — and she struts to one of the sassiest tracks on Swift’s newest album Midnights.
“Karma’s a relaxing thought, aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?” Swift’s voice sings as Morris waves to the camera.
“BYOB, CMA,” she captioned the video.
The following morning, she posted another video of herself in her CMAs look, soundtracked by the same song and captioning it with a lyric fro the song. “Aren’t you envious that for you it’s not?” she wrote, along with a black heart emoji.
The “Middle” singer’s appearance at the ceremony comes just a couple months after she said in an interview that she may not be attending, as she felt unwelcome following her highly publicized online feud with fellow country star Jason Aldean’s wife, Brittany. In August, Brittany — whom Morris later dubbed “Insurrection Barbie” — made transphobic comments on social media, which the “Circles Around This Town” singer slammed in a string of subsequent posts.
“I’m very honored that my record is nominated. But I don’t know if I feel [at] home there right now,” she told the Los Angeles Times in September. “So many people I love will be in that room, and maybe I’ll make a game-time decision and go. But as of right now, I don’t feel comfortable going. I kind of feel peaceful at the notion of not going.”
The Grammy winner did end up making that “game-time decision” to attend after all, but it makes sense why she might have felt uncertain going in. In the aftermath of her spat with Brittany, Jason Aldean jokingly brought up Morris’ name at a concert and waited as his crowd booed her. Before that, Brittany sat for an interview with Tucker Carlson on his Fox News show, during which the conservative commentator labeled Morris a “lunatic country music person.”
Morris, however, took Carlson’s comment in stride, and went on to sell T-Shirts with his nickname for her printed on them. That raised more than $100,000 for GLAAD’s Transgender Media Program and Trans Lifeline.
“I hate feeling like I need to be the hall monitor of treating people like human beings in country music,” she told L.A. Times shortly afterward. “It’s exhausting. But there’s a very insidious culture of people feeling very comfortable being transphobic and homophobic and racist, and that they can wrap it in a joke and no one will ever call them out for it. It just becomes normal for people to behave like that.”
Watch Maren Morris strut to Taylor Swift’s “Karma” at the CMAs below: