Crossover country-pop star Maren Morris has signed a worldwide administration deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. The Texas-born singer has worked with the publisher in the past in her capacity as an in-demand songwriter, “so to officially be in the UMPG family feels like coming home in a way,” she said in an announcement.
Morris burst onto the Nashville scene a mere three years ago with debut album HERO, entering at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and earning Platinum certification while producing several hit singles, including “80s Mercedes,” “I Could Use a Love Song” and the Grammy-winning “My Church.”
She followed up her breakthrough country debut by conquering the pop world with “The Middle,” her 2018 collaboration with UMPG songwriters Zedd and Grey. The dance track spent six weeks at No. 1 at Top 40 Radio and reached the top five on the Hot 100 chart. A streaming phenomenon, the song has over 731 million plays on Spotify alone.
In March of this year, Morris released her sophomore album GIRL, which broke first-week streaming records for a country album by a woman and became her second release to debut at No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart. The album’s eponymous first single became her third to top the Country Airplay chart.
Currently on a headlining tour in support of GIRL, Morris also found time this year to rev up The Highwomen, a country supergroup consisting of Morris, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires. The group’s debut album, produced by David Cobb, is slated for release in September.
“Maren is an extremely talented songwriter, artist and producer whose songs have the world singing along to every hit,” said UMPG chairman and CEO Jody Gerson. “Even more exceptional, she has successfully crossed genres, moving seamlessly between beloved country music superstar and topping pop charts. Maren has a bright and exciting future ahead, and we are thrilled to welcome her to UMPG’s creative global home.”
Morris’ signing marks the first significant deal for Troy Tomlinson since taking over as chairman and CEO of UMPG Nashville in June. “Maren displays fearlessness and energy in every lyric, every melody and every performance,” he said. “UMPG is so happy to have the opportunity to represent a talent of her caliber and looks forward to delivering outstanding creative opportunities.”
Behind the scenes, Morris has written songs for Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson, and collaborated with Vince Gill on a charity single in the wake of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting in Las Vegas.