Much has changed for Maren Morris in the year since she put out her sophomore album, Girl, on March 8, 2019. Among many other accomplishments, she has continued to tour and grow her fanbase, won a CMA Award for Album of the Year and announced that she and her husband, Ryan Hurd, are expecting their first child in March.

In retrospect, one of Morris' most overarching accomplishments has been her album's message of empowerment and her support of her fellow female artists. In 2019, she joined a newly formed supergroup, the Highwomen, and she also took out an entirely female cast of opening acts on her Girl: The World Tour.

Still, Morris insists that she didn't initially set out to make an empowerment album; in fact, she reveals, she wrote Girl's title track in a low moment.

"I wrote the song "Girl" on a really insecure day," she explained backstage at the 2019 CMA Awards in November. "I wasn't trying to be empowering to anyone; I was really just trying to tell myself to get my s--t together. And it's sort of become this empowering song, but I feel like it's soundtracked the year in a really positive way for me."

"Girl" was the last song she wrote for the record, Morris adds. Though it was the final piece of the puzzle, she felt like it tied all the other songs on the project together, and summed up the stage of life that she was in when she wrote the album.

"[The album] was honestly about me falling further into love, and figuring myself out as a woman who's not so much the newcomer anymore, but is more established in this genre and trying to make a space for myself," she reflects. "I think there's a lot of push and pull with this record, a lot of tension -- good tension -- in making it.

"It's become a lot bigger message than I originally intended," she adds of the project's title track. "Which is, I think, a very happy accident."

Still, Morris worked to enact change in the music industry -- specifically, regarding the gender parity in country radio and beyond -- in the simplest and most effective way she knew how.

"Paying women is a good start," she deadpans. "So I brought out female openers on my tour. So has Miranda [Lambert]. So has Carrie [Underwood]. Putting [women] onstage is the most progressive way to get eyes on new artists that you're a fan of, and that you think your fans would be a fan of.

"That wasn't really a risk, but it felt like a really good step forward," the singer adds.

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