Maren Morris Says 2023 Was a Year of 'Letting Go': 'I'm on This Precipice of Massive, Massive Change'

Last year, the "My Church" singer split from ex-husband Ryan Hurd and announced she was stepping away from aspects of the country genre

Lester Cohen/Getty Maren Morris in Los Angeles in February 2023
Lester Cohen/Getty Maren Morris in Los Angeles in February 2023

Maren Morris is reflecting on 2023 as she looks toward the future.

Before the "My Church" singer is honored with the visionary award at the upcoming 2024 Billboard Women in Music ceremony, she spoke to the outlet about the past year of her life and career — during which she's gotten divorced from ex-husband Ryan Hurd and announced she's stepping away from many aspects of the country genre.

Explaining what 2023 was about for her, Morris, 33, said, "I’m going to sound so Pinterest, but I think just letting go. Or changeover."

Related: Maren Morris Shares Cathartic Cover of Billy Idol's 'Dancing with Myself': 'I Truly Gave Zero F---s'

<p>Taylor Hill/WireImage</p> Maren Morris in New York City in May 2023

Taylor Hill/WireImage

Maren Morris in New York City in May 2023

"I feel like I’m on this precipice of massive, massive change. And the music’s certainly reflecting that," added the Grammy winner, who's working on new music with the likes of producer Jack Antonoff.

"In 2024, not that I’ve got an album done yet, but by the week [it’s] getting clearer and clearer what the theme and the sonics are," teased Morris. "I’m not overthinking. I’m not trying to be micromanage-y like I typically am."

Many changes have occurred in Morris' life over the last 12 months. In a September 2023 interview with the Los Angeles Times, the "'80s Mercedes" performer announced she was planning to "take a step back" from country music, explaining that she’s felt “very, very distanced” from industry and its politics.

Related: Maren Morris Finalizes Divorce from Ryan Hurd 3 Months After Filing

<p>Cindy Ord/Getty</p> Maren Morris in New York City in December 2023

Cindy Ord/Getty

Maren Morris in New York City in December 2023

Leading up to the announcement, Morris had caught flack from some conservative listeners for supporting the LGBTQ+ community, taking a stand for the Black Lives Matter movement, and critiquing people like Jason Aldean’s wife Brittany Kerr Aldean for making transphobic comments.

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen two months after the LA Times interview, she clarified that she’s “not left country music” entirely because the genre will always fuel her sound. However, she explained that she wants to “leave behind” the “toxic parts” of the industry.

In October 2023, Morris filed in Tennessee for a dissolution of marriage from Hurd, and the filing cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason for the divorce. After the pair (who share son Hayes, 4 this month) reached a settlement agreement in early January, their divorce was finalized by a judge at the end of the same month.

Related: Maren Morris Praises 'Brave' Female Musicians Who Refused to 'Shut Up and Sing' in Variety Changemaker Speech

<p>Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic</p> Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd in Los Angeles in February 2023

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd in Los Angeles in February 2023

Elsewhere in the new interview with Billboard, Morris expressed hope to find "joy and inner peace" after a period of time where she felt they were out of reach. "I wish it wasn’t such a struggle for me. Not that I think so highly of myself, but I wish I didn’t have such a throbbing heartbeat for world suffering," she said.

"I sometimes wish I could just put my head in the sand and enjoy my privilege, but I don’t want to do that. That’s not the life for me," added the star. "But I think I’m letting go of having everyone around me put their feet to the fire. I can only focus on myself and align myself with people that have the same wants and morals."

Related: Maren Morris Says She Doesn't 'Have the Headspace' for Dating Since Filing for Divorce from Ryan Hurd

<p>Astrida Valigorsky/Getty</p> Maren Morris performs in Boston in May 2023

Astrida Valigorsky/Getty

Maren Morris performs in Boston in May 2023

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Morris then declared, "I want this year to be about my own happiness — becoming a better mom and boss and human and writer and all the things."

At the 2024 Billboard Women in Music event at YouTube Theater in Los Angeles on March 6, Morris will be honored alongside Kylie MinogueIce Spice, Charli XCX, Young Miko, Victoria Monét, NewJeans, TEMS and Luísa Sonza.

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