by Marcus K. Dowling
In the midst of an incredibly dynamic global era, many are looking to music icons to have their actions match their belief systems. Insofar as country music, there may be no two more socially and commercially impactful stars than Maren Morris and Luke Combs. Thus, their joint, Q&A session on February 17th at 4 PM EST during 2021’s virtual Country Radio Seminar is a super important moment.
Veteran music critic Ann Powers will serve as the conversation’s moderator. It is expected that Combs and Morris will address what they see as their responsibility to address country music’s past, present and future.
“I think country music can stand to be more diverse. I think that would only be a positive thing,” Combs recently told Dan Rather.
As well, Maren Morris’ consistent public record as an ally and advocate for marginalized people within country music includes her acceptance speech for winning Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2020 CMA Awards. In her remarks, she thanked Linda Martell, Yola, Mickey Guyton, Rissi Palmer, Brittney Spencer, and Rhiannon Giddens for being pioneering inspirations as Black female country artists.
Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Luke Combs was able to ride his 2019 releases — EP, The Prequel, and album What You See Is What You Get to continue his mainstream success. Similarly, Morris’ “The Bones” spent 19 weeks at number one on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles chart, plus crossed over into the top 20 of Billboard’s Hot 100 pop charts.