Christopher Polk/Getty Maren Morris
Maren Morris doesn't want to be known for "clap backs on Twitter." But she feels it's necessary to speak up against "normalized" hatred within country music.
In a new interview with Apple Music Country's Proud Radio with Hunter Kelly, the "Circles Around This Town" singer-songwriter opened up about feeling like one of few musicians in her genre to push back against racist and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
"I try to rise above — not even bad behavior, but just expected behavior that has become normalized that is bad," Morris, 32, said on the program before recalling a recent conversation with husband Ryan Hurd. "He's like, 'I hate that you always feel like you have to be the hall monitor of modern country music's behaviors in and around race and homophobia, transphobia.'"
Noting that she doesn't "need to be that person," Morris explained that many other artists in country music often don't discuss such issues publicly: "I don't need to feel like I have to always be that person that speaks up. I think I come across a lot louder than I actually am because everyone else is so quiet."
David Becker/Getty Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd
Morris' comments arrive weeks after she went viral for publicly criticizing Brittany Kerr Aldean, the wife of fellow country star Jason Aldean, after Brittany made a transphobic comment in an Instagram video amid ongoing debate and efforts to restrict access to gender-affirming care. "I'd really like to thank my parents for not changing my gender when I went through my tomboy phase. I love this girly life," she captioned a makeup reveal video in early September.
At the time, the "My Church" performer responded on Twitter: "It's so easy to, like, not be a scumbag human? Sell your clip-ins and zip it, Insurrection Barbie."
The exchange sparked additional back-and-forths between Morris, Brittany and other stars like Cassadee Pope, Lindsay Ell and more, and when Brittany appeared on Tucker Carlson's Fox News show to discuss the situation, Carlson labeled Morris a "lunatic country music person."
In turn, Morris stuck the phrase on T-shirts and sold them to fans, ultimately raising more than $150,000 for the Trans Lifeline and GLAAD's Transgender Media Program.
RELATED VIDEO: Maren Morris, Cassadee Pope Call Out Jason Aldean's Wife for Transphobic Comment: 'Real Nice'
Elsewhere in the Proud Radio interview, the Grammy winner spoke further about the importance of participating in conversations about topics she's passionate about. "I don't really want to be known for my clap backs on Twitter. I would like to be known for my songs," explained Morris.
"But that being said, I can't just be this merch store on the internet that sells you songs and t-shirts. I have to let people know, because the real human aspect of this is when I go on tour, and I see the people in my crowd," she said. "That is not the internet, that is real... And you see how your crowd starts to change the more that you let people know where you stand."
Morris also spoke about how "diverse" her concert crowds tend to be and why that's something she cherishes. "When I look out at my fans... it's not just diverse in how you identify, your orientation or the color of your skin, it's like, the age range is so vast," she detailed. "I think that for me, that's so beautiful because I feel like everyone can come and feel like they're safe there. That's not the internet. That's not Twitter. That's a real thing that you've achieved through your honesty."
The episode will be available in-full on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET or anytime on-demand at apple.co/_ProudRadio on Apple Music Country.