Country music sensation Maren Morris spent over a decade facing constant rejection as she struggled to make it in the industry—including a failed attempt to star on American Idol. And she’s certain she’s better for it.
The Bones singer took a shot at Idol in 2007. She nailed her initial audition and earned a ticket to Hollywood. But once she was there, she and her group were cut during the cattle call. At the time, the lost chance stung. But looking back, Morris knows that failing was a necessary part of her journey.
“I’m glad they passed on me, honestly. These shows have turned out some great artists. Gabby [Barrett], Carrie [Underwood], Kelly Clarkson. But honestly, I think if I had made it through when I was 17 when I tried out, I would not have been ready for anything,” she told Taste of Country. “I would have been a nightmare.”
Morris also went on to try out for The Voice, Nashville Star, and America’s Got Talent, and none of the competitions chose her as a final singer either. But nearly a decade after her American Idol snub, she finally had her big break.
Maren Morris Finally Made it Big in 2016 With the Breakout Hit ‘My Church’
In January of 2016, the singer released My Church. The song peaked at No. 5 on Billboard’s US Hot County chart and went RIAA Platinum. My Church also earned her a Best Solo Performance Grammy and a Best New Artist CMA Award.
“I was a little more formed for the world,” she said of finding stardom at 26. “I don’t think I would have made a great teenage superstar.”
“[American Idol] didn’t work out,” Morris added. “But I am very glad. And now I’m headlining Bridgestone and Hollywood Bowl and Red Rocks, really getting to make my own way here, and contestants on those shows use my songs to audition. So it’s full circle.”
Maren Morris also chatted with the hosts of Today about her difficult rise to fame recently. While appearing for the morning show’s Summer Concert Series, Savannah Guthrie asked how she stuck with it after suffering so many heartbreaks. And the singer admitted that everyone in the industry has to be just a tad bit crazy.
“I think you have to have a healthy dose of self-delusion to stay in this business. And I think part of it is confidence and part of it is delusion,” she laughed. “But if you know that you have something, I just feel like, keep going. And the long road pays off a lot better and now, ya know, it’s crazy.”