Maren Morris ‘Couldn’t Have Pulled Off’ 2021 ACM Awards Performance With Anyone But Ryan Hurd
Maren Morris has performed on plenty of awards show stages in the past, but her appearance at the 2021 ACM Awards on Sunday night (April 18) was special: She performed her new duet, "Chasing After You," with her husband and fellow artist Ryan Hurd, who was giving his debut awards show performance.
"I was so thrilled to get to be Ryan's first awards show performance-mate," the singer said backstage during a stop in the show's virtual press room. "Ushering him with that song that was just so special to us in such an intimate way was, yeah, a first. I got emotional just seeing him across the stage, knowing that he's worked so hard to get to where he is and I get to share that moment with him. Because it's his song."
In addition to affording Morris a chance to put the spotlight on her husband, it was also an opportunity for both singers to give a steamier, more personal performance than they would be able to do in any other duet.
"I probably couldn't have pulled that with anybody else, obviously, because he's my husband," Morris agrees. "... And to do it at the Ryman, which is where we first performed together years ago, it felt very full circle for us."
Though it may have been Hurd's first time onstage an awards show, it certainly wasn't his first time attending one: He's been to a number of ACM ceremonies in the past, typically as Morris' date. In addition to being musical collaborators and husband and wife, the pair are also first-time parents to a one-year-old son, Hayes, who was born in March of 2020.
Now, just over a year later, Morris has been leaning into her new-found confidence as a new mom, and has been vocal about her decision to embrace her postpartum body without catering to the societal pressure to "snap back" to the way she looked before her pregnancy. On Twitter, she recently shared a couple of shots of her workout journey, writing "the pressure we put on mothers to 'snap back' is insurmountable and deeply troublesome."
Backstage at the ACMs, she elaborated on that point, underscoring that she has no desire to remove the physical evidence of her pregnancy and childbirth from her body.
"I just realized how unhealthy that was for me in my workout journey. To be like, 'I need to get back to where I was before.' Because that's not really the goal -- that shouldn't be the goal -- to erase the fact that you had a kid," Morris explained. "I'm really proud of where my body is right now, even if it is several pounds heavier. I did something half the population can't do, so I think that's pretty f--king rad."
Breaking free from societal expectations of what a woman's body should look like is something Morris recommends to any person, whether or not they've carried a pregnancy, she adds.
"Whether you've had a kid or not, who cares?" she concludes. "Enjoy working out. Enjoy eating rich, hearty foods like I did last night. I was eating short ribs before the ACM Awards. Do it all. Who cares?"
The 2021 ACM Awards aired live on CBS and will stream on Paramount+. Sign up for Paramount+ here.