UNT alumna Maren Morris wins country music high honors

Maren Morris (Photo by Evan Agostini)As a student at UNT in 2010, Maren Morris sang at clubs and bars, released two solo albums and performed in the band called They Were Stars. A year later, she left Texas for Nashville and got her foot in the door writing tunes for Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson.

Now she is the Country Music Association's New Artist of the Year, an honor won on the strength of her CD Hero, which was nominated for Album of the Year, and her song "My Church," which was nominated for Single and Song of the Year.

Morris was also nominated for four Grammy Awards, considered the most prestigious prize in the music industry. She was nominated for Best New Artist, Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. The awards will be announced Feb. 12.

Her speech at the 50th annual CMA Awards ceremony was filled with emotion.

"Y'all, I can't win this award right after performing, I'm gonna fall apart," she says. "This is so crazy."

Read about other UNT notable alumni. >>

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