By: Kyle Whitecotton
| photo by Robby Klein |
Receiving a guitar as a gift from her father at the age of 12, Morris took to music instantly. Her prowess for writing began with poems and stories in school and eventually led her to working as a songwriter for artists like Tim McGraw and Kelly Clarkson. Joking that she was the only kid in school that had a job on weekends, Morris would play at any Texas bar or club that would allow her to perform.
Growing up in Arlington, Morris would often garner attention while dominating the karaoke machine when her parents, who owned a local hair salon, would throw parties. Morris was influenced by albums by Patty Griffin, Sheryl Crowe and the Dixie Chicks. While she loves country and roots music, she believes in breaking through genre limitations. Morris describes her style as “gangsta June Carter.”
Rejected from both The Voice and American Idol, Morris says that being a celebrity was never the driving force of her ambition. Instead she spent her time composing hundreds of songs containing honest lyrics. At just 20 years old, Morris moved to Nashville with three hits already on the Texas Music Chart.
Slowly building an audience with her sheer talent and striking presence, her small gigs quickly evolved into opening acts for Sam Hunt, Loretta Lynn and Chris Stapleton.
Last year she released her 11-track album, Hero, which received rave reviews from critics and her fan base. Morris entered the Billboard Heatseekers’ chart at No. 1, has been racking up millions of spins on Spotify and was named one of Rolling Stone Country’s Artists You Need to Know.
Morris debuted on Saturday Night Live with host WWE star John Cena on Dec. 10. She also walked the 50th Annual CMA Awards red carpet wearing a tri-color metallic mermaid gown by Michael Costello alongside her hero, Dolly Parton, and won New Artist of the Year. Last month, Morris was nominated for four Grammys (Best New Artist, Best Country Solo Performance, Best Country Song, Best Country Album), winning one (Best Country Solo Performance). “It seems like almost every day that I’ve been able to cross things off my bucket list,” Morris said in a recent interview.
Always looking the part, Morris commonly lands on celebrity best-dressed lists and is making her mark as a fashion icon. While touring on the road, she took some time to answer a few of our questions about her unique style.
Q. How would you describe your style?
A. Laid back…at times a little rocker tomboy and other times really sexy and feminine. It depends on the day or occasion. I love the ’60s- and ’70s-era fashion, so that influences a lot of my style choices.
Q. How does your style differ offstage?
A. I'm more relaxed offstage with my clothing. No heels or a ton of makeup, obviously. I love cozy sweaters and skinny jeans, but then I'll kick it up with some cowhide ankle boots. I'm always balancing casual with edgy.
Q. Who is your style inspiration?
A. I love Kate Hudson. She can glide through so many different styles, but she makes it quintessentially her, which is inspiring.
Q. What’s your favorite article of clothing?
A. I love thigh-high boots. I wear them over cigarette jeans or with hot pants on stage. They always make me feel like a modern-day Bond girl.
1. 7 For All Mankind Brocade Velvet Blazer, $149, NeimanMarcus.com
2. Balmain Jacquard Blazer, $2,056, mytheresa.com
3. RACIL Silver Brocade Draco Dinner Jacket, $510, Avenue32.com
4. Oscar de la Renta Single-breasted Floral-brocade Jacket, $717, matchesfashion.com
By: Kyle Whitecotton