On This Day: Maren Morris Is 'Undone' On Anniversary Of 'Ambitious' Project

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Maren Morris shared a heartfelt reflection as she marked the fifth anniversary of her powerful sophomore album, GIRL, which arrives, fittingly, on International Women’s Day on Friday (March 8).

The powerhouse artist released her sophomore album in March 2019, preceded by the empowering title track. Morris had already made a powerful debut as a singer-songwriter with her debut album, HERO, in 2016 (and its deluxe edition the following year). That project laid a solid foundation for Morris’ career with hits like “Rich,” “My Church,” “I Could Use a Love Song,” “80s Mercedes” and other highlights throughout the track list. Morris shared on Friday that she was “dreading” the follow-up to such a powerful debut, but embraced the “ambitious” next era wholeheartedly.

“The fifth anniversary of GIRL has arrived and I am already undone,” Morris wrote in a statement she shared on Instagram. “This album was so ambitious, so audacious and had something to prove. I’d be lying if back then I wasn’t dreading the proverbial ‘sophomore slump’ album after HERO. Plus, I was writing these songs furiously whist touring nonstop, so it was a blur in many ways. I have so many bittersweet memories of this record because it was my final album with my brilliant friend and producer, Busbee,” who died in 2019 after a battle with brain cancer. He was 43.

“Busbee and I spoke a language that was our own in the studio,” Morris remembered of the late award-winning producer. “Our musical influences were so intertwined, and though we agreed on most things, we occasionally butted heads when it came to production. We had so much invested in each other and we tried to delicately navigate this album with passion and respect. Now that he’s gone, I so wish I had one more opportunity to argue with him about drum sounds or which mic I sounded better on. He was a genius and my musical soulmate and I miss him every day.

“This album era also had my first headline tour and ‘big girl production,’” Morris continued. “We had video walls, we had a hydraulic life (quite eager for a 1200 cap room), low fog, scented bubbles… I really went overboard and I wouldn’t trade it for a second. Although, I do recall a local stagehand knocking our bubble machine over on night one of the tour and when the machine kicked on, our cotton candle scented bubbles blasted one poor girl in the face during ‘80s Mercedes’… I do apologize to you, whoever you are.

“I have so many fond memories of that tour and miss seeing your faces when the top of ‘The Bones’ started,” Morris wrote. “It was the first time I realized YOU were choosing the next single for me. And you were right. It led to my career expanding in ways I never thought possible, especially so early on. While you’re driving, doing the dishes, or manifesting your next dream, I hope you turn on this album this week with me and remember where you were and who you were when you first heard it, and how far we’ve come.” 

Morris followed GIRL with other hit singles and albums, including Humble Quest in 2022 (followed by Humble Quest: In Rare Form months later) and The Bridge. Most recently, Morris debuted a stunning reimagined version of Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself.” She filmed the music video at Grimey’s Records, a Music City mainstay located in East Nashville, Tennessee. Morris said at that time that she would “focus on songwriting,” and her next project will “be ready when it’s ready!”

Listen to “GIRL” again here in honor of the album's fifth anniversary (warning: language).