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"GIRL" POWER

When her “GIRL” hit #1 at Country radio this week, Columbia Nashville’s Maren Morris became the first female artist to reach that pinnacle since Feb. of 2018. The milestone is both a tribute to Morris and her song—which she co-wrote with Sarah Aarons and producer Greg Kurstin—and a stark picture of the gender divide at the format (the previous #1 by a woman was Kelsea Ballerini’s “Legends”).

The Grammy, CMA and ACM winner’s acclaimed, 14-song sophomore set (also titled GIRL) had the biggest debut streaming week yet for a country album by a woman (about 24m streams) and scored a Top 5, 45k bow. The artist is currently in the midst of a sold-out tour that’s punctuated by shows with side project The Highwomen (also featuring Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby and Amanda Shires); the latter ensemble joined Dolly Parton for a recent all-distaff headlining show that saw the country icon congratulate Morris from the stage on her radio #1.

“Morris represents a new generation of women in country who are working to transcend the boundaries of their Nashville roots,” reads TIME’s review of GIRL. She’s clearly transcended the boundaries of radio. What’s next?

In this photo, Morris joins Ryan Hurd, Sony Music boss Rob Stringer, Sony Music Nashville chief Randy Goodman and manager Janet Weir for a seminar on poststructuralist intersectional feminism, which was followed immediately by hot chicken and Pappy Van Winkle.

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