“You Can’t Box ‘Em In”: Maren Morris Takes Inspiration from Shania Twain, as “Billboard” Honors Both at Its Women in Music Gala

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Maren Morris has been caught up in quite a whirlwind lately. First, she took home the New Artist trophy at the CMAs. Then, the “My Church” hitmaker found out she’s the most-nominated country artist at this year’s Grammys.

“Utter shock, honestly!” the relative newcomer says of her reaction to the news. “That’s happened a few times this year where I just am speechless. Yeah, that morning I found out I was up for four… one of ’em being Best New Artist.”

These days, the accolades just keep on coming for Maren, and on Friday, Billboard gave her its Breakthrough Star honor at the annual Women in Music gala, alongside the likes of Madonna and Shania Twain.

“Standing in this room today as a representation of country music is so cool, because this is such a diverse group of women musically,” Maren reflects. “But at the end of the day, it’s like we’re all experiencing the same things and the same emotions. And it’s just so cool to be in the room with women that really speak their mind and are incredible songwriters and you can’t box ’em in.”

Even as Billboard proclaimed Shania this year’s Icon, the Canadian superstar admitted for her, there’s no greater honor than having the respect of someone like Maren.

“All these young artists who were children when I was really climbing, who y’know admired me or looked up to me and to them, I’m an icon, you know, that sorta thing, to me that is the highlight of my career,” Shania says.

You can watch the Billboard Women in Music special on Monday, as it airs at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.

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