"John and TJ are so down to earth and do not take themselves too seriously, and I would like to think of myself in the same vein," Maren Morris tells PEOPLE of her longtime pals

By Mark Gray
April 07, 2019 04:05 PM
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When Maren Morris takes the stage at the Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, she’ll be joined by two of her best friends: John and TJ of Brothers Osborne.

“It just felt so natural, especially at a Las Vegas award show like the ACMs,” she told PEOPLE Friday after her rehearsal. “I always try to do performances here that are fun and positive and just party, because every time I’m here I feel like I just want to celebrate.”

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full ACM Awards coverage to get the latest news on music’s biggest night.

John Osborne, Maren Morris and TJ Osborne at rehearsal
Kevin Winter/ACMA2019/Getty Images
John Osborne, Maren Morris and TJ Osborne perform at the ACM Awards
Kevin Winter/Getty

Morris said it’s rather fitting that she’s performing their duet “All My Favorite People” with the duo of the year nominees, who already picked up the prize for music event of the year with Dierks Bentley for “Burning Man.”

“They were my first friends in Nashville when I moved to town six years ago and they are my favorite people,” she said. “John and TJ are so down to earth and do not take themselves too seriously, and I would like to think of myself in the same vein. They make it super easy on me, and hopefully vice versa. And we’re just pros that like to have fun. I mean, this is supposed to be fun — it’s music!”

Maren Morris and TJ Osborne at rehearsal
Kevin Winter/ACMA2019/Getty Images
Maren Morris and TJ Osborne perform at the ACM Awards

The performance comes just weeks after Morris released her sophomore record GIRL, the first album she’s recorded as a married woman.

Asked how songwriting has changed since tying the knot with singer/songwriter Ryan Hurd last March, Morris said, “I’m writing a lot more love songs this time around because you write what you know and what your surroundings are. It’s a much happier record because of him and his effect on my life for the last several years.”

Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd
Ethan Miller/Getty

Morris, 28, and Hurd, 32, celebrated their one-year anniversary two weeks ago.

“We have very demanding schedules, but we are just in constant contact with one another,” she said. “We love supporting each other’s music — we play each other our demos in our kitchen all the time. He really helped me pick a lot of the songs that are on [GIRL] and I help him when he has songs. It’s a really collaborative marriage in all the ways.”

Maren Morris and Ryan Hurd at the Grammys in February
Steve Granitz/WireImage

Of the tour, which also features Elle King and Ashley McBryde on certain dates, Morris said, “I feel like it’s very much a celebration of women in music.”

The 54th Academy of Country Music Awards are broadcasting live from Las Vegas on Sunday, April 7 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on CBS.

To catch country’s biggest stars hitting the red carpet, tune in to Red Carpet Live: 54th Academy of Country Music Awards, kicking off at 6:30 p.m. EST and streaming live on PEOPLE.com, Facebook, Twitter, PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.