Maren Morris on New Virtual Tour, Why All-Female Lineups Are Important: We 'Hold Each Other Up'
Maren Morris is getting back to work after maternity leave.
The country star and her husband Ryan Hurd welcomed their son Hayes Andrew back in March, as the coronavirus crisis first hit the U.S. Morris had been scheduled to hit the road earlier this year but postponed her tour due to the pandemic.
This week, the Grammy winner will get back on stage to kick off a new virtual concert series for members of Verizon Up, Verizon's customer loyalty program. Morris will headline a five-city remote tour, performed live from Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium, from Oct. 20-23. (Click here for dates and details.)
"We haven't gotten to play any shows this year, so this is just such an amazing opportunity. I can't wait to see my band again and connect the safest way, weirdest way we can through this platform," Morris, 30, tells PEOPLE. "I just hope I remember all my words — it's been a while!"
While "The Bones" singer has enjoyed all the unexpected extra time with her new family of three, she's missed performing.
"It really is a tough hit for our industry. I miss seeing a bunch of people come together for a positive cause and, no matter what walk of life you're coming from, to stand in a room with a bunch of strangers that just want to hear live music and their favorite song," she says. "I’m just excited that we get to actually play a live show. I treasure it even more now."
Morris rounds out an all-female lineup that Verizon tapped for its virtual shows: Brittany Howard, Brandi Carlile, Jessie Reyez, Kelsea Ballerini, KAROL G, Maggie Rogers, Chloe x Halle and Billie Eilish.
The female focus was a draw for Morris. Last year, Morris toured only with women. For her GIRL World Tour, her opening acts included Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Kassi Ashton, Hailey Whitters and Tenille Townes; then, Morris joined Miranda Lambert's all-female lineup for the Roadside Bars & Pink Guitars tour, alongside Elle King, Pistol Annies and others.
"I just intrinsically love women. I grew up in my mom's hair salon. I was always around a lot of feminine energy, and it really was like Steel Magnolias, growing up for me. So I feel like I've always connected to the female spirit," says, who also joined The Highwomen supergroup last year.
While Morris has enjoyed opening for male artists like Keith Urban, Sam Hunt and Niall Horan, hitting the road with women brought out a special sisterly bond.
"Touring with all girls opening for my headline tour last year was so fun because you really get to give them this opportunity to make new fans or re-establish their current fans that can come see them in this setting, and it just feels safe and celebratory," she says.
"I think one of my most fun tours that I got to do and I was the opener was with Miranda Lambert last fall because she also had an all-women lineup, and it was just cool to see how different we are and we can still cherish each other's art and celebrate each other — everyone was side stage for each other's sets," Morris adds. "It just felt very inclusive. That was probably one of my favorite experiences because it's all these women that I admire, but no one can compare one of us to the other's music. That was really cool that we could all exist in the same space for a night musically and all be different, but also hold each other up."
For more on Maren Morris, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
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