Maren Morris 'Loves the Tradition' of Ringing in the New Year — as Well as the Champagne!
After a hugely successful year, Maren Morris is craving a celebration!
The “My Church” singer, who will be performing live on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2019 from New Orleans Monday night, may be “a very lazy resolution maker,” but after a year of marriage, number one hits and five Grammy nominations, Morris is ready to cheers a triumphant year goodbye and welcome 2019 with open arms.
As a fan of the New Year’s Eve “tradition,” Morris chatted with PEOPLE about her wishes and hopes for a year that’s sure to be just as great, if not better.
You’re performing this year in New Orleans — so exciting! What are you most looking forward to and why was getting involved with this annual classic a no-brainer?
First off, I love New Orleans. I have not gotten to go back in so long. Just the culture, the music community, the food — it’s a really exciting place to ring in the new year. Also, the whole show, itself, being on the bill with Florida Georgia Line and Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve is such an iconic program that I’ve been watching since I could remember, so be a part of it for the first time — for me — is such a goal met. I’m really, really looking forward to it.
What can you share about your performance?
I’m excited to perform songs from my record, I’m excited to perform “The Middle” and just really connect with the crowd. It’s our last show of the year, so we’re really gonna do it up right.
Are you typically a big NYE person?
I love the tradition of it and I love champagne. The last couple years living in Nashville and making friends and meeting my now-husband [Ryan Hurd] — it’s so great to be able to celebrate such a stunning year of events and I’m so ready for whatever 2019 has to bring. It’s a really magical evening.
Are you a resolution kind of gal?
I feel like a very lazy resolution maker, but this past year my resolution was to get better at making cocktails and drinks. I’ve kind of achieved that. My husband is an amazing cook in the kitchen, so I’m not really the best, so I felt like my strength will be making a good drink.
What kinds of drinks did you learn to make?
I wanted to perfect a really good margarita. Being from Texas, Tex Mex is still my favorite food on the planet, so I just love a good tart margarita — I don’t like them super sweet — so we do them with muddled limes and I’ll make my own simple syrup. It all has to be from scratch I’ve realized; you can’t cut corners with it. I feel like I really have gotten down the right ratios.
You’ve had such an incredible 2018 filled with your first crossover hit and getting married. What was the biggest highlight?
Definitely getting married was a big one. I think also being a part of “The Middle” with Zedd was such a new thing for me, and to be a part of that genre and have such a massive song that was universal felt like a really new thing for me. I also had my first No. 1 song on country radio with “I Could Use a Love Song,” which was such an honor and a long time in the making, it felt like.
What are your hopes for 2019?
I’ll be a year into my marriage, so I always want to treasure that the way that I have this year. I’m also releasing music for the first time in almost three years, and that’s going to be a really exciting new step forward for me. I’m putting my sophomore album out finally and headlining a tour. I’m so looking forward to all of that and to start this next chapter, and to also share the music I’ve been working on for the last few years. The Grammys are always exciting. I don’t know if it just never really loses it’s luster because it’s such a huge honor to be nominated. Also, with "The Middle" being nominated in all the major categories is a first for me, so to be representing the country music genres and pop genres is an amazing feat.
Speaking of the Grammys, you have five nominations — unreal! How did you feel when you heard the news?
I had to recount it because I didn’t expect to get five! That’s just insane. I’m really proud of the work I’ve done this year and I feel like hearing that I was the most-nominated artist out of Nashville was such a surprise, especially not having released new music under my own album in the last few years. It’s always just such a cool thing. It’s one of the biggest nights of the year. Having won my first Grammy a couple years ago, it always holds such a special place in my heart to be nominated there.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2019 kicks off Monday at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.