If you didn't know Maren Morris' name before tonight, you should now.
Much like last year's CMA Awards' breakout star Chris Stapleton, Morris started as a songwriter in Nashville before breaking through as a performer. And just as Stapleton brought the house down with his Justin Timberlake-assisted performances before tearfully accepting the night's biggest awards, Morris tore through a powerhouse rendition of her breakout hit My Church right before winning New Artist of the Year, proving to viewers that she more than deserved the honor.
"Y'all! I cant win this award right after performing, I'm gonna fall apart," she exclaimed.
Then, she got inspirational. "Last year I sat across the street at a bar and watched this show. I never thought as a songwriter I'd be standing here today. Thank you all so much for voting for me. My songwriting community here in Nashville, you gave me the courage to do this."
Even better, Morris' big moment came right after Dierks Bentley and Elle King performed Bentley's questionably-titled song It's Different for Girls, his lyrics describing how women can't "fast forward through the pain" or "[push] back when the tears come on."
Meanwhile, Morris' My Church paints a more realistic picture of resilience: "I've cussed on a Sunday, I've cheated and I've lied / I've fallen down from grace a few too many times / But I find holy redemption when I put this car in drive / Roll the windows down and turn up the dial."