A lot has happened since then. Morris is now one of the brightest and most outspoken country music stars. Heard’s career goes uphill with a string of EPs and pop hits under his belt. Oh, and the two musicians got married and had a family: their son Hayes celebrated his first birthday last month.
On Sunday, Morris and Howard returned to the Ryman Theater for the first time – where they performed together on Presentation of awards.
They sang their first new duet, “Chasing After You,” at the 56th Annual ACM Awards, which was broadcast live on CBS from several popular venues in Nashville.
The story, penned by Brinley Addington and Jerry Flowers, is about two people who can’t stop themselves from falling in love.
“Every time you say we’re done, you come back to the love you were running away from,” they sing. “I don’t know why I’m leaving you but I do / I think I like chasing you.”
“We heard the demo years ago, and it just set us on fire together,” says Morris. “And I think at the time we heard it was really reflecting our relationship at that moment. It was a lot about yearning. Now it’s very nostalgic for us. But it is also a related topic, even if you are in a relationship or married, to chase someone and not lose Someone has that desire. “
Between having a baby and lockdown restrictions, the two musicians haven’t had to follow each other much in the past year. And wherever, they’re open to each other’s musical inputs – the two met through a songwriting session, after all.
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“Honestly, I think we’re each other’s safe place to be creative,” says Heard. “… Marin doesn’t need any help creating the albums, but it’s really fun to get creative with her, because that’s how we got started.”
Speaking of the album industry, Morris is working on her third major branding effort, the follow-up to the 2019 song Girl – and progress has been ramping up since she finally decided to cancel her “RSVP” tour due to the pandemic.
“I think it’s really nice to just be at home, and my fans are some of the most patient and understanding people in the world … It’s big and we do whatever we were going to do last year but more than that.”
“We try to set the time so that we go (on tour) at the same time so that we can have the most time at home,” says Heard. “But as soon as we hit the button, we will start at full speed.”
The 56th Annual ACM Awards premieres Sunday at 7 PM CST on CBS and Paramount +.