Who is Maren Morris?

She’s the most exciting new voice in country music, and perhaps the most exciting new voice in pop music writ large.

Why is she here?

She’s up for one of the night’s most coveted trophies, best new artist, as well as best country album (“Hero”), best country song (“My Church”) and best country solo performance (“My Church” again.) Instead of performing solo, she’ll be duetting with R&B singer Alicia Keys. The two paired up for a “CMT Crossroads” episode in December, where they sang each other’s songs.

Songs you might recognize:

The soulful stomp of “My Church” makes it the strongest cut on “Hero,” but Morris’s other big single, “80s Mercedes” is a close second.

MATT SAYLES/AP

Alicia Keys, Maren Morris' Fiery 'Once' at Grammys

Fifteen-time Grammy winner Alicia Keys and first-time nominee Maren Morris delivered a punchy, string-slathered performance of Morris' ballad "Once" at the Grammys on Sunday. The slow-burning country-soul cut first appeared on Morris' debut album, Hero, last year.

Morris and Keys performed against a domestic backdrop: large candle-stands, glowing chandeliers and tall, arched windows. After Morris sang the first verse of "Once," Keys sauntered onstage to deliver the second, and the two artists exploded together during the song's histrionic final verse. The string section shivered and swelled, helping to articulate the ballad's natural rise and fall.

Morris and Keys have performed together before: In December, they teamed up for an episode of CMT Crossroads, which pairs a country performer with an artist from another genre. "We are both up for any challenge," Keys told Rolling Stone at the time. "Maren does her style and I do my style and they blend so well together.

"You don't hear a note and think, 'That's a rock note and I like it because it's a rock note,'" Keys added. "You don't care what note it is, you just want to feel it and feel great."

Keys is not up for any awards this year; her last album, Here, came out after the deadline for Grammy submissions in 2016. Morris took home the Best Country Solo Performance trophy on Sunday for "My Church."


Alicia Keys, Maren Morris Team Up for Touching Duet at 2017 Grammys

“Don’t forget that you loved me once,” Maren Morris and Alicia Keys sang, teaming up to belt out “Once” at the 2017 Grammys on Sunday.

Keys (sporting a now-signature, makeup-free look) wore a shimmering jumpsuit that matched the sparkle of Morris’ sequined bodysuit. The two seamlessly alternated verses to the touching ballad.

Keys has won 15 Grammy awards out of 29 nominations since 2002 when she cleaned up, winning awards for best female R&B vocal performance, best R&B album, best R&B song, best new artist, and song of the year. Her favor in the Recording Academy’s eyes has kept up ever since. In 2014, Keys won best R&B album for “Girl on Fire.” And she’s clearly still on fire.

Morris, meanwhile, is a fresh face to the Grammys. Still, she came on strong by earning her first four nods this year, including best new artist. Her album, “Hero,” was also nominated for best country album.

In addition to Morris and Keys, the 59th Annual Grammy Awards also saw performances from Adele, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, and many others.

The 2017 Grammys — hosted by James Corden — were filmed at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcast live on CBS.

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