Maren Morris brought a very special guest with her backstage at Love Rising, a Nashville benefit show where she performed on Monday night (March 20) to help raise funds for LGBTQ+ organizations in Tennessee. Her toddler son Hayes, who turns three years old on Thursday (March 23), joined his superstar mom in her dressing room, and even got to meet some of the drag performers at the show.

Love Rising was organized apropos of anti-LGBTQ+ laws recently passed in the state.

"I don't really know what's illegal or legal anymore, with these bills. I don't even think they know," Morris told the crowd during the show.

"I brought my son here for soundcheck ... and we got to go in the room where all the queens were getting ready, doing their makeup, and he freaked out when he went in there. Because it's just magic what drag queens do," she continued. "There's wigs everywhere. The smell of hairspray and wig glue. There's glitter. Everyone's in a good mood. They're so excited to be here tonight for this show. It's just a room of love."

In fact, Hayes was so dazzled by the drag queens that by the time he got back to Morris' dressing room, he was a little underwhelmed.

"My son is like, 'I need the queens.' I'm like, Uh ... you're looking at her,'" the singer joked.

During her time onstage, Morris performed her song "Better Than We Found It," which she wrote with her son in mind.

"Just seeing my son meet all these lovely people here today, get to meet some queens backstage," the singer said. "He's three, and he's growing up here as a Nashvillian. And I just want to leave this world for him a little bit better than the one we're in right now. And I feel like nights like tonight help do that."

Amid all her heartfelt sentiments, Morris also cracked a joke about the new Tennessee legislation, wondering drily if she had committed a crime by introducing her son to members of the LGBTQ+ community.

"And yes, I introduced my son to some drag queens today, so Tennessee, f--king arrest me," she added.

Though Morris was apparently not as exciting as the drag performers — at least, not to her son — the singer did wear a suit-style outfit for her set at Love Rising in homage to drag culture. In her Instagram Stories, she explained that the outfit choice was intended to "demonstrate the subjectivity of drag and gender expression."


"There's a reason we feel powerful in a suit, but why?" Morris reflected. "Is it our tinges of both the feminine and masculine being on public display? Is it just more comfortable than a dress? Or is it just hot and makes you feel like a damn superhero?"

She added, "The answer is 'All of the above' and also 'Who cares? Do you.'"

The Love Rising benefit took place at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena. Other performing acts included Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and more stars of country and Americana.

The Brothers Osborne were also slated to perform, but had to pull out at the last minute due to the fact that John Osborne's wife Lucie Silvas checked into the hospital and gave birth to their twins, Arthur and Maybelle.

Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell + More Perform at Nashville's 'Love Rising' Benefit Concert

Some of the biggest names in country, Americana and beyond came together to raise money for LGBTQIA+ charities and to voice opposition towards a recent wave of Tennessee bills passed, including a ban on public drag performances.

Maren Morris, Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires, Sheryl Crow and Allison Russell were among the artists who performed at Love Rising: Let Freedom Sing (and Dance) A Celebration of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, held at Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on March 20.

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