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Maren Morris, Hayley Williams, Hozier and Other Stars Sing Out for Trans and Drag Rights at Nashville ‘Love Rising’ Benefit

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Chris Willman Senior Music Writer and Chief Music Critic A cast of mostly Nashville-based stars, including Maren Morris, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Yola, Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell — plus one key out-of-towner, the Irishman Hozier — joined up with a host of Tennessee drag artists Monday night in Nashville to protest recent state legislation aimed at cross-dressing performers, trans youth and same-sex marriage.

The four-hour “Love Rising” benefit, which filled Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena with fans and LGBTQ+ community members and their allies, was also livestreamed to an international audience via the Veeps platform.

No one received more of a hero’s welcome than Morris, who recently went out on a limb by standing up for trans youth and their families in a headline-making online debate with fellow country star Jason Aldean’s wife, Brittany Aldean, while most mainstream stars held their tongues.

It was quickly evident that Morris has not turned into any shrinking violet as a result of the backlash she experienced from country fans on the right in the dust-up with the Aldeans, appearing on stage with a touch of androgyny in a look that combined legginess with formal black-tie.

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