Maren Morris performs on NBC's "Today" show at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, March 8, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Maren Morris performs on NBC's "Today" show at Rockefeller Plaza on Friday, March 8, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Charles Sykes/Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

When Maren Morris decided to move from Arlington to Nashville a few years ago, stardom as singer wasn't a major part of her plan. After spending time playing shows and recording music as a young member of the Texas country scene, Morris decided a shift into a songwriting-focused realm would be her way into the full-time artistic life. That plan was actually starting to work, too. Songs Morris had written were being recorded by other artists, including mega hit-maker Tim McGraw.

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But a fateful night of karaoke in a Music City dive bar changed that plan, when a group of friends heard her belt out Beyonce's "Halo" with the type of brilliance they were shocked to learn had been hidden from them up until that point. From there, the former receptionist for her parent's beauty salon has been stylishly, ambitiously traversing an award-winning, genre-defying path.

After her debut single "My Church" became a hit, country purists everywhere proclaimed Morris as a savior of traditional country sounds, fighting the good fight against the sleek pop and hip-hop flavors that have dominated country radio for years. Her fiercely feminine persona looked to be the ideal antidote to the blinged-out bro-country pablum that Florida Georgia Line and Luke Bryan were churning out.

T.J. Osborne, of Brothers Osborne, right, and Maren Morris perform "All My Favorite People" at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

T.J. Osborne, of Brothers Osborne, right, and Maren Morris perform "All My Favorite People" at the 54th annual Academy of Country Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on Sunday, April 7, 2019, in Las Vegas. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Chris Pizzello/Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

The anointing didn't last long, however, which was fine for Morris, who never asked to be crowned in such a manner. Since that first single, Morris' profile has continued to grow, thanks to a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 2017 and a succession of slick, danceable singles. Any questions as to whether Morris was a crossover genius were put to pasture with the release of "The Middle," her globe-dominating club collaboration with electronic DJ Zedd.

The ubiquity of the song over the course of the summer of 2018 provided Morris with an ideal runway for her to introduce her latest record. In January, the rock-leaning "Girl," the title track to her latest record, blasted airwaves and streaming sites in a manner only a true A-list talent can pull off. Aside from announcing her entry as a bonafide pop-ready sensation, the new record followed up the single's success and became the latest streaming behemoth from a native North Texan, following in the monster numbers of Post Malone's Beerbongs and Bentleys from last year, when it broke all sorts of records for the amount of times it was streamed in the week following its release.

After Girl's first week on Spotify, the streaming giant announced the 14-song collection had set a record for the amount of times a country album by a female artist had been streamed in one week. And now, Morris is on a headlining tour dotted with sold-out venues twice the size of the places she performed in only a couple of years ago.

From the smallest stages in Texas suburbs to the grandest level of international pop stardom, it's quite clear that Morris is a pro at charting her path away from the middle and quickly toward the top.

With RaeLynn on Friday, April 19, at 8 p.m. Bomb Factory, Dallas. Sold out. thebombfactory.com.

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