In her 20 questions-style chat with Andrea Domanick, Morris cited Parton's own October 1978 appearance on the cover of Playboy as a source of bravery and style for a move that'll surely draw the ire of internet trolls.
"I remember Dolly Parton's amazing Playboy cover and reading about the drama surrounding this wholesome figure being part of a magazine that has showcased naked women for decades," Morris says. " It was such a faux pas in country music, and yet she ended up making one of the most iconic Playboy covers of all time. Not many other country artists have done that."
Parton's public image represents more than selfless charity and her Christian faith. She also serves as a role model to anyone uninterested in society's standards for sexuality and modesty.
"I was intrigued, because so many of the moves Dolly made in her career were about bucking the status quo, especially when it came to sexuality and gender norms within country music," Morris adds. "As a woman in country music--as a woman in any genre--it always fascinated me. So when I heard this magazine wanted to interview and photograph me, I thought, Okay, I've seen a lot of wonderful spreads you guys have done with artists I love, such as Halsey, so what the hell?"
Strong individuals like Parton rose above tabloid gossip in past decades, and now they inspire Morris and others on the receiving end of online hate.
"Anytime someone is courageous or doesn't try to blend in, it pisses people off," Morris says. "It's been like this forever, but we're much more connected now than we used to be. A lot of hot-button things that seem small explode into something huge."
Another key takeaway from Morris' candid chat is that experience, wisdom and a happy marriage to fellow singer-songwriter Ryan Hurd isn't going to make future songs any less bold than "Girl" or "Flavor."
"I could just shut up and sing, keep my head down, not talk about politics or sexuality in my songs," Morris says. "But I swear quite a bit. I talk openly about drinking. I'm learning things about myself that are starting to freak me out, in a good way. I'm growing up, and that doesn't necessarily mean becoming more mature or wiser or buttoning things up a bit more. Sometimes it's letting it all be a little more freewheeling."