Maren Morris made a powerful statement when she released "Dear Hate" following the mass shooting in Las Vegas on Oct. 1. But the track was actually years in the making.

Backstage at the CMA Awards, Morris revealed to Taste of Country Nights that she wrote the song years ago with David Hodges and Tom Douglas in response to the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 and then the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina in 2015.

"We just wrote almost this poem of lyrics and historical references to hatred and it became this really beautiful letter to love and saying like 'you're going to conquer all,'" she explains. "We just wanted to write something meaningful that was like a diary of what we were feeling and so 'Dear Hate' was just such a bold title."

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While the song was penned years before she released it, the rising country star was waiting for the right time to share it with the world. Morris was a performer at Route 91 Harvest Festival the night before the shooting took place. She knew she had to release the song after the heartbreaking event that hit so close to home for the country music community.

"I've had it for years and just never knew when to release it and then when the Vegas shooting happened ... it just felt like the right time," she says.

While fans had a strong reaction to the powerful song, Vince Gill did too — so much so that he wanted to a record a vocal track on it for free. "He loves the song and did the whole thing for free last year," Morris shares. The proceeds from the song go to the victims of the Vegas shooting.

Adds the "My Church" hitmaker: "It was time for the world to hear it."

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