American country music artist Mickey Guyton, I’m certain that most of you are at the very least, familiar with this talented lady. But for those of you who have been too busy these days to keep up with entertainment news, let me put you up to speed on this rising superstar who is kicking in doors and taking names.
Born Candace Mckayle Guyton, last night, Sunday, April 18, 2021, Mickey Guyton became the first Black women to host the American Country Music Awards. Alongside country artist Keith Urban, the pair hosted the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards, which was broadcast from the Grand Ole Opry House, the Bluebird Café, and the Ryman Auditorium.
Ok, let me give you the old school cliff notes version of Mickey Guyton’s entry into the hard to break into Country Music Artist Club. Mickey who was born in Arlington Texas, and like most black powerhouse vocalists, began singing as a little girl in the Baptist Church.
Mickey was drawn to artists including Cece Winans, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton and LeAnn Rimes. YESSS! How about that talented list of masters for inspiration and mentorship? it certainly paid off. I can hear elements of all of those ladies in her voice tone, range, control and deliverability.
Eventually Mickey Guyton moved to Nashville Tennessee by way of Los Angeles and signed to UMG’s Capitol Records Nashville division. At that time, she became the only black female country music artist signed to a major label.
After Mickey Guyton’s signing, the star was part of an all-star concert at President Obama and Mrs. Obama’s White House in 2014. There were performances by country music legends James Taylor, Lyle Lovett and Kris Kristofferson among others. Mickey performed Crazy, a song written by mega superstar Wille Nelson and in 1962 was first recorded by the legendary Patsy Cline whose recording reached No. 2 on the Country Hit List.
Fast forward to 2015, Mickey Guyton’s debut single “Better Than You Left Me” was released. The record was the first ever to receive 79 ads in its first week. She also toured that summer with country music artist Brad Paisley.
Successful yes, but not the mega success she was soon to embark upon. In 2020, Mickey Guyton wrote the song “Black Like Me.” The song is based on the book with the same name. The (book) “Black Like Me,” published in 1961 was written by a white journalist named John Howard Griffen.
John Griffen had his skin temporarily darkened, journeyed through the segregated south as a black man and then wrote about his experiences. Mickey Guyton, who identified with what the journalist faced, penned the (song) “Black Like Me.” It highlights her own experiences of racial discrimination.
After George Floyd’s Death in May 2020, and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed, Mickey Guyton debuted the record in June 2020 on Instagram. Initially Country Music Radio was sleeping on the record. However, it was blowing up on social media and streaming platforms, so eventually they had to sit up and take notice.
The song was nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards, making Mickey Guyton the first black female artist to be nominated in the country category. Congratulations!