No one who has ever heard Mickey Guyton sing can’t forget her endless range, the call from her heart in every lyric, or the realness in her soul that sparks all her songs. She’s a favorite at the Ryman, the “Mother Church” of country music. The multitalented songstress brought down the house with “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” a few months ago and next week, Mickey Guyton will be performing her song on one of the most acclaimed stages in the world. She’ll be joining the stellar roster of performers at the Academy of Country Music Awards on September 16 on CBS.
Mickey Guyton has always written from her heart and soul, but for too long, she tried molding her efforts into the ‘Nashville way’ of attaining success. An epiphany at a Grammy after-party put the singer-songwriter on a new track and she is ready to embrace her moment, as she explained in a September 7 Washington Post feature. A surging new audience isn’t the only thing that Mickey Guyton has to celebrate. Late last month, the mom-to-be broke the news that she and her husband, Grant Savoy, are expecting their first child in a jubilant announcement. “I’m thankful to God that God chose me to be this baby’s mama,” Guyton closed her moving post, complete with sweet sonogram images.
Mickey Guyton felt like pocket change at the party
It doesn’t get better than Grammy night in the music industry. Amidst all the glamour and talented female artists surrounding her, however, Mickey Guyton was struck with the hard reality last year at a Los Angeles after-party. “We don’t own ourselves,” came the thought that hit her like a lightning bolt. “We are the change in these people’s pocketbooks, and we are sacrificing everything for this.”
It was mostly men in business suits doing the celebrating, along with the wheeling and dealing. Mickey made it quickly back to Nashville to get into a serious songwriting session with three other women. Each of them had their own sad truth about being a woman in the music industry, as well as simply being a woman in the world. “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” was the fruit of their honesty and labor of love.
Mickey Guyton felt that the perfect moment for debuting her song, co-written with Victoria Banks, Karen Kosowski, and Emma-Lee was during the Country Music Radio Seminar in Nashville. “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” has been streamed over a million times.
The time was right for Mickey Guyton’s message song
The empowering feeling of singing, and speaking, from personal truth, gave Mickey Guyton a new sense of personal courage. She pledged to herself to only write honestly as a kind of New Year’s resolution for 2019. She was both awestruck and swept up in the provocation and causes behind the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Elijah McClain, Breonna Taylor, and more recently, the added tragic loss of Daniel Prude and the lifelong injury of Jacob Blake.
Mickey Guyton poured out her words and crafted “Black Like Me” in collaboration with Nathan Chapman, Frazer Churchill, and Emma Davidson-Dillion for the finished song. She could no longer concern herself with whether the time was “right” for a message song. She only knew what was on her heart, and her inspiration from John Howard Griffin’s book, “Black Like Me, which Mickey read in college, was burning into her consciousness in a new way.
Mickey Guyton simply wanted to send her song out into the world, so she posted it on social media. Soon, Spotify called and asked to release the song on Blackout Tuesday, when the music industry shut down to raise awareness for racial inequality. “Black Like Me” now holds over 5 million streams.
Celebrating success and motherhood happen hand-in-hand for Mickey Guyton
Mickey Guyton confesses that country music was, and is, so dominated by male artists and songs about good times. Because of this, she forgot why she fell in love with the genre in the first place. She remembers thinking “I don’t see myself in it anymore.”
More than anything, country music is music that feels with every listener, reaches to every heart, that is the same color in every person. Once Mickey Guyton started writing, singing, and speaking straight from the heart, the world found every reason to listen.
Initially, Mickey Guyton and her team feared they might need extra security following the release of “Black Like Me,” pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reception. When it came to morning sickness, however, Guyton found out quickly that pregnancy has no respect for artistry. Waves of nausea struck the expectant mommy at the same time the public interest in the song peaked. Mickey Guyton wasn’t completely sure if the baby or her moving ballad was the source of her constant queasiness.
Ready to rise to history and her moment
According to Cynthia Mabe, president of Universal Music Group Nashville, Mickey Guyton’s music is now “a real force.” Country music has been molded and shaped by the influence of black artists from the beginning. Banjos came to America on the shoulders of gifted black players, and black teachers taught Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, and countless other musicians how to master guitar strings.
Mickey Guyton is a 37-year-old artist with unique honesty. She has waited a lifetime for this moment to be a reality, and Mabe is convinced that she is more than ready. “Mickey has absolutely risen to the challenge,” the mentor insists. “History shows that Mickey aligns with forbearers who built country music.”
Such an honor to be able to work with the legendary @Diane_Warren on "Without a Net." This song will be in the upcoming film Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story, featuring some incredibly badass women. Strong women support strong women! 💜 https://t.co/6xxMSH6ug6 pic.twitter.com/bDfuRcoAbR
— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) September 4, 2020
Guyton is flying high with another song, “Without a Net,” on which she collaborated with none other than Diane Warren. The song is in the film Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story.
Musical success, like motherhood, is more than hard work, a dream, and planning. It takes a little push from divine providence to make it happen, too.
Fans can look forward to “Bridges,” Mickey Guyton’s long-awaited EP, to drop this Friday, September 11. Country Music Alley has all the latest news on the stars and the songs. You don’t want to miss out on all of the best news so make sure you subscribe!
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