Mickey Guyton proves her vocal prowess again and again. From the start, her 2015 ballad of overcoming through a devastating breakup, “Better Than You Left Me,” left audiences certain that Guyton’s gift for song-crafting would be the added gear in her wheelhouse for lasting success. Mickey Guyton kept demonstrating that she was the “whole package” as performer and songwriter. However, her passion started to wear thin from all the effort to fit into the Nashville “system” for finding success.
Sometimes, husbands have a way of speaking the truth that goes straight to the heart. During a counseling session some time back, Grant Savoy, reminds her of something. He reminds his wife that she is “running away from everything that makes you different.” Mickey Guyton promised to hold tight to that wisdom and her husband. She made a pledge to stand in her own personal truth and to write from the same perspective. She made history on the 2020 ACM Award stage with “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” delivering the emotional punch of the entire presentation. For once, audiences in attendance and viewing from home experienced the most authentic Mickey Guyton ever. Consequently, they didn’t forget.
Mickey Guyton felt certain that her label wouldn’t touch “Black Like Me,” so the “Nice Things” singer shared this song on her own social media. In no time, the ballad and personal cry for social justice and equality surged in numbers. This sparks Spotify to promote the anthem so needed and necessary in these times.
Divine providence in pandemic times
Guyton still gives an awestruck response in relating how the song took a life of its own in the middle of a pandemic. Only divine providence and the perfect message explain a phenomenon like that. History calls Mickey Guyton again when she garners the first-ever Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance by a Black female artist. Even the angels in heaven rejoiced with Mickey in the proclamation that “Someday, we’ll all be free!” in unison with a grand gospel choir last Sunday night.
Faith Hill, her husband, and Keith Urban aren’t the only fervent fans in Mickey Guyton’s cheering section. Great songs and great performers defy being categorized by mere genres. Their art stands as a timeless statement in history. Billboard confirms that Guyton’s EMI Nashville label has complete confidence that Mickey Guyton’s message is for every listener, everywhere, beyond Country radio playlists, and adult contemporary is a fine place to start.
‘Black Like Me’ brings Mickey Guyton to both EMI Nashville and Republic Records
Any performance from the worldwide Grammy stage provokes a surge in popularity. In the case of Mickey Guyton, percentages were gargantuan. MSN per Variety notes a 13,892% increase in sales of “Black Like Me” from Saturday to Sunday alone. Another 106% increase in streams showed up Monday over Sunday. The Mickey Guyton catalog seized a 4870% rise overall. The “Heaven Down Here” singer and her label have every reason for delight.
“We believe in the power of ‘Black Like Me’,” Cindy Mabe Of Universal Music Group Nashville praises. “After speaking with Republic, they too, felt there was a bigger audience for this song.” Mickey Guyton has a multitude of fans to verify that feeling. The new version of the song, dubbed “Black Like Me (Our Voices)” went to multi-format on Monday and Mabe says Republic Records is “working it to AC radio.” Mickey Guyton’s music consistently claims broad appeal, and now the artist herself will be introduced to another broad, receptive audience.
“Black Like Me” reflects the pain and hurt of the human heart left too long as an open wound. Like Faith Hill expresses, we all have “work to do.” It takes an artist of Mickey Guyton’s caliber to call us together on common ground, and it starts by sharing her personal truth.
Some numbers never need to be so hard on Mickey Guyton or any artist of color
Mickey Guyton celebrates this season of recognition as a validation of years of writing, singing, and striving for her goal that seemed so elusive. She devotes herself as a mentor to young talents. The “Bridges” artist recalls the advice to be “really Country” in order to be believed. Guyton related to past label heads that “you are not my audience, in all respect.” The key element to country music or any lasting music is to be real. The 37-year-old new mom learns more about life and love every day from her newborn son, Grayson. Her journey taught her most about how to be real.
The recent numbers make Mickey Guyton smile, but some hard facts are still a hurdle. Despite the abundance of prolific, talented, and passionate female artists in country music, statistics show that they receive generally only 15 to 20% of radio airplay compared to male counterparts. A recent study titled Redlining in Country Music Representation reveals that only 2.7% of Country radio airplay over the past two decades was for songs performed by women of color.
Making peace and proving herself as a true mentor
Amid the growing acclaim for “Black Like Me, Mickey Guyton confronts the reality that Country radio may never play her songs, as a radio promo person told one of her white friends. No matter what happens, Mickey Guyton refuses “falling in line and shutting up and singing.” Guyton has “made peace” with the understanding that her career may not be “massive.” Still, she will do her best to open doors for other artists of color. “Black and Brown girls” who hold dreams like she had as a young girl. She pledges to use her influence and connection for the good of others.
Mickey Guyton also has more new music to celebrate. Her new song with Breland is about all the good things about taking the path less trod.
Mickey goes ‘Cross Country’ with Breland
No one disagrees that Mickey Guyton has a very full dance card in her professional life, and one platinum-selling artist got first dibs with the lovely singer. “Cross Country” blends subtle and nuanced vocals with the unique vocational and life choices of the artists. Breland invites Guyton to be his duet partner and road buddy in this chronicle of finding his own path. CMT Edge spread the news of the collaboration.
For her part, Mickey Guyton writes on Twitter of being “honored” to sing with the “My Truck” hitmaker. “Cross Country” is a joy to the ears and a sweet lesson to the soul. Finding a place to call home and the courage to be yourself are forever blessings.