Country music songstress Mickey Guyton graces more and more grand stages in recent months, and Sunday night (May 23) brings another pinnacle performance of “Black Like Me,” this time as a duet. This time of year, the stage doesn’t get much bigger than the American Idol finale. Even though fan-favorite Alyssa Wray bid farewell to the competition a few weeks ago, missing the cut for Top 7, she certainly earned her role in the finale, and she had the most empathetic and supportive ally possible at her side in Mickey Guyton.
Many American Idol fans still feel that Alyssa Wray was the “most robbed” after Disney night weeks ago, as Gold Derby per MSN notes. The spirit was one of pure love between the contender and the singer-songwriter who strives to be a constant mentor to women, women of color, and other artists with voices and stories that remain “unheard” or “unconsidered” in the country music realm. Mickey Guyton proves to Wray in this powerful performance that she is in her corner for more than just a night, as Taste of Country confirms.
One tiny, but meaningful, lyric change from Mickey Guyton
The camera glides to Alyssa Wray in her glimmering, fitted purple and silver as she sings the opening of “Black Like Me.” Bathed under the beams of light spotlights, her subtle, silky tones echo “Little kid in a small town/I did my best just to fit in” before she leads into the heart of the truth-telling ballad with “Broke my heart on the playground/When they said I was different.”
Not by coincidence, her words bring her to the perfect place down a lighted path. She looks to see Mickey Guyton walking to meet her center stage, in elegant black-sequined sparkle, belting out the piercing chorus.
It’s a great honor for any artist to perform a Grammy-nominated song on the celebrated night for an up-and-coming artist. Mickey Guyton takes good manners and graciousness a grand step farther. After she sings the signature tag line of “If you think we live in the land of the free/You should try to be Black like us.”
Guyton continues to reverberate the unity, as she and Wray strike flawless harmonies with ease. While Alyssa earns praise from the American Idol judges for her subtlety, with Lionel Richie, in particular, urging control before the blockbuster finish she delivers, Mickey Guyton possesses dynamic range to fit anything from classic country to a soulful hook in just the right verse. As Wray sings “I know..” in the next verse, Mickey mirrors with “We know..” Beyond the creative concession, Mickey Guyton’s beaming smile and her hand over her heart as Alyssa Wray savors the unforgettable moment speaks more than words ever convey. The ladies reach to each other with outstretched hands to a roar of applause.
Alyssa Wray and Mickey Guyton share golden moments
Before this auspicious moment in song, Mickey Guyton and Alyssa Wray never shared a song together. The songbirds do, however, share a taste for golden hues.
Not long ago, the American Idol stage glowed with golden light for Alyssa Wray on Oscar song night. She sang her heart out and sang for personal acceptance with The Greatest Showman’s theme, “This Is Me.” This time, she indeed saved her best for last and got golden critiques from the judges. At last, Mickey Guyton, too, is coming into her golden season.
In her Grammy performance, Mickey Guyton raises the roof with gospel fervor. The singer-songwriter shimmers in shades of gold and copper, singing with more conviction than ever on “Black Like Me.” Audiences sensed the meaning of the song more than ever. Mickey Guyton realizes that only divine providence combines with her decade of hard work and endless effort to bring a song she never thought would see daylight with her record label to the Grammy history books.
Again and again, the judges remind the gifted finalists that when the American Idol production lights dim, the real work begins. Mickey Guyton discovered the power and the freedom of standing in her own personal truth. Alyssa Wray is only at the cusp of her career and the appreciation of her talent, but already, she has a true mentor who listens well. This isn’t likely to be the last time these performers share a stage.
Already a busy summer for Mickey
Not only is Mickey Guyton in the spotlight on many stages, but her summer gigs keep piling up. That’s a nice problem to have. Next weekend, she tackles the most revered and difficult song for any singer, the national anthem, at the PBS Memorial Day concert. Country came on strong in the American Idol finale. The winner, Chayce Beckham, held his own with Luke Combs and took a turn with Chris Stapleton, too. Guyton shares the bill with Alan Jackson and Vince Gill. The real stars wear gold on their shoulders and by their sacrifice.
Let's go girls 💃 Here are the #CMTawards Female Video of the Year nominees:
— CMT (@CMT) May 13, 2021
Fans can celebrate another marvelous duet for Mickey Guyton at the CMT Music Awards. The video for her song, “Heaven Down Here” is in the running for Female Video of the Year at the June 9 festivities. Heavenly music is a guarantee. Mickey and the incomparable Gladys Knight offer a duet, as do Guyton’s Arlington, Texas sister, Maren Morris, and JP Saxe. The best songs and memories often come in twos.
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