Country Music Singer Mickey Guyton Becomes First Black Woman To Perform at the ACM Awards


September 17, 2020

Another glass ceiling shattered!

Country music singer Mickey Guyton just made history as the first Black woman to perform at the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM), PopSugar reports. 

According to AP News, Guyton came onto the scene in 2011, signed to Capitol Record Nashville, facing a long uphill battle and constant criticism about her authenticity as a Black female country singer. A Texas native, the singer and songwriter had taken to the genre early, idolizing icons like Dolly Parton and the like. In 2015 she finally released her debut single, “Better Than You Left Me,” to much praise from country radio, even receiving a nomination for New Female Vocalist at the ACM Awards. Unfortunately, the single peaked at No. 34 on the charts, the norm for many women in country music. She struggled with truly finding her identity in the business, and now, five years later, she’s released new music that feels more authentic to who she is.


“I was trying to write everybody else’s song and everybody else’s story when I had a unique story of my own,” Guyton said. 

Her new EP “Bridges,” released on September 11th, features several songs addressing various issues germane to women, racism, and society. “Black Like Me” is a song written before the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, discussing Guyton’s own experiences with racism. Nonetheless, she intentionally chose to release the song on Black Out Tuesday. Music industry professionals spurred the initiative to bring attention to the injustices Black people face in America, bracing herself for the impact.

“In the country music industry, we’re about peace, love, and harmony, and we don’t want to ruffle any feathers. We want everybody to feel comfortable. [But] I’ve been in a lot of rooms where everybody else is comfortable, and I’m very uncomfortable,” Guyton said. 


To Guyton’s surprise, the song received a warm reception, with people all over social media singing the lyrics, affirming that the 37-year-old had indeed found her footing and voice in the industry. 

Another song, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her,” is a ballad about the barriers women face in the industry. Guyton had an opportunity to belt out the single in front of a room of gatekeepers at Capitol Records annual showcase for country radio programmers. When she was done, Guyton received a standing ovation. 

At the ACM Awards this week, held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Guyton performed a reprise of that pivotal performance for the world to see, making history as the first Black woman ever to grace the stage in the show’s 54-year history. The singer is pregnant with her first child and performed “What Are You Gonna Tell Her” in a beautiful white gown, crooning out melodic verses while country legend Keith Urban played the piano. 


Guyton was awe-inspiring with the ACM Awards tweeting about the moment, calling it “a tear-jerking performance.” 

“Country music is three chords and the truth. This is my truth,” Guyton said previously.


To see the entire performance, check out the video below.

Congratulations Mickey!

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Mazur/Getty Images/ACM


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