For a long time in history, colored female artists have retained a low-key profile on their stage performances. Mickey Guyton stepped in to break the chain after her powerful and touching performance of ‘What Are You Gonna Tell Her’ in the most recent ACM Awards night on September 16. But it’s really not only for us viewers. Guyton also expressed how that specific performance greatly affected her mental state.

No Longer in the Shadows

During a virtual interview, Mickey Guyton recalled another female black singer, Rissi Palmer, whose achievements went off the charts in 2007 with her song ‘Country Girl.’ Never did Palmer think that one could still be successful in Country music regardless of her sex and color. Another singer who shares Guyton and Palmer’s traits is Dona Mason. She’s a singer two-decade and several generations above them.

Back to Guyton, she hopes that like Palmer, she could become an inspiration for other aspiring black artists to pursue country music and not let go of their dreams.

She also said that as she stood up in the broad empty stage of the ACM Awards, she’s really not only representing herself but also advocating people of her color. She’s making a statement that Country music is for everyone just as R&B isn’t only for black people.

The Road to Success is Indeed Tough

While many were impressed with Mickey Guyton’s performance, let’s not forget that she’s been through a rough road. She needed to tough out all forms of discrimination just to reach the mainstream and pinnacle of country music. As she sings on stage, and with Keith Urban on the piano playing for her, her emotions mediated through the song to our hearts. Overwhelmed by her recent blessings, she simply couldn’t hold back her emotions anymore.

“I’m pregnant and hormonal, so I’ve been trying not to cry this whole time,” she adds with a laugh. “But it really does mean so much to me to be embraced by this community.”

As the country music evolves with generations of artists coming and going, people who appreciate it also become more open-minded. People are actually evolving for the better, and those who do appreciate its growth is simply contributing to the building of one global community.

ACM Awards, despite the health dispute, ended with a bang. Many were inspired and many were moved, but officially, Country has been available for the world to enjoy and its stage is now officially open for anyone who wanted to try their luck in the genre.