Get to know Mickey Guyton, a female game changer and the rising black woman in the country music scene. While Guyton had been in the industry for a decade now, starting her career back in 2011, it was only recently that she received recognition worthy of her talent as a country music singer.
Here are the top 10 facts that you most probably didn’t know about Mickey Guyton.
1. Mickey is not her real name.
She was born Candace Mycale Guyton on June 17, 1983. Mickey probably came from her second name Mycale. Ever since she started her career, she was known as Mickey.
2. Country Music Artist LeAnn Rimes was her inspiration.
When LeAnn Rimes was just 10 years old, she performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” before a baseball game. This performance was one of the first things that inspired Mickey to pursue a music career.
3. Mickey Guyton auditioned for the 8th season of American Idol back in 2009.
When she was in L.A., Guyton recorded demos to start her music career, and she also took the chance to audition for American Idol Season 8. Her run in the show did not last long enough as she was rejected before the live shows. Although American Idol missed a gem, Guyton did not miss out on hers. In 2011, she signed with Capitol Records Nashville, also representing famous music artists like Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. She was the first Black female country singer signed to a major label.
4. She was the only woman of color in CMT’s Next Women of Country Class of 2015.
CMT launched its Next Women of Country franchise in 2013 to help support and make space for developing female artists in the music arena. Guyton joined the list of acts in 2015 where she was notably the only woman of her color. But thankfully, CMT Class of 2021 included three solo Black artists— Brittney Spencer, Reyna Roberts, and Sacha, and family trio Chapel Hart making it the most diverse class yet.
5. She performed her powerful debut ballad “Better Than You Left Me” at the Grand Ole Opry in 2015.
The song, which was about a former boyfriend who was trying to get back together with her after her visible success as an artist, made its way to the Ryman Auditorium.
She recounted the moment of singing at the Grand Ole Opry and how she felt that it was like being invited to perform at the Grammy Awards. She also added that performing at Ryman Auditorium was like winning an award. It was such a holy room where you can feel the presence of people who performed there before her, like Patsy Cline. It was such an emotional moment for Mickey, who recalled breaking down in the shower when she started to think about this moment. And on stage, she could barely finish the song.
6. “Better Than You Left Me” scored the biggest radio debut in country music history.
When her debut ballad hit the radio, it earned first-week ads on 79 stations in the US. Not only that, but it also spent four weeks on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart. It was a remarkable feat mainly because the song sounded a bit foreign for traditional country music, and Guyton is a black woman. And the country music industry at that point is not known for its diversity. This song also scored her a nomination at the Academy Country Music Awards in 2016.
7. “Black Like Me” which she released in June as part of her Bridges EP, was inspired after John Howard Griffin’s book of the same title.
This song was released amidst the George Floyd protests on June 2, 2020, dubbed as Blackout Tuesday. It reflected the racial biases she endured throughout her life and was in the works for years. She co-wrote the song with a diverse team: Nathan Chapman, Fraser Churchill, and Emma Davidson-Dillon.
8. She is the first Black female solo artist to be Grammy-nominated in the country music category for “Black Like Me.”
Despite her already long run in the industry, this was her first nod for a Grammy. While it may have been long overdue, she did make history for the nomination. The nomination was definitely a testament for Guyton. It was a way of not giving up and living out her truth. And for the Black country artist, there was no better way of making history than releasing a song that empowers people like her. She hoped that she could continue helping open doors for other women and other Black people.
9. She is also the first Black woman to perform solo at ACM.
Mickey performed “What Are You Gonna Tell Her” at the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards with Keith Urban on the piano. Before this, she also performed alongside Chrissy Metz, Lauren Alaina, Maddie & Tae, and Carrie Underwood in 2019.
10. She is now a mom.
Last February, Mickey welcomed her first child with her husband, Grant Savoy. They named the little boy Grayson!
Mickey Guyton is definitely a woman of many charms. And also a woman who continuously breaks barriers for the Black community in the country music arena. You should definitely check out her songs!