Mickey Guyton has officially arrived
Mickey Guyton's debut album, "Remember Her Name," is a watershed moment for country music, a genre with precious few commercially successful Black female artists.
Why it matters: Rave reviews and industry buzz signal Guyton is ready to break into a new strata of mainstream success as country music faces an ongoing reckoning.
- As virtually every aspect of American life was scrutinized for systemic racism, the genre faced withering criticism over its lack of diversity. The controversy over Morgan Wallen using a racial slur intensified the conversation.
- At the same time, Guyton brought searing songs about racism and sexism to country's biggest stages. Her continued success could open doors for artists and fans who once felt shut out.
- "Black Like Me," a song Guyton released last year after George Floyd's death and nationwide protests, was a turning point in her career.
Yes, but: Guyton, 38, has Grammy, CMA, and ACM nominations to her name and a series of successful singles. But she has yet to score a country radio hit.
- Guyton told The New York Times that radio success wasn't her main goal: "I can't write songs that don't mean something."
Context: Guyton is the latest example of an overnight Nashville success who was more than a decade in the making. She first signed with Capitol, a Universal Music Group label, in 2011.
- In that sense, Guyton's rise parallels Chris Stapleton, another UMG juggernaut who got Music Row buzz but sat on the national shelf before debut album "Traveller" became a smashing success — without initial support from country radio.
🔊 Listen: Guyton's deft "All American" makes a subtle argument for acceptance and diversity over a boot-scootin' beat right at home on a honky-tonk jukebox.
- "Remember Her Name" is available to stream and purchase today.