Mickey Guyton Becomes First Black Female Solo Artist Grammy Nominee in Country Category for "Black Like Me"
"Little kid in a small town / I did my best just to fit in / Broke my heart on the playground, mm / When they said I was different."
If you are yet to check out the powerful music and stunning vocal talents of country music singer Mickey Guyton, you're missing out. Now, the Arlington, Texas, native is making history, as the first Black female solo artist to earn a Grammy nomination in a country category for the upcoming 2021 Grammy Awards. The song for which she's nominated"Black Like Me," is an evocative song about racial inequality in America, and it's hard not to tear up listening to it.
"Little kid in a small town / I did my best just to fit in / Broke my heart on the playground, mm / When they said I was different," Guyton emotes the first verse, backed by subdued keys. "It's a hard life on easy street / Just white painted picket fences far as you can see / If you think we live in the land of the free / You should try to be, oh, Black like me," the chorus preaches, reminding us all of the sad realities of racism.
When the news was announced back in November, Guyton took to social media to express her gratitude and excitement, "I am lost for words. God is so good! Thank you @RecordingAcad!" she wrote, alongside a photo announcing her nomination.
Following her performance of "Black Like Me" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, February 2—her late-night television debut—stories of her historic Grammy nomination have quickly resurfaced, and we're even more in awe of this moving song. Watch below.
When Southern Living caught up with Guyton for our podcast "Biscuits & Jam," she spoke of the influence of the church on her music, and it's easy to hear that inspiration loud and clear in the poetic, soul-flecked "Black Like Me," in both its studio and live renditions. "Church is where I learned how to harmonize. I learned how to sing with a group of people. It was a major influence on me. My parents loved BeBe and CeCe Winans and Yolanda Adams and so many different gospel artists," said Guyton. "That was a huge part of my life. My parents were very religious and before I even really could listen to country music, I was listening to gospel music." Listen to the full episode on Spotify below.
Listen to Southern Living's "Biscuits & Jam" podcast to hear interviews from Mickey Guyton, Dolly Parton, Darius Rucker, and more!
Come Grammy night on March 14, it will definitely be fierce competition for who will win the honor. With co-nominees Eric Church, Brandy Clark, Vince Gill, and Miranda Lambert, Guyton's definitely in good company. But whoever wins, we know "Black Like Me," will be an influential opus — and we hope impetus for positive change — for years to come.