Mickey Guyton’s Struggled to Fit In the Country Music Genre Due to Her Ethnicity
Mickey Guyton released her debut album Remember Her Name in September 2021 after almost a decade of being active in the music industry. The album, she says, is a way of releasing herself from the chains she’d put on herself when she was trying to fit into the country music genre as a Black woman.
When chatting with Miley Cyrus for Rolling Stone’s Musicians on Musicians, Guyton revealed she struggled to find a place for herself in country music. Being a black woman, the singer said there was very little she could do to fit in.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. And I was insane for a long freaking time, because there’s this box that women in country music are supposed to fit in, but then add on a Black woman in that box and that box is even smaller.
Guyton was born Candace Mycale Guyton in 1983 in Arlington, Texas to parents Michael Eugene Guyton and Phyllis Ann Roddy. She first began singing with her church choir when she was just five and grew up being influenced by artists like Dolly Parton, LeAnn Rimes, and Whitney Houston, among others.
She moved to Nashville to be part of the country music community where she has been active since 2011. In the years since, she found success with songs like ‘Better Than You Left Me’ and ‘Heartbreak Song’. However, she never felt like Nashville truly accepted her because of her ethnicity.
Guyton moved away from the norm and decided to make music her way, since she had never been accepted by the country music space. A conversation with her husband also helped her understand why country music wasn’t working for her.
He said because I’m running away from everything that makes me different. He called me out so hard. It was a gut punch. I was wearing my hair and trying to dress and act like these women in country music, and it was so toxic for me.
Mickey Guyton And ‘Black Like Me’
Guyton’s song ‘Black Like Me’ earned her much acclaim and helped her make history as the first Black female solo artist to earn a GRAMMY nomination.
When talking to The New Yorker, she shared that the song, which she wrote with Nathan Chapman, Fraser Churchill, and Emma Davidson Dillon, was more channeled than composed.
Guyton and her husband, Grant Savoy, have been a victim of racial profiling in the past. A few years ago, on the Fourth of July, Savoy, who is a Los Angeles-based attorney, had been accosted by officers outside their home after setting off six fireworks in their backyard.
Guyton shared her husband had been dragged outside and thrown to the ground. The officers refused to accept the car and property were his and called him racial slurs as well as “Osama” because he looked Middle Eastern.
Getting ‘Black Like Me’ released was a struggle, but she eventually put it out, as it meant a lot to her. The song struck a chord with many people amidst the outrage that was sparked after the murder of George Floyd and it gained a lot of traction during the BLM movement.