Mickey Guyton has the rare opportunity to make a statement with her performance this week’s ACM Awards (September 16), and she’s got plenty to say.
Appearing on a recent episode of Kelleigh Bannen’s Apple Music Country podcast Today’s Country, the rising star talked about how she plans to seize her time in the genre’s spotlight, and make a bigger-picture push for female equality. Guyton will be singing the song “What Are You Going To Tell Her?,” which shines a light on what it’s like being a woman in a world that only claims to have her back — and she says that’s a dynamic she’s personally seen in the country industry.
“It’s not only personal to me, but I was writing with other women in mind,” Guyton says of the powerful social-conscious ballad. “I was writing with every woman in country music in mind because of what we have gone through, that are still going through to try to make livings for ourselves. So we’re not doing these odd jobs to continue our careers. It’s so horrible that I see so many extremely talented women that I love, legitimately love and are constantly battling for an opportunity. Creating this tension within ourselves. There should be so many women on the radio that we were able to have so many tours that we’re all able to tour together like the guys are. And celebrate each other like the guys are.”
Guyton and Bannen also went on to discuss the backlash country artist Chris Stapleton received after a recent interview in which he was asked to weigh in on the Black Lives Matter movement. He sidestepped revealing his feelings about the polarizing movement itself but expressed support for African Americans in general, and was vilified by his own fans in return. To Guyton, who is one of country’s few black artists, the reaction was hard to see.
“I mean look at what happened to Chris Stapleton,” Guyton said. “For just saying that black lives matter. He didn’t say he was supporting a movement. He didn’t say anything other than ‘Yeah, of course black lives matter.’ And horrible backlash that came from that. … It really shows the state of where we are. It’s devastating that people can’t step outside of themselves and hear that. There’s something about the word ‘black’ that really is hard for some people to digest.”
Mickey Guyton will appear on the 55th ACM Awards this Wednesday (September 16), which air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.