Country music singer Mickey Guyton is talking candidly about breaking free from the societal norms of the music genre and standing in her truth.
Guyton, who is Black, sat down with Miley Cyrus for Rolling Stone’s Musicians on Musicians to share her thoughts on feeling like she had to squeeze herself inside a narrow box for country music artists.
“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,” she said. “I was given this little tiny box that was allotted to me to make some noise, but not too much noise. And it was suffocating.”
Guyton also spoke of how she could go against the grain and shared that she realized that she had “absolutely nothing to lose” in doing so. The 37-year-old said she furthered the conversation with her husband, Grant Savoy.
A major topic of conversation that the couple had was why the traditions of country music were not working for her as an artist.
“He said because I'm running away from everything that makes me different. He called me out so hard,” she said. "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.”
However, Guyton is now doing things her way. In September, she released her debut album Remember Her Name. In April, she made history as the first Black woman to co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards alongside Keith Urban. In May, at the Grammy Awards, she became the first Black woman to be nominated in a country solo performance category for her song "Black Like Me."
"I truly feel that people have been wanting this change," she said. "I feel like that includes the industry, as well, and it feels incredibly good. It's not enough for just one black person to make it every 10, 25, 30, 40 years. It has to be consistently. The same with women in country music."