Guyton, who has been open about the racism she continues to face as a Black woman in country music, wrote the song with Anna Krantz and recorded it on her debut album Remember Her Name. The lyrics follow a journey toward acceptance. “I used to think what God gave me wasn’t fair/I’d braid it all just to hide my curls up there,” Guyton sings, recounting how she came to love who she is.
Faith Fennidy, whose own story of being sent home from school for wearing braids went viral, introduced the performance. “It was devastating for me,” Fennidy said, but noted that Guyton had written the song “to make sure girls like me feel seen and loved.”
For their performance Guyton, Spencer and Edwards wore white dresses and went big with dramatic hairstyles. Guyton led off the first verse with the rising stars chiming in with their own lines and urgent harmonies, punctuated by Spencer’s soulful ad libs. The CMA audience rewarded them with a standing ovation.
Coming into the CMA Awards, Guyton was nominated for New Artist of the Year — which is almost funny, considering she signed her record deal 10 years ago. But things have definitely been going her way in 2020 and 2021. Guyton was nominated for a Grammy for her song “Black Like Me” and released her long-awaited debut album in September.