Country singer Mickey Guyton made her Grammy Awards debut on Sunday night, performing the song “Black Like Me.” The song also earned Guyton her first Grammy nomination for Best Solo Country Performance.
Guyton performed her song in the round with a simple instrumental setup of cello, piano and pedal steel. Mid-song, a chorus of vocalists joined the singer, increasing the momentum with handclap percussion. Guyton worked up to a big finish, soaring through the final chorus in her powerful upper register.
Released in June 2020 and co-written by Guyton with producer Nathan Chapman, “Black Like Me” chronicles Guyton’s experiences as a black woman in America and in Nashville’s country music industry. “It’s a hard life on easy street/just white painted picket fences far as you can see,” Guyton sings. “If you think we live in the land of the free/you should try to be black like me.”
“Over the last couple of years I’ve changed my whole way of thinking to try to be as truthful and honest as I possibly can, about my life and what I’ve gone through, and about my feelings,” Guyton told Rolling Stone after the song was released. “For some reason in country music, they want just everything to be light and fluffy, but my world isn’t always light and fluffy.”
There are even bigger opportunities coming up for Guyton. On April 18th, she’ll take her first turn co-hosting the Academy of Country Music Awards with Keith Urban.