The road between debut single and debut studio album doesn’t usually take as long as singer Mickey Guyton experienced, but the country artist has been busy breaking down barriers every step of the way.
Guyton originally moved to California after high school to pursue music, but she eventually relocated to Nashville in 2011. The year seemed full of momentum for Guyton, who auditioned for UMG Nashville and was eventually signed to the label’s Capitol Records division.
But the pressure of being one of the few Black artists in country music began to take its toll.
Guyton soldiered on, releasing her debut EP Unbreakable in 2014 and following it with a self-titled EP in 2015, but her debut studio album remained on hold.
A major change came when Guyton released the powerful single ‘Black Like Me’ in early 2020, which received critical and social media attention, though country radio didn’t play it.
Guyton released her third EP, titled Bridges, later that year, and garnered two big firsts: She became the first Black female country artist to perform at the Academy of Country Music Awards and earn a Grammy nomination for Best Country Solo Performance.
In 2021, she announced her debut studio album Remember Her Name.
Not your run-of-the-mill country album by any measure, Mickey Guyton has stepped up and grabbed her moment in the spotlight here. Exploring everything from romance and abandonment to self-esteem and social justice, Remember Her Name is a milestone record.
The celebrity created from Charley Pride’s talent was surely a start; a showcase of what Black artists can bring to the table. But without the inclusion of Black talent in all facets of the industry, that inclusion is hollow and performative.