Mickey Guyton just made history.
The 37-year-old singer became the first Black female artist to give a solo performance and sing her own music at an ACM Awards ceremony on Sept. 16. The Bridges star sang a beautiful rendition of her hit "What Are You Gonna Tell Her?" as Keith Urban accompanied her at the piano.
Guyton spoke about the major moment during a press room interview.
"That whole phrase—'you see it, you can be it'—really rings true," she said. "The only reason why I felt that I could pursue country music was because I saw another Black woman singing country music named Rissi Palmer. And if it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here. So me standing on that stage, representing just women of color period, it shows them that they have the opportunity, too and that they can sing whatever kind of music they want to sing. It doesn't just have to be just R&B. If they want to sing country music, they can and they will be accepted by this beautiful community."
Guyton also talked about what the song meant to her.
"To just stand here and sing such a polarizing song on the ACM Awards about protecting our future, protecting our daughters, protecting women because we're so important and we matter," she said, "and it's just been such an honor to be able to stand here and be that to people."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">If you aren't watching the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ACMawards?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ACMawards</a> right now, you're missing out! <a href="https://twitter.com/MickeyGuyton?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MickeyGuyton</a> just gave us a tear-jerking performance at the <a href="https://twitter.com/opry?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@opry</a>. Turn on <a href="https://twitter.com/CBS?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CBS</a> right now! <a href="https://t.co/HGUYP7Q5zk">pic.twitter.com/HGUYP7Q5zk</a></p>— ACM Awards (@ACMawards) <a href="https://twitter.com/ACMawards/status/1306420505541369856?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
In addition, the country music superstar, who was nominated for New Female Vocalist of the Year in 2015, spoke about driving change.
"I'm a part of the ACM diversity task force, and the ACMs are relentlessly committed to diversifying the ACM Awards," Guyton said. "There's a Black writer on the show, and they've really taken our recommendations on how to make this world so inclusive because it actually is. All people have to do is see themselves and feel encouraged to be a part of this community and they can and the ACMs really has shown that tonight. I'm just … I feel really, really hopeful. As hard of a year as it's been, as crazy as a year it's been, it really has been beautiful to see people come together and put all of our differences aside and make the world better."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">I just want to take a minute and thank <a href="https://twitter.com/RissiPalmer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RissiPalmer</a> I would have never had the courage to pursue country music if I had never seen you representing in country music before me. This is all because of you sis. Your courage gave me courage. Love you.</p>— Mickey Guyton (@MickeyGuyton) <a href="https://twitter.com/MickeyGuyton/status/1306559671491272704?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">September 17, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Guyton, who is pregnant with her first child, performed at the ACM Awards last year, singing Chrissy Metz's song "I'm Standing With You" along with Metz, Carrie Underwood, Lauren Alaina and Maddie & Tae. However, this year marked her solo ACM Awards performance debut.
- Reporting by Alli Rosenbloom