Mickey Guyton on Making History at the ACM Awards and Morgan Wallen

Mickey Guyton is more than ready to make history at the 2021 Academy of Country Music Awards. 

The singer will join Keith Urban as the emcees for the 56th annual awards ceremony, making her the first-ever Black woman to host the show. During an appearance on CBS This Morning, Guyton revealed to Gayle King that Urban asked her to co-host personally. “I just wanted to do the praise dance and the hallelujahs and all that,” she said. “I still can’t believe it.”

Although 2021 has been a bountiful year for the Texas native — including the birth of her son, Grayson, and a stellar first-time performance on the GRAMMYs stage in March — Guyton told King that her journey figuring out her place in country music hasn’t been easy. “When I had that first interview with you in 2015, I was bright-eyed, starting my career and had all these hopes and dreams, and it didn’t go the way I had planned,” the singer said, revealing that she came close to giving up her music career.

“At a certain point I even didn’t believe in me, I felt like I had spent all of this time working towards this career and I just couldn’t get off the ground,” she recalled. “I was literally at my breaking point, but my husband wouldn’t let me give up and do that.”

She shared that her husband advised her to stop “running away from everything” that made her different from everyone in the country music scene. “Country music is three chords and the truth. Why aren’t you writing your truth about being a Black woman in America, singing country music?” Guyton quoted her husband. “I was like, ‘OMG, that’s it right there.’ That’s when I wrote ‘Black Like Me.'”

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The ACM-nominated singer admitted that she received “pretty mean” messages after the song’s release but noted that the reaction proved the point of the song. She also received “so many loving messages” that showed her she had done the right thing. “As weak as I felt, I still feel strong because I know that I am standing up for people that don’t necessarily have that ability,” she said.

When asked about the scandal surrounding fellow country artist Morgan Wallen’s use of the N-word, Guyton noted that “it could’ve happened to anyone in [the] genre,” it just happened to be the 27-year-old singer who got caught. “There is a lesson to be learned from this. Yes, he was wrong but I don’t necessarily think you cancel someone,” she said. 

Declaring that Wallen needs to “feel” the weight of his words, Guyton said that she’s “extremely hopeful” for things within the industry to change. She added: “I hope I can be a beacon of light to people. If you stick to your true self and what is true to you, anything can happen. Your dreams can happen.”

Country singer-songwriter @MickeyGuyton is making history as co-host of Sunday's @ACMAwards. ✨@GayleKing spoke with Guyton about being a Black woman in country music, overcoming self doubt and the advice from her husband that helped her move forward. pic.twitter.com/p5AgdI2hoW

The ACM Awards will air live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET (delayed PT) on Sunday, April 18, as well as live and on demand on Paramount+, from three iconic Nashville venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, the historic Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe.

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