Mickey Guyton has enjoyed widespread critical acclaim, greatly expanded visibility and industry recognition this year. Her latest honor came last week when she was selected as Country Music Television’s (CMT) Breakout Artist of the Year.

By Ron Wynn

NASHVILLE, TN — It’s been a magical year for country vocalist Mickey Guyton, one among a group of Black women in the genre enjoying wider recognition and acceptance. Last Wednesday Guyton got another honor as Country Music Television (CMT) gave her one of their biggest awards. Guyton was cited as “Breakout Artist of the Year.” 

The event was the 2021 CMT Artists of The Year ceremony. It recognized three singles from last year featuring Guyton. These were “What Are You Gonna Tell Her,” “Black Like Me,” and “Heaven Down Here.” They were released between March and July. “I wanted every word of every song that I wrote to reflect me honestly,” Guyton told CMT. “Until [2020], I’d done my music career everyone’s way except for my way.”

The track was nominated for a Best Country Solo Performance Grammy at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, making Guyton the first black woman to receive a Grammy nomination in that category. She would subsequently perform at three headline events. They were the 2021 Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, the 2021 CMT Music Awards, and CMT’s GIANTS: Charley Pride event.

Then came the September 24th release of her album “Remember Her Name.” “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. In my case, he shattered a whole glass ceiling,” Guyton said in a speech accepting her award. “I made it my life’s purpose to show that country music really is everyone’s music.”

The 2021 CMT Artists of the Year, which celebrated Chris Stapleton, Kane Brown, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, and Gabby Barrett, included performances from Boyz II Men and Pentatonix’s Kevin Olusola on Chris Stapleton’s “Cold,” Brown singing Randy Travis’ “Three Wooden Crosses,” and Walker Hayes giving the live awards debut of his smash “Fancy Like.”