Because I be busy! I mean, sometimes it’s also because I’m not here, but this time I was busier’n a cat covering up shit on a marble floor [I’m gonna pause for just a second to give y’all a second to ACTUALLY VISUALIZE THAT. You’re welcome] I know. Sometimes I say some country*ass*shit* [my work filters work hard but I work harder] and that’s just the way it is because also my mama’s family is country so even though I am a born and bred Cali girl with deep California love (except for the middle part of Cali because WTF do they be doing over there?), I sometimes say things that make people question if when I say I’m from LA do I really mean Lower Alabama or Los Angeles. Which is Very Amusing, if you know me at all. If you don’t and somehow you ended up here, ask whoever signed you up for this nonsense.

But it’s whatever. I can see how being raised by people from the South can trip me up. What I never understand though, is how you confuse me with someone who looks nothing like me aside from yannow. Us both being black*[you guys I have a new story!].

And with that let’s get to the super bowl BHFOTD!

SO. The Black woman on the right is  Jhene Aiko. She’s a hodgepodge of color! Her ancestry is listed as: Spanish, Dominican, Japanese, Native American, Black and German-Jewish. She’s a singer, and she sang at the super bowl. NBC confused her for the Black woman on the left. Look closely kids. Embiggen that picture if you hafta. Squint if it helps because you’re too lazy to put on your reading glasses to Get A Good Look. They are BOTH singers that sang at the super bowl. They are BOTH Black. And yet. Here we are. Not being able to recognize two different looking black people. Like, EYE didn’t know who Black woman on the left was but IT WASN’T MY JOB TO KNOW. But I definitely knew who it was not. In fact, Not Jhene Aiko sang the “National Anthem” and is the BHFOTD: The super bowl edition.

That there on the left is Mickey Guyton. Country Singer. Which is absolutely the reason I had never heard of her. BUT I GUESS I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HA.

Mickey Guyton, born in Arlington, Texas is the 2nd oldest of 4 kids. Her family moved around a lot due to her father’s job, and in an interview with NPR discussed how she continued to experience racism all over Texas which is Very Surprising because I heard we live in a post-racial society. Something about The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther (the) King Jr. Anyway. Mickey began singing as a child and developed an interest in music around 5 years old. She often performed in her local church because of course she did. She was inspired to begin a singing career after she saw LeAnn Rimes sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the start of a Texas Rangers game, and moved to Los Angeles after high school to pursue country music professionally while studying at Santa Monica College. She studied business and also worked several jobs to support herself. Several of the jobs included work as a background vocalist, including an appearance singing in Nick Cannon’s film Underclassman [without getting pregnant ‘cause babeh I bet you that was REAL WORK]. AND, she sang on demonstration records and auditioned for American Idol.

After moving to Los Angeles, Guyton met record producer Julian Raymond. Impressed by her singing voice, he introduced her to country music industry professionals Gary Borman and Steve Moir. Both men helped launch the music careers of country artists such as Faith Hill and Keith Urban. The initial meetings with Borman and Moir prompted her to move to Nashville, Tennessee in 2011. Guyton soon became part of the city’s country music songwriting community. she was then signed to UMG’s Capitol Records Nashville division. With her signing, she became the genre’s only black female artist signed to a major label. In 2011. As she developed her artistry, Guyton was warned by industry professionals that she would be unsuccessful if went outside traditional country music boundaries: “Make sure your songs sound really country because white listeners are racist might think you’re being disingenuous. Don’t make your songs sound too Black R&B,” she recalled to CNN. In 2016, she began moving away from what was considered safe for country performers: “I did Nashville the Nashville way for so long, and I had seen so many women do Nashville the Nashville way, with very little results.”

In 2019, Guyton chose to write music that reflected more of her struggles as a Black woman. In early 2020, she released a single that came from those songwriting sessions titled “What Are You Gonna Tell Her?” During this period she also wrote the song “Black Like Me”. Based on the book of the same name, the song described Guyton’s experiences with racial discrimination. The song was largely ignored by commercial country music radio [Quelle Surprise!], but received significant attention via social media platforms and streaming services, with Spotify including “Black Like Me” on their “Hot Country Playlist”. Critics ALSO took notice of the track with Jewly Hight of NPR praising Guyton’s blend of country, gospel and pop vocal styles. The song was since nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. The Grammy nomination put Mickey on the way to several firsts:

  • First Black female to be nominated in the country category
  • first Black female artist to perform at the Academy of Country Music awards
  • Due to a song she collaborated on with Canadian country singer Dean Brody, first Black woman to top the Canada Country chart
  • In 2021, Guyton co-hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards with Keith Urban, becoming the first black woman to host the ceremony

Mickey’s debut album came out in 2021, called Remember Her Name, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic wrote that “Guyton’s specific experiences of being a Black woman in country music are a distinctly American experience, and those struggles inform the heartbreaking ‘What Are You Gonna Tell Her’ and rousing title track. A good portion of the record is devoted to lighter songs of love, dancing, and drinking — the topics that are country music’s bread and butter — and they showcase Guyton’s versatility as a singer”. He concluded that “Guyton is broadening and expanding the genre-bending sounds of 1990s country-pop”. I guess we ain’t seen the best of her yet. [I know you didn’t think I wasn’t gonna figure out a way to add this in here. Also it’s streaming on HBOmax right now]

*THE NEW STORY: So my boss emailed me to say that one of my docs said he gave me a document.

Me: I’m working from home. I can assure you he didn’t give it to me. He must have given it to my co-w. Who is there. In the Office.