Country music singer Mickey Guyton sings about ex-boyfriends, but she knows how to poke some fun at herself over it in “Heartbreak Song.” With a new album set to release early next year, the Texas native talked to CBS News about the challenges of being a black woman in country music and offered some advice to people pursuing their dreams.
What’s the story behind your new single “Heartbreak Song”?
I’m currently out on road promoting this new song, “Heartbreak Song,” that I was inspired [to write] while on the road with Brad Paisley. I was in Chicago, where my ex is from, and some of his family came to my show and were telling me he was going around bragging that I wrote a heartbreak song about him. So I did this tongue-in-cheek song that I think is fun. When I wrote “Better Than You Left Me,” it was such a hard time in my life. Now I’m fine and if this guy is going around bragging about it, then you’re just giving me that much more material to write about. I’m like, “Thank you!”
Your dreams came true recently, when Gayle King surprised you with a meeting with one of your favorite singers, Dolly Parton. Any talks of doing a duet with her?
Gayle is my freaking everything for that. I would love to do a duet with Dolly. There has not been any talk yet, but hopefully my career will skyrocket and she’ll be like, “Girl, I wanna do a song with you.” She did say maybe we’ll do a song together, so there’s still hope there to do something with her. She wiped my tears. I can like, sell my face on eBay now.
The CMAs are right around the corner. How are you participating?
I’m doing this contest where we’re going to fly out a lucky winner to come and say hi to me on the red carpet, and then they get to attend the awards. They get to be flown out to Nashville, put up in a hotel and go to the CMAs. It’s so cool to be able to do that for somebody ... People are signing up like crazy.
Have you faced any obstacles as a black woman in country music?
People have been very kind to me. Now, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard, because it is hard. There are things that I have to battle a little bit more than I understood and knew going into this -- that I was going to face those kind of challenges. There’s uphill battles and negative things that people can say about me, but the good always outweighs the bad and that’s what I focus on. People do need to be more included, no matter what genre. If someone of Caucasian descent wants to sing rap music, why can’t they? If I want to sing country music, why can’t I? There shouldn’t be such lines drawn all the time. I think that’s changing.
What advice would you give another black woman who wants to be a country singer?
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. You can’t be scared. No matter where you are, you’re going to face problems, and it’s up to you to work through them. I would tell anyone who is black, white, gay, transgender to do what makes you happy. There’s always someone out there listening that hears you that you’re touching.
I’ve experienced that all the time, just evidenced by some of the messages that I get in my Instagram and people say, “Hey! Can you listen to my song?” I will 100 percent tell somebody, because when I was wanting to get into the music industry, I wanted someone to mentor me and tell me how to do that. I just think that’s important.
Do you have any thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement?
I haven’t said a lot, because I don’t know exactly what to say because it’s so shocking and so scary that we live in a world where there is so much hate. There’s hate on every side and I just pray that one day we can stop it. I don’t know how it is in other countries, but do they focus on color as much as they do in America? I don’t know, but we’re all the same. I really just want to focus on the positive, and If I’m constantly posting the negative, then it’s not helping anything. I just try to put out beautiful messages when I see people from different racial backgrounds loving each other.