NASHVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) - Breaking barriers. That's the message Academy of Country Music Awards co-host Mickey Guyton is looking to spread Sunday night.
The 56th annual ACM Awards will celebrate all things country music Sunday, but it will also show how inclusive the genre has become, according to Guyton.
"I'm so excited. It's gonna be such a beautiful time," Guyton said. "... We have been relentlessly working on how to make sure that this genre is more inclusive."
Guyton is the first Black woman to co-host the ACM Awards and to perform her own song on the show. This year is also the first time ever the ACM Awards has seen five Black country artists nominated in a single year.
Jimmie Allen already took home this year's new male artist of the year award, while Guyton was nominated for new female artist. Kane Brown won video of the year and is up for album of the year.
Guyton said she believes she's seeing change within country music regarding inclusiveness.
"I've been in so many Zoom sessions with a lot of people in the industry telling my experiences of racism throughout my life to hopefully show people how that we can be better as a community. And I didn't know if I was seeing it and and being back in Nashville and being at these awards. And I'm seeing the change. And that's incredible. And we're better together than separated," Guyton said.
Guyton talked about the support being given to Black artists getting into country music.
"I do believe that the country music community is so supportive of what we're doing, but sometimes it's not reflected as we're listening to the radio, and there's such a struggle for so many different people in this genre, not only me," Guyton told CBS. "And it took a lot for me to trust in myself and trust that I am good enough, and that I will find an audience that will appreciate what I do. And that is love and acceptance and singing my truth."
"There's so much love and representation is starting to happen, people are starting to see how important that is... when you see it, you can be it. And that is what I preach and I'm so excited that this is happening. Look at me, I'm a host of the ACM Awards, like two years ago this wasn't even a possibility," she added.
Guyton, who grew up in Arlington, TX before moving to Los Angeles and then Nashville, is coming off her first Grammy Awards nomination for her song "Black Like Me."
"When I was line dancing at Cowboys [Dancehall], I never in a million years thought this could be a possibility and now it's here and I am just... grateful is the best way to describe how I feel," Guyton said.
The 56th ACM Awards air on CBS or catch it streaming live with Paramount+.
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