Mickey Guyton Worried About Her Safety When She Released ‘Black Like Me’
Mickey Guyton felt that releasing her song "Black Like Me" could be risky in country music — so much so, in fact, that the singer was ready to hire security if needed.
"Absolutely I was nervous," Guyton tells CBS This Morning of the lead-up to the song's release on June 2. "There were even possible talks about me getting security just in case I started getting threats from people, and that was scary for me."
"Black Like Me" describes a childhood spent feeling different and out of place because of her skin color, but Guyton says it was inspired by her struggles in Nashville, too. She previously admitted that she was overwhelmed by fans' and the industry's reaction to the personal song.
"When I put the song out ... I stayed in my bed the entire day because I was nervous. I didn't want to let anybody down," she now says of dropping the track. "I didn't know what the response was going to be, and it was actually the exact opposite [of what I thought it might be]: It was so positive and loving. It was like people were waiting for that from me."
As one of country music's few Black voices, Guyton has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks, as the United States grapples with its history of racism and inequality. The singer says writing "Black Like Me," which she penned months ago, was a freeing experience.
"For so long, I was living somebody else's truth, and I wasn't living my truth, and this song is an example of that. Country music is three chords and the truth, and people have so much pride in country music because it's honest music, but I wasn't being honest," Guyton shares. "And this is the first real time that I've been honest with my words and my lyrics and my message, and it's so freeing."
"And I don't care what way I'm supposed to go," she adds. "I know this is the right way, because it's who I am."
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