by Marcus K. Dowling
“Look. At. God! I made it on a late-night show, mom! My heart cannot take it. Thank you guys for believing.”
Mickey Guyton’s response to her Monday evening appearance on CBS’ The Late Show With Stephen Colbert reflects the amazing surge of energy forming behind both the honest, empowering truth of her now-signature song, as well as its groundbreaking success as a Best Country Solo Performance Grammy-nominee.
Guyton’s performance was an intimate, piano-led take on her June-released single. Guyton, nearing the end of her third trimester of pregnancy, bore a mid-pregnancy radiance that has accompanied her performances of the single at the CMT and Academy of Country Music Awards.
Colbert himself acknowledged that the single’s nomination made her the first black woman to receive a Grammy nomination in that category. As well, she’s the first Black woman to be nominated for a country music Grammy since the Pointer Sisters won Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group for their 1974 single “Fairytale.”
“…the fact that all of us, in a room, collectively, knew, and know, that the treatment of Black people is different says so much, and [I’m grateful] that they were able to go there with me. You know, this is a very bold song to write, especially in country music. It’s very, very bold, and they were very much so,” Guyton told The Boot in regards to the writing of the single with Nathan Chapman and Fraser Churchill.
So far, as Guyton noted to Rolling Stone, the overwhelmingly positive response for such a profoundly emotional single has been very personally impacting.
“There’s tears of joy, tears of sadness. There’s a guilt that I’m feeling. I keep thinking, ’I don’t deserve this.’ There’s also guilt when I see the pain other people are feeling as their eyes open and see the oppression that I’ve experienced, having to see that pain in them as I’m talking about it. It’s all so heavy.”
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards are set to air on Sunday, March 14, 2021.