Mickey Guyton: Singer, Super Bowl Sensation, Rising Star

Courtesy of Tune.media

Courtesy of Tune.media

Amongst the spectacle that was the Superbowl halftime show and the struggle between the Rams and Bengals, what many omitted was the song that started the game: the national anthem. The song that puts triumph in the hearts of all Americans, and a song sung this year by Texas’ Mickey Guyton.

Guyton is an African American female who specialised in a unique blend of country, pop, and R&B genres. In a white, male-dominated genre of country, her presence alone is that of extraordinary, let alone her fame, that big break coming from her debut single “Better Thank You Left Me”, reaching no. 34 on the US Country Airplay Chart.

Her upbringing before that, however, was not an easy one. Moving all over the state in her younger years, Guyton was constantly exposed to racial discrimination. She found respite in singing in church choirs, with her big inspiration to go into signing as a career coming from seeing LeAnn Rimes singing the U.S. national anthem at the start of a football game.

She went on to claim multiple smaller vocalist roles before meeting producer Julian Raymon. From that, she was introduced to several country music professionals who aided in launching her career. She was warned to stay in traditional country music boundaries, lest listeners think that she was disingenuous, centering around more “happy” topics, as she would recall in a CNN interview. These constant pressures would delay her music production by years.

Come 2015, Guyton’s debut single “Better Than you Left Me” was released to critical acclaim and wild success early on. The artist would go on to release other hit singles “Heartbreak Song”, “Hold On”, and “Sister”. Yet, her resurgence to peak would come with the song “Black Like Me” going over her experiences of racial discrimination, which earned her a nomination for the 63rd Annual Grammys.

Guyton would continue to soar in popularity with various contributions to other musical artists, new singles, albums, and performances at the Academy of Country Music Awards. In an ironic twist, her career would wrap back around to its inspiration, with Guyton getting the chance to sing the national anthem at this year’s Super Bowl, reaching finalized national acknowledgment and cheer.

While many may not know Mickey Guyton’s story, she is nonetheless an idol and inspiration for the American spirit itself, to go against the grain and find originality, never giving up no matter the hardships. Her singing the Star-Spangled Banner gives a message beyond the original meaning behind the song, the nation it stands for, and those in it with a will like no other.