BLACK VOICES

Mickey Guyton And The Trailblazing Black Women Of Country Music

UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970:  Photo of Linda Martell  Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1970: Photo of Linda Martell Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Mickey Guyton’s debut single Better Than You Left Me has the country music world all abuzz. The ballad scored the biggest radio debut in country music history when it hit airwaves two weeks ago, earning first-week adds on 79 stations across America. While that record may have much to do with modern radio consolidation, it’s nonetheless a remarkable feat – especially given the traditional nature of the song. Adorned with steel guitar and a slow waltz beat, Better Than You Left Me sounds like little else on country radio at the moment. What makes the feat even more remarkable is that Guyton is a black woman in an industry not known for its diversity.

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