While Guyton’s breakout album was released in 2021, she’s been on the scene for 10 years. Remember Her Name was nominated for Best Country Album at the 64th annual Grammy Awards and its title track earned nods for Best Country Solo Performance and Best Country Song.
“The person that needed me the most was me,” the Texas native, who performed the national anthem at the 2022 Super Bowl, told CMT in October 2021. “I wanted to make an album that, foremost, I alone would be proud of, then I would be proud to press play for my child to hear one day. Second, I wanted every word of every song that I wrote to reflect me honestly. Until working on this album, I’d done my music career everyone’s way except for my way.”
Working on her debut record was a process of “re-discovery,” she explained. “This album helped me realize that I needed to let go of the idea that I wouldn’t be accepted by every part of country music, or by everyone, in general. Instead, I focused on what I truly had to say about who I am on this record. I hope the freedom that making this album allowed me to experience encourages other artists to do the same.”
Guyton has become a positive force within the genre, and she hasn’t shied away from discussing how country music can improve when it comes to diversity. Her song “Black Like Me” is one of many empowering anthems she’s penned — and she’s starting to see its impact.
“Country music may have been slow to embracing inclusion, but I think that, as a whole, more people who work in and love this music want this evolution toward acceptance to happen,” she told CMT.
The ACM Award nominee might be a new face for some, but Underwood has been a powerful force within country music for years. She got her start on season 4 of American Idol in 2005 and has since released eight albums to widespread acclaim. While discussing the disparities in radio play on country stations between male and female artists, the “Cry Pretty” songstress didn’t hold back.
“I think it’s really great that there’s fan advocacy and social media support around women in country music, because there are so many incredible female artists who, for some reason, are not being given a chance,” she told Elle in October 2018. “We are told time and time again that the women listeners who make up the majority of country music radio listeners don’t want to hear other women on the radio, which I think is not true. Growing up, it was incredibly important to hear strong, amazing, talented women on the radio. It let me know that I could do that too.”
Scroll down to see how country’s biggest names promote girl power through their music: