Country singer Mickey Guyton, recipient of several Grammy nominations, will sing the American national anthem “The Star Spangled Banner” at SoFi Stadium on Sunday before the Los Angeles Rams take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI.
Guyton’s selection for the traditional pre-match performance was confirmed in early February, with the singer tweeting following the news: “I’m shaken, I’m grateful, I’m dancing praise”.
Guyton inspired by LeAnn Rimes, Whitney Houston
Born in Arlington, Texas, Guyton was inspired by country music when as a child she heard LeAnn Rimes sing the US national anthem. at a Texas Rangers baseball game.
Another performance that left an indelible mark on a young Guyton, the 38-year-old told the LA Times this week, was the late Whitney Houston’s memorable rendition of the “Star Spangled Bannerbefore Super Bowl XXV in January 1991.
“I have heard many hymns, but I feel like she evoked the true meaning of America when she sang it,” she said. “I felt so proud to be American after that. I was like, ‘Yes! America!’ That’s what I want, to feel that again. I want everyone to feel that again.
Guyton, who regularly sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at high school basketball games, has already performed the national anthem at several major eventslike the 2021 National Memorial Day concert in Washington, DC.
2020 Grammy Nominated for Single “Black Like Me”
In 2020, her breakthrough single “Black Like Me” saw her become the first black female solo artist to be nominated for a Grammy Award in a country category (Best Solo Country Performance).
A ballad about racial inequality and her struggle as a black woman to make an impact on white male-dominated country music, the song strays from the typically patriotic tone of the genre, with lyrics such as “If you think we live in the land of the free / You should try to be black like me”.
“For some reason in country music they want everything to be light and fluffy, but my world is not always light and fluffy“, Guyton told Rolling Stone in a June 2020 interview about his reasons for writing “Black Like Me”.
The song’s message particularly resonated with listeners due to the timing of its release.just days after black man George Floyd was murdered by white police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, sparking protests across the United States and around the world.
Driven by the obvious conflict between the “Land of the Free” references in “Black Like Me” and “The Star Spangled Banner”, Guyton’s feelings about patriotism are an issue she was asked about as she prepares to perform the national anthem.
For Guyton, patriotism should be much more than just a love of his country.
“What does patriotism mean? Anyone can wave a flag, but is that patriotism? she told the LA Times. “I can buy a flag right now on Amazon, so is that patriotism? For me, it’s deeper. I feel like a patriot loves everyone, a patriot is someone who sees people hurting and wants to do everything in their power to fix it. And patriotism is inclusion.”
“Black Like Me” was released as part of Guyton’s extended play Bridges – the singer’s third EP, after Unbreakable in 2014 and mickey guyton in 2015.
Guyton up for three Grammys at the 2022 Awards
Last September, Guyton released their debut album, remember his namefor which she is up for Best Country Album at the 2022 Grammys in April. She was also nominated for Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance for the album’s self-titled single.
Appointments on Guyton’s resume also include two Academy of Country Music Awards and one Country Music Association Award.
She will be joined at SoFi Stadium by fellow Grammy-nominated performers Jhené Aiko, who will sing “America the Beautfiul”, and Mary Marya Gospel duo who will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing”.
The Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show will feature Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, Dr Dre, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar.