What Are You Gonna Tell Her?

Songfacts®:

  • As an African American woman in a genre dominated by white men, country singer Mickey Guyton has had to battle harder than most to break through into the mainstream. This emotional tune finds Guyton talking about how people can be marginalized based on the color of their skin.
  • Guyton co-wrote this honest rumination about her experiences of discrimination with Karen Kosowski and Victoria Banks. The same trio penned "Hold On" for the movie Breakthough.
  • Guyton found inspiration to write the song after a conversation on Instagram with a girl from the Philippines. She recalled to Apple Music that the Filipino was asking her advice about becoming a singer or working in the music industry. She asked Guyton, "Is there anything I have to look forward to? Do you think I have a shot?"

    Guyton had to be honest with her and tell she couldn't recall many good experiences within the industry. The Filipino girl then told her that she'd been involved in a school play and her musical director had instructed her to put on whiter makeup so she would look whiter on stage. "How do you tell that to somebody, to a girl with hopes?" asked Guyton. "It reminded me of myself, what I've gone through and how I've tried to alter myself to make other people comfortable with me being present and making sure I can fit in and they can see me."
  • Mickey Guyton performed the song at the 2020 Academy of Country Music Awards with Keith Urban accompanying her on piano. It was the first time a Black female artist had ever given a solo performance at the ACMs.

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