Mickey Guyton Opens Up About Meeting His Idols LeAnn Rimes and Dolly Parton: “I Screamed, I Cried”

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Mickey Guyton PBS’s A Capitol Fourth, America’s Independence Day Celebration, Washington DC, USA – July 04, 2022

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country star mickey guyton says forget the old adage of never meeting your heroes: his meetings with his idols LeAnn Rimes and Dolly Parton were dreams come true.

When asked which country artists could hypothetically inspire him to record full-fledged tribute albums, the 39-year-old country artist, who has been rising high since his 2020 hit “Black Like Me,” told PEOPLE that topped her list: “It’s ‘to be LeAnn Rimes and Dolly Parton for sure — absolutely, hands down!” Guyton went on to reveal the two singers’ profound influence on her own path.

Guyton has frequently shared the story of how, at age 8, she saw the pre-famous 10-year-old Rimes sing the national anthem at a Texas Rangers game and was instantly inspired by the great voice of future superstar to start performing, singing in church and at school talent shows. This year, 25 years after Rimes’ stardom took off and shortly after Guyton’s big breakthrough, the two singers perform on Crossroads CMTas a duet on Rimes’ signature hit “I Need You”.

Paramount presented its star-powered 2022-2023 Upfront event today, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a post-party in a Madison Avenue hat-trick.  Pictured: Mickey Guyton and LeAnn Rimes of CMT CROSSROADS.

Paramount presented its star-powered 2022-2023 Upfront event today, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Carnegie Hall in New York City, followed by a post-party in a Madison Avenue hat-trick. Pictured: Mickey Guyton and LeAnn Rimes of CMT CROSSROADS.

David M. Russell/CBS via Getty Mickey Guyton and LeAnn Rimes

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“LeAnn Rimes has become a friend of mine, it’s crazy!” said Guyton. “Because she inspired me so long ago. She was instrumental in my career.”

“What’s been so fun getting to know her is knowing what a generous, caring, caring, loving and nurturing person she is,” Guyton continued, noting that during Rimes’ rise to In an earlier era of the internet, fans had less of a direct window into the lives of their favorite stars. “You didn’t have LeAnn’s social media when she started her career, and I just have to be inside of that – and she’s being guarded because she been through a lot. And when you get to know her, she’s like the head kiss of a human being. Really.”

And then there’s authentic country legend Parton, whose lasting legacy also figured prominently in Guyton’s young life. “My grandmother was a huge Dolly Parton fan,” said the singer, who recalled her early exposure to the larger-than-life icon as she visited her grandmother’s home in rural Riesel, Texas.

“She lived in the country, so she didn’t have cable, and all she had was movies, VHS tapes,” Guyton recalled. “When I went into her room to watch movies, I looked at the back of her door and there was Dolly Parton; and there was Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers duet VHS tapes. The collection also included numerous films in which Parton appeared as an actress, including Steel Magnolias. “So that’s how I fell in love with Dolly Parton, it was [by] look at these tapes.”

Guyton first met Parton in 2016, when CBS this morning host Gayle King arranged a surprise visit on camera of the country legend during an interview segment with the ever-rising singer, who greeted Parton with cries of shock and delight.

“I mean, I screamed, I cried – that’s it,” Guyton laughed at the memory. “And she’s so small! Her height is, like, this little. I am not joking. She made me feel really good about myself – but my size!”

“It touches me deeply,” Parton told the singer when they first met. “I’m just happy to have been kind of an inspiration to you. It means so much to me, really. See how [you feel]I know why I do it.”

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Guyton also tells PEOPLE that in addition to inspiring others herself, she hopes to open doors for musical artists who want to follow in her footsteps. “I think everyone, no matter where you’re from, just wants to feel like they have a safe space, and I want to create that safe space for artists when they come in,” she explains. . “No matter who they are, but especially for artists of color. I want them to feel like they have a safe space in whatever genre they pursue. gave a lot of purpose is to be that for people.”

Meanwhile, Guyton is hard at work creating new music herself, following her hit 2021 album remember his name with a new album to come. “I’ve developed a really amazing writing relationship with Tyler Hubbard of the group Florida Georgia line and we created some really awesome stuff,” she says. “We are going to release music this summer.

She says her upcoming collection of songs will delve deeper into traditional country music styles and push the boundaries of the country genre. “I do a bit of both,” she says. “I think it’s all about balance, and I push the boundaries a bit and also stay true to what it is.”

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