In the past year, Black women have been creating a space for themselves in the world of country music, an industry that has long kept them on the sidelines — or out of the game altogether. This Sunday, Mickey Guyton will become the first Black woman to co-host the Academy of Country Music Awards. She released her debut EP in 2014, but it wasn’t until last summer when she released “Black Like Me” amid the national racial justice protests, that she started to receive more attention for her music. The song was nominated for a Grammy, making her the first Black solo female artist to be nominated in a country music category.

A number of other Black artists are hoping to gain similar traction. CMT’s “Next Women in Country Class of 2021,” includes six Black artists like Brittney Spencer and the group Chapel Hart. Other singers are finding ways to build audiences outside the typical avenues of country music, through social media and streaming platforms. (Read more.)