CMT Music 12 Pack Countdown Includes Unprecedented Level of Diversity

There’s no doubt that we’ve got a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity and equity within the country music industry. But for the first time ever, strides are being made. People are doing the work. Though it’s small now, a shift is happening.


The journey we’re on is a long one and in order to keep ourselves going, it’s important to acknowledge the wins along the way. One particular win that I noticed this week is the unprecedented level of diversity in CMT Music’s 12 Pack Countdown.


The CMT Music 12 Pack allows fans to vote for their 12 favorite videos each week. Videos with the most votes are aired on CMT Music, Fridays at 9/8C. This week the options include THIRTEEN Black acts/artists, which we’ve listed below.

Click HERE to cast your vote.

Amythyst Kiah – “Black Myself”


Allison Russell – “Nightflyer”


Chapel Hart – “You Can Have Him Jolene”


Kären McCormick – “Congratulations”


The Kentucky Gentlemen – “Vibin”


Lathan Warlick ft Raelynn – “Roots”


Mickey Guyton – “Black Like Me”


Parmalee and Blanco Brown – “Just The Way”


Sacha – “Standards”


Shy Carter – “Good Love”


Tiera – “Shut It Down”


Willie Jones – “American Dream”


Valerie June – “Call Me A Fool”

Black Opry’s ACM Awards Highlights

It was a long night full of performances and appearances from some of the biggest names in country. But there were a few names that we here at Black Opry were particularly excited about.


Mickey Guyton was stunning and a complete natural as the first ever Black woman to host the ACM Awards. Guyton was flawless and didn’t skip a beat. In addition to hosting she delivered her second, career defining performance of the year, debuting self-written song titled “Hold On.”


Another very exciting appearance for us here at Black Opry was The War & Treaty!  Their performance of U2’s “Pride (In The Name of Love” with Dierks Bentley  set Twitter ablaze. Everyone is asking for more of the husband and wife duo and we are hoping that the industry heeds the call and puts them front and center.



In her second performance on the ACM stage, Cece Winans joined Carrie Underwood for a soul touching medley of gospel hymns that no doubt left jaws across the country on the floor.


“New Male Artist of the Year” winner, Jimmie Allen, got a friendly surprise when Brad Paisley drove into town and joined him on stage to perform their brand new duet “Freedom Was A Highway”.


In addition to winning Video of the year for Worldwide Beautiful”, Kane gave a great performance of the single “Famous Friends” with Chris Young. 

Darius Rucker, who we are always glad to see, also made a short appearance as a presenter.


For a full review of the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards, head over to Country Queer.

Mickey Guyton

A trailblazer with a tenacious spirit and remarkable talent; Mickey Guyton is at the forefront of the charge to change country music for the better.


Guyton signed to Capitol Records Nashville in 2011 and released her first single “Better Than You Left Me” in 2015. She has released 4 albums/EPs: “Unbreakable” (2014), “Mickey Guyton” (2015) , “Bridges” (2020) and “Mickey Guyton” (2021).


Her latest single, “Black Like Me” is currently making history. Guyton performed “Black Like Me” at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards where she received a nomination for Best Country Solo Performance.  And she will co-host the 56th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on April 18th,2021.

Quarter 1 Wrap Up (2021)

Rissi Palmer at the Grand Ole Opry

On March 19, 2021, Rissi Palmer returned to the stage at the Grand Ole Opry for a performance she described as a “healing experience.”


In August of 2020 Palmer launched the Apple Radio show “Color Me Country” where she focuses on hearing the stories of artists of color and diving into industry issues. In conjunction with the show, she’s launched an artist grant fund focused on artists of color.


After so much effort toward supporting other artists, it was nothing short of a delight to see Palmer receive the flowers she so generously gives to every one around her. Rissi shared her thoughts on the performance with CBS This Morning, check it out below.

New Releases

Thalmus Releases "Low Country"

In early January, country singer Thalmus from Atlanta, GA released a cover album of the 1st side of David Bowie’s “Low.” It’s fun, it’s moody, and best of all- it’s country.

"You Can Have Him Jolene"

Chapel Hart had us singing along and laughing ’til we ached with their charming video for their single “You Can Have Him Jolene”. The video premiered on CMT in early March. 

Mickey Guyton

2021 is proving to be Mickey Guyton’s year. “Black Like Me” is making history and so is Mickey. At the 63rd Grammy Awards Guyton delivered a show-stopping performance of the hit single and her name has been at the forefront of everyone’s mind ever since.

Amid Guyton’s professional success, she has been living in bliss in her personal life following the birth of her first son with husband Grant Savoy. It simply doesn’t get any cuter than little Grayson! 

Dear Readers - Love, Holly

Thank you to everyone who has supported our launch and shown us love. We are endlessly grateful to be able to provide a platform for artists that look like us,  making the music we love.

Our hope is that this community we are building becomes a force to reckon within the country music industry. We’ve shared many of our goals with you all and often been told “that’s going to be a lot of work!” We know the road ahead won’t be easy or short but we are ready and willing to do the work.

We call this website home because after a long hard day you want to go home and be loved on. For Black and other marginalized artists and fans, the country music industry has been one long bad day, and we want you to know that here’s where you can come when you need a little love to balance it out.

Black people have been loving country music, but it hasn’t been loving us back. Now there is a place, here at Black Opry, where it does. Thank you for showing up and sharing in our dreams. Here’s to dreaming big and creating change.