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Yola Says the Power of Women of Color in Country Music is a “Vanguard” (Exclusive)

The English artist chatted with Celeb Secrets on the black carpet at CMT Artists of the Year about honoring Mickey Guyton and touring with Chris Stapleton.

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 13: Yola attends the 2021 CMT Artist of the Year on October 13, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT/Viacom)

Yola was not one to miss at the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year!

The English singer-songwriter made sure audiences would “remember her name” when performing a high-passion duet with Mickey Guyton at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center during the annual ceremony last Wednesday (October 13) in Nashville, Tenn.

The two leading ladies rocked the stage, bringing the audience to a standing ovation before Yola presented Guyton with her well-deserved “Breakout Artist of the Year” award.

Celeb Secrets Country host Juliet Schroder chatted with Yola on black carpet right before the show, where she shared that getting to honor Guyton was in fact an “honor.”

“I am performing with [Mickey] is what I’m doing and honoring her and delivering said honor,” Yola said. “And speaking of honors, it is an honor to me. Like to be able to do that, and it’s her first award that she has, and so to be in this moment is massive. It is.”

She continued to explain that honoring Guyton marks a moment for women empowerment, a power that is not shown enough.

“It’s the sisterhood doing what it does, which is women uplifting women,” Yola said. “Which is important and it needs to be seen and not to be some concept of a myth that ladies don’t support each other cause that’s the kind of myth I’ve heard in my life. You know they’ll go ‘Oh no, ladies don’t like each other.’ I’m like ‘Yes we do. Who do we get our nails with? Come on.'”

Both Guyton and Yola represent not only the power of sisterhood, but the power of colored women in the country music genre. She shared that in the past, colored female artists in country seemed more “sporadic,” but now it is more “like a vanguard.”

Photo Credit: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT/Viacom

Rocking the stage at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center with Guyton was hardly the only time Yola has performed this year. The “Stand For Myself” singer has currently been on tour with Chris Stapleton, and even performed for a packed house at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden earlier this month.

The two have been spreading their talents from Austin to Las Vegas and more. The singer-songwriter has now not only shared her incredible music with us, but an inside look at life on the road!

“He’s such a cool guy,” Yola said of Stapleton. “He’s such an angel and him and [Morgane] are the sweetest. [It’s the] best tour to be on and [I] feel at home and easy, just real easy. Like there is not one like bad vibe on tour.”

And while we are not surprised that Stapleton is an awesome person to hit the road with, it may surprise fans to learn that his good spirits are a key factor in maintaining Yola’s incredible voice.

“It’s also what you need for relaxed vocal chords,” Yola explained. “..It makes me warmer. I get more range being around good people, so, yea, it looks like now I can only tour with lovely people.”

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE – OCTOBER 13: Morgane Stapleton and Chris Stapleton attend the 2021 CMT Artist of the Year on October 13, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for CMT/Viacom)

Yola will be continuing the momentum in 2022 with the Stand For Myself Tour. The early spring tour will kick off in February, offering fans a chance to see songs from her latest album Stand For Myself live.

Stand For Myself is Yola’s sophomore album and latest release in the music scene. The album carries twelve tracks that embody strength, vulnerability and independence. Yola shared that the album is her favorite work thus far.

“It’s just been this real like rebirth for me of a musical agency and ideas I had been waiting to be ready to speak on or sing about and yea, like it’s the favorite thing I’ve done of everything I’ve done.”

Check out the full interview below to learn more about Yola’s upcoming tour and her evening at the 2021 CMT Artists of the Year!

Don’t forget to let us know what you think of Stand For Myself by leaving a reaction below or sending us a tweet  @CS_Country.

With reporting by Juliet Schroder.

Written by Kelly Gilmore

Kelly is a senior broadcast journalism student at the University of Central Florida! She has an unquenchable passion for all things pop culture and entertainment news. When she isn't writing articles, hosting interviews or working on entertainment news, Kelly can be found binge-watching her favorite shows.

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