Mickey Guyton is changing the world of country music.
The musician invited teenager Faith Fennidy to introduce her performance of “Love My Hair“ at the 2021 Country Music Association Awards on Wednesday evening.
“My name is Faith Fennidy and I’m proud to say that I inspired the song you’re about to hear by an artist I love,” the teen said before recalling the experience that led to Guyton writing the song.
“A few years ago, I was sent home from school because my braids were said to be a distraction,” Fennidy explained. “It was devastating for me. But this next artist created this song to make sure girls like me feel seen and loved.”
After the applause from the audience settled, Fennidy added, “And that’s how you turn something painful into something very positive. With your help, we can work together to ensure the next generation grows up in a respectful and open world for natural hair.”
Guyton then took the stage, flanked by fellow musicians Brittney Spencer and Madeline Edwards.
Fennidy joined the trio on stage at the end of the performance for a group hug.
Guyton took to Instagram to compliment Fennidy for motivating her to write the track, which appears on the artist’s debut album “Remember Her Name.”
She wrote that having Fennidy present her performance, “means the world to me.”
“She is the future and I want to be like her when I grow up,” Guyton added.
Prior to the performance, Guyton spoke with Nashville newspaper The Tennessean about the song’s meaningful lyrics.
“This song is about self love,” said Guyton. “We talk about loving our hair as Black women. It is also [about] truly loving who we are. I think so many of us are so mean to ourselves, and we need to learn to love ourselves a little bit. I really hope it touches a lot of people.”
A version of this story originally ran on Today.com