Mickey Guyton Shares Her Top Prince Memories

Recalls Covering Aretha Franklin Classic With the Rock Legend

With a voice that’s perhaps as recognizable as Patsy Cline’s and Whitney Houston’s, Mickey Guyton has the kind of talent and je ne sais quoi that makes interviewers go, “Tell me everything.”

“Just livin’ the dream,” she says while catching up over the phone.

The few times she got to hang out with the late great music legend Prince is certainly the stuff of dreams. While the two didn’t officially record anything together, her memories with the rock icon can never be taken away.

The two became acquainted through a girlfriend named Liza Hernandez while Guyton was living in Los Angeles.

“She is this Miss Hawaiian Tropic, gorgeous model girl,” Guyton recalls. “I mean, I wouldn’t even want to get dressed when I would go out with her because all the guys would want to hit on her. I get it. She is so beautiful.”

Prince noticed Hernandez in the front row at one of his concerts and picked her out of the crowd.

“Long story longer, they became friends,” Guyton continues. “She’s my friend so we all got to hang out. The first time we hung out, he had a private party at one of his houses in L.A. and there were 25 people there. He is just wailing on his guitar five feet away from me, and I’m just having this private concert with Prince at his house.

“The second time I got to hang out with him, he rented out the House of Blues and invited Liza and four of her girlfriends. We were sitting there dancing around the House of Blues. There were hors d’oeuvres and drinks, and we were just enjoying life, hanging out with Prince.”

The third time Guyton got to hang with Prince, she could have done the Nashville handshake, which is usually friendly introduction followed by an exchange of songs and the questions, “Will you listen to my music and tell me what you think?”

But Guyton kept it classy and just enjoyed the moment.

At the time, Guyton was out on a girls’ night and when it was time to head home, they ran into trouble accessing their car.

“Something happened in the parking lot where we parked so we couldn’t get our car that night,” she recalls. “Liza calls Prince, and he comes and picks us up in a stretch limo. He drives us to one of his houses, and we get into this purple suede elevator. I don’t know if that thing went up or down. Whichever way it went, it opened up into this giant ballroom-sized rehearsal space, and right in the middle of the floor is a Rhodes piano, a drum set and a mic.”

What happened next, Guyton will never forget for the rest of her life.

“He gets on the piano and I get on the mic and we start singing ‘Natural Woman’ together,” she says. “I was trying to be cool. I didn’t want to get kicked out of his house for going crazy. It was at a time where social media wasn’t a thing, so I was just in the moment. We just sang together. It was awesome.”

Why is the fact that darling Mickey got to hang with Prince a few times important? It’s because once one chooses a life in music, one’s influences, family, friends, mentors, employers, etc. all have an impact on their journey. Guyton can make any song sound incredible. And she could have slipped Prince some music at any time they were together, which might have taken her down a different path as one of his last protégés.

But it’s also a pretty cool to think of Prince as one of Guyton’s guardian angels, rocking out on the other side to her new single “Heartbreak Song.” The bold breakup anthem is super cute with infectious hooks, plus touches of “No, No, No” by Destiny’s Child and ‘NSYNC’s “Bye, Bye, Bye.”

“A lot of my songs that are considered new, I’ve had them for a long time,” she says. “A lot of them were written here in Nashville. I have gone out to California to write with other writers, but it’s still along the lines of ‘Heartbreak Song’ and ‘Better Than You Left Me.’ They’re just an extension of it. I’m still staying true to that and still staying true to all the Nashville musicians who play on my records. I’m just getting another take on things.”

Lauren Tingle is a Tennessean and storyteller who eats music for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When she’s not writing or rocking out, she enjoys yoga and getting lost in the great outdoors.