American Idol Season 7 Alum Mickey Guyton Launches Debut Single Via Capitol Nashville (Video & Backstory)!

Mickey Guyton promo photo

Today is a big day for singer/songwriter/Season 7 Idol alum Mickey Guyton, as her debut single for Capitol Nashville, the lovely, soulful waltz “Better Than You Left Me,” goes for adds at country radio and her video for the single premieres. Guyton cowrote the song with Nathan Chapman, Jennifer Hansen, and Jennifer Schott, and has emerged over the past couple of years as 1 of the most buzzed-about new country acts in a while. Here’s the video for “Better Than You Left Me,” out for the first time today:

Download Mickey Guyton’s “Better Than You Left Me” here!

Now, let’s look back at her journey up to this point.

As her official bio acknowledges, Texas-born Mickey Guyton was raised influenced not only by country/pop crossover acts like Dolly Parton and LeAnn Rimes but also by R&B/pop megastar Whitney Houston and gospel greats Bebe and Cece Winans. After moving out to Los Angeles after high school and attending Santa Monica College, Mycale (Mickey Guyton’s full name is Candace Mycale Guyton) was signed to Motown Records in 2005, as confirmed here, and by a testimonial quoted by her former trainer Jennifer Cohen, which refers to her as “Mycale Guyton, Universal/Motown recording artist.”

After years of development didn’t pan out, she auditioned for Season 7 of American Idol and made it all the way to the Chairs episode where the t24 selections are revealed. So, do you not remember Mickey Guyton from American Idol? It’s not her fault! The only acknowledgement she got from the show was when she was cut in that episode. See the 2:46 mark of this video (she was known as Mycale Guyton at the time):

This May 2008 video shows her covering Aretha Franklin’s “Natural Woman” at RnB Live in Hollywood:

But in 2011, she moved to Nashville after being introduced to managers Gary Borman and Steve Moir of management company Borman Entertainment (which formerly managed Lady Antebellum), and Mickey been writing in Nashville ever since. She was signed to Capitol Nashville that year, and joined Season 10 American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina, and a roster of high-profile country acts including Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Alison Krauss, Kris Kristofferson, Brad Paisley, The Band Perry, Charley Pride, and Darius Rucker for a celebation of country music at the White House that aired on PBS. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were both in attendance at the event. Here is video of Mickey Guyton covering Patsy Cline’s (and Willie Nelson’s) “Crazy”:

In 2013, Mickey Guyton was among the twenty-plus UMG Nashville acts (also including Lauren Alaina and Season 10 American Idol champ Scotty McCreery) to perform a song at UMG’s annual Lunch At The Ryman showcase during Country Radio Seminar (a few days where radio people converge on Nashville for panels, showcases, and wining & dining by labels). Country Weekly and Billboard confirm that her performance of “Better Than You Left Me” drew a standing ovation on an afternoon where the other standing ovations went to Vince Gill, Eric Church and George Strait (some reports indicated Little Big Town also received one that year). But the momentum from that didn’t translate into an immediate launch at radio.

Mickey Guyton continued to write and take on side projects like this Jimmy Harry / Serena Ryder cowrite “It’s No Mistake,” which appears on the soundtrack for the Canadian movie, “The Right Kind Of Wrong.”

She also performed at the 1st ITunes US Festival in Austin, Texas, and released a 4 song EP called Unbreakable to Itunes. You can stream the EP, which features 4 contemporary country/pop tunes and Mickey’s big, soulful and emotive voice, here:

In August 2014, Mickey Guyton finally began her 1st country radio tour in support of lead single “Better Than You Left Me.” The tour also included stops by the major streaming services like Spotify and Beats Music. Along the way, she has led a number of lists of Artists To Watch in 2015, including those from Billboard’s Chuck Dauphin and Chris Willman of Yahoo. Guyton debuted at the Grand Ole Opry Saturday night, and received 2 standing ovations for her performances of her songs “Better Than You Left Me” and “Why Baby Why” (see below). Now, years of performing, knocking on doors, honing an artistic identity and songwriting have finally led to the official impact of her debut single, with an album to follow.

Check out a list of known cuts & co writes for Mickey Guyton’s upcoming album, with links to audio/video of performances where available. Likely cuts are marked with an asterisk (*). This is not a complete listing (I’m aware of at least a few that are missing), and I will update this as more information becomes known.

  1. “A Little Bit” (Joanna Gaston / Mickey Guyton / Jimmy Robbins)
  2. “Airborne” (Mickey Guyton / Danell Leverett / Jason Reeves)
  3. “Amateur” (Mickey Guyton / Natalie Hemby / Luke Laird)
  4. “Anymore” (busbee / Jon Green / Mickey Guyton)
  5. “Be A Man” (Cary Barlowe / Mickey Guyton / Megan James)
  6. “Beauty Of A Woman” (Mickey Guyton / Jennifer Hanson / Jennifer Schott)
  7. “Because I Said So” (Zac Crowell / Ashley Gorley / Mickey Guyton)
  8. “Before” (Mickey Guyton / Steve Moakler / Lucie Silvas)
  9. “Best Night Of My Life” (Nathan Chapman / Mickey Guyton / Danell Leverett / Jason Reeves)
  10. “Bet I Can Make You” (Monty Criswell / Mickey Guyton / Shane Minor)
  11. “Better At Goodbye” (Mickey Guyton / Danell Leverett / Jason Reeves)
  12. * “Better Than You Left Me” (Nathan Chapman / Mickey Guyton / Jennifer Hanson / Jennifer Schott) – lead single – see live acoustic performance here.
  13. “Can’t Trust Love” (Sarah Buxton / Rodney Clawson /Mickey Guyton)
  14. “Chance To Break Your Heart” (busbee / Mickey Guyton / Angelo Petraglia)
  15. “Constantly” (Michael Dulaney / Mickey Guyton / Neil Thrasher)
  16. “Dance With The Radio” (Mickey Guyton / Jaren Johnston / Heather Morgan)
  17. “Do You Ever Wonder” (Johan Fransson / Mickey Guyton / Tim Larsson / Tobias Lundgren / Sean McConnell)
  18. “Do You Want My Love” (Paul Blair / Mickey Guyton / Jimmy Robbins)
  19. “Drivin’ Round Saturday Nights” (Jaron Boyer / Matt Bronleewe / Mickey Guyton)
  20. * “Endless Summer Night” (Nathan Chapman / Mickey Guyton / Sean McConnell)
  21. “Forever 21” (Chris DeStefano / Mickey Guyton / Josh Osborne)
  22. * “Forever Love” (Jeff Cohen / Ross Copperman / Ashley Gorley / Mickey Guyton) – available on her Unbreakable EP – stream here. See live acoustic performance here.
  23. “Getaway Car” (Mickey Guyton / Jay Joyce / Jeremy Spillman)
  24. “Get In The Car” (Mickey Guyton / Shane McAnally / Jimmy Robbins)
  25. “Girl Code” (Mickey Guyton / Jennifer Hanson / Jennifer Schott)
  26. “Gravel” (Mickey Guyton / Mark Selby / Tia Sillers)
  27. “Hands Of Steel” (Nathan Chapman / Kara DioGuardi / Mickey Guyton)
  28. “Head & Your Heels High” (Ross Copperman / Mickey Guyton / Jaren Johnston)
  29. “Heartbreak Hero” (Mickey Guyton / Danell Leverett / Jason Reeves)
  30. “Hourglass” (Darrell Brown / Mickey Guyton / Jennifer Hanson / Michael Longenecker)
  31. “I Don’t Remember” (Mickey Guyton / Steve McEwan)
  32. “I’m Yours” (Victoria Banks / Mickey Guyton / Kyle Jacobs)
  33. * “I Hate This Bar” (Katie Kessler) – check out Kessler’s version here. Confirmation that Mickey Guyton cut the song (with video) via Katie Kessler’s Facebook page.
  34. “I Want Fire” (Mickey Guyton / Jaren Johnston / Daniel Omelio)
  35. “It’s Your Night” (Mickey Guyton / Hillary Lindsey / Jeremy Spillman)
  36. “Keep My Heart” (Mickey Guyton / Jennifer Hanson / Jenn Schott)
  37. “Kinda Shoulda Thought About That” (Mickey Guyton / Clay Mills / Anthony Smith)
  38. “Last First Kiss” (Monty Criswell / Mickey Guyton / Shane Minor)
  39. “Lifeline” (Ross Copperman / Mickey Guyton / Heather Morgan)
  40. “L O V E Call Me” (Ross Copperman / Mickey Guyton / Jaren Johnston / Heather Morgan)
  41. “Make A Liar Out Of Me” (Mickey Guyton / Mark Selby / Tia Sillers)
  42. * “Men” (Hillary Lindsey / Lori McKenna / Liz Rose)
  43. * “Nice Things” (Stephanie Chapman / Mickey Guyton / Liz Rose)
  44. “Nothing Really Matters” (Tofer Brown / Mickey Guyton / Greg Holden)
  45. “Numb” (Adam Argyle / Mickey Guyton)
  46. “Old To Me, New To You” (Mickey Guyton / Jason Saenz / Jeremy Spillman)
  47. “One Kiss (Glue)” (Ross Copperman / Mickey Guyton / Jaren Johnston)
  48. “One Man” (Catt Gravitt / Mickey Guyton / Jimmy Robbins)
  49. “One Way Road” (Eric Arjes / Dave Berg/ Mickey Guyton)
  50. “Only Got Tonight” (Mickey Guyton / Jennifer Hanson / Michael Logan / Michael Longenecker)
  51. “Pour Me Some Love” (busbee / Andrew Dorff / Mickey guyton)
  52. “Pretty Baby” (Jessi Alexander / Jerry Flowers / Mickey Guyton)
  53. * “Pretty Little Mustang” (Mickey Guyton / Hillary Lindsey / Jeremy Spillman) – available on her Unbreakable EP – stream here.
  54. “Rain On Me” (Mickey Guyton / Melissa Peirce / Jeremy Spillman
  55. “Roller Coaster Ride” (Nathan Chapman / Mickey Guyton / Vicky McGehee)
  56. “Running To Or Running From” (Jerry Flowers / Mickey Guyton / Bobby Hamrick)
  57. * “Safe” (busbee / Mickey Guyton / Julian Raymond)- available on her Unbreakable EP – stream here.
  58. “Second Chance” (Mickey Guyton / Megan James / Fred Wilhelm)
  59. “Shut Your Mouth” (Monty Criswell / Mickey Guyton / Shane Minor)
  60. “Southern Belles” (busbee / Mickey Guyton / Steven Lee Olsen)
  61. “Stars In Our Eyes” (busbee / Jon Green / Mickey Guyton)
  62. “Summer Jam” (Phil Barton / Jared Crump / Mickey Guyton)
  63. “Take Me With You” (busbee / Sarah Buxton / Mickey Guyton)
  64. “The Tables Turned” (Mickey Guyton / Kyle Jacobs / Vicky McGehee)
  65. * “Tell You That I Love You” (Liz Rose / Caitlyn Smith)
  66. “Trade One Heartbreak” (Mickey Guyton / Lucie Silvas / Jeremy Spillman)
  67. * “Unbreakable” (Blake Bollinger / Mickey Guyton / Kylie Sackley) – available on her Unbreakable EP – stream here. See live acoustic performance here.
  68. “Waiting” (Mickey Guyton / Jennifer Hanson / Michael Longenecker)
  69. * “Whatever” (Nicolle Galyon / Jimmy Robbins)
  70. * “Why Baby Why” (Victoria Banks / Phil Barton / Emily Shackelton) – see live acoustic performance here.
  71. “Wild Side” (Jason Gantt / Mickey Guyton / Abe Stoklasa)
  72. * “Wish You Would” (Nathan Chapman / Mickey Guyton / Jon Nite / Jimmy Robbins) – see live acoustic performance here.
  73. “Workin’ Girl” (Mickey Guyton / Mark Selby / Tia Sillers)
  74. “You’re The One” (Kelly Archer / Zac Crowell / Jerry Flowers / Mickey Guyton)
  75. “Your Love Is Like A Hurricane” (Mickey Guyton / David Hodges / Meghan Kabir)
  76. “Your Side Of Me” (busbee / Mickey Guyton / Melissa Peirce)

So what do you think of Mickey Guyton and her debut single “Better Than You Left Me”? Specifically, can Mickey Guyton become Capitol Nashville’s 1st female solo act to score a hit single at country radio in more than 10 years (it’s actually been longer than that)? How do you think she would have fared as a Season 7 Idol live shows, and do you think it’s better for her that it didn’t work out? Considering the much discussed failures of country radio to support women and the degree to which country radio seems stacked against country women, do you think Mickey Guyton could be a breakout act over more than 1 single?

About Deb B 432 Articles
Also known as Windmills, I cover country music news and live televised country events, in addition to recapping ABC's 'Nashville.' Additionally, I occasionally do long-form chart analysis that has been cited by Entertainment Weekly, Pitchfork, The Guardian, The New Republic, NPR, and more.