Blessed with a voice that walks the line between classic country and contemporary pop and a genuine talent for songwriting, Mickey Guyton became a rising country star in 2015 when her debut single began making its way up the radio airplay charts. Mickey Guyton was born in Arlington, Texas, and her childhood found her drifting with her family from one Texas town to another as her father's career in engineering kept them on the move. Guyton's first experience with music came when she was five and began singing with the choir at church; at home, Guyton's taste ran from country (Dolly Parton and LeAnn Rimes were especially strong influences) to gospel (BeBe & CeCe Winans) to pop/R&B (Whitney Houston). While Guyton's voice was flexible enough that she could sing many types of music, she felt most comfortable with country, and after completing high school, she moved to California and enrolled at Santa Monica College while she tried to break into show business. After a few years of working day jobs and struggling to be heard, Guyton happened to meet Julian Raymond, an experienced producer who liked her voice and believed she had potential. Raymond in turn introduced Guyton to managers Gary Borman and Steve Moir, whose clients included Keith Urban and Faith Hill. With the support of Raymond, Borman, and Moir, Guyton moved to Nashville in 2011, and soon landed a record deal with Liberty/Capitol Records Nashville. That same year, Guyton performed as part of a special concert at the White House, where she shared the bill with Lyle Lovett, James Taylor, Dierks Bentley, Darius Rucker, and Kris Kristofferson. As Guyton's record label and management dickered over the right musical approach and marketing strategy for their new find, she became a presence in Nashville's songwriting community, playing frequent showcases with other up-and-coming artists.
In 2012, Guyton received a standing ovation when she performed her song "Better Than You Left Me" at Nashville's Country Radio Seminar, and in 2014, the tune became Guyton's debut single for Liberty, following a fine four-song acoustic EP, Unbreakable. On January 12, 2015, the song debuted on Billboard's Country Airplay chart, and the same month, the music industry bible highlighted Guyton as one of "10 Hot Country Artists to Watch in 2015," declaring "Guyton is quite possibly the best female voice to come along since Carrie Underwood." ~ Mark Deming