Mica Paris chats with Jackie Brambles on her Greatest Hits Radio show tonight (Tuesday), ahead of their performance together on the London Palladium stage at Friday’s very special Greatest Hits Live show. The ’80s soul legend talks about playing footsie with Whitney Houston, how Prince launched her career and why she was so bad at Strictly Come Dancing.

Jackie asks Mica about her breakthrough in the music business and meeting Whitney Houston: “I never would have gotten a contract if Whitney Houston hadn’t blown up the charts at the time.” The UK were looking for their own Whitney and that’s why I got signed because I’m really a church singer – you hear that gospel. Whitney and I first met in Germany when we did a TV show together, both just kids, and she had so many bodyguards while I was sitting there with just one A&R guy and I remember thinking ‘why did I not that?!’

But she was nice and asked me out to dinner, but we were chatting and she was playing footsie under the table. I never said it but I think she had a little crush on me and to be honest I was a little intimidated by it. I was not used to that – I had just come from church. But she was a really good person and sometimes I sit down and think I’m so thankful I’m still here…”

Mica on how Prince got her big break: ‘I hadn’t released a record yet, but Prince had heard about me from someone – one of the guys from Aswad I discovered years later – and called to invite me to a gig after the show he did in Camden. I literally didn’t feel my feet touching the ground when I was growing up listening to him, even though I always had to hide his records under my bed because my grandparents were Pentecostal ministers and we weren’t allowed to have that kind of music. music at home.

At the gig I took the mic and sang Just My Imagination and the next day we were in all the papers and then My One Temptation came out and I really think Prince played a huge part in that song that became such a big hit. Oddly enough, the last time I saw him at another Camden Palace performance was about four months before he died – and he looked so different. I was shocked that he was so thin and I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t think we were going to lose him.”

Mica on her short-lived Strictly Come Dancing performance in 2007: ‘I was shocking in Strictly, I was so bad on that show – second, that’s how bad I was! Thank goodness it’s been so long no one remembers. The problem is that I’m from the 80’s and in our time everyone danced for us! All I did was stand there with the wind machine on and that was dancing in the 80’s! In my head I thought ‘I can do this, I’ll be fine’ but I was a mess. Even my dad called me up and said; ‘you know Mica, you have a great voice, you are very talented but you don’t dance’.

My Strictly pro Ian [Waite, her professional dance partner on the show] was great, he was fantastic, but I begged him not to lift me up since I had only had a baby seven months before I did the show. However, it was great to get back in shape…”

Listen to Mica Paris’s chat with Jackie Brambles on Greatest Hits Radio tonight from 7pm.

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