5 Things to Know About ‘America’s Got Talent’ Golden Buzzer Liv Warfield, From Playing With Prince, Nancy Wilson, and More

“I have a problem,” said Simon Cowell, following Liv Warfield’s explosive performance with her band on America’s Got Talent, on Tuesday, June 4. “That wasn’t long enough,” he added, astonished by the 44-year-old singer and songwriter, who had just finished gyrating and belting out her 2023 song “Stare” center stage as a band of musicians moved around her.

“Seriously, that lyric, ‘wrecking ball,’ that was how I felt just then,” said Cowell before giving Warfield the Golden Buzzer, and advancing her to the AGT Live Shows, which begin August 13. “It was like in a good way, being punched in the face by your energy, the band, all these years of frustration, and you come on here.”

As Golden confetti rained down on the Chicago native, she basked in the milestone moment, after working her way up singing soul, rock, R&B, and more in between.

Videos by American Songwriter

‘America’s Got Talent’ Auditions 2, Episode 1902, Pictured: Liv Warfield (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Throughout her solo career, Warfield has released two albums, including her debut Embrace Me in 2006 and 2014 follow up The Unexpected, which was executive produced by Prince, and has also appeared on nearly every late-night television show—The Arsenio Hall Show, Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Here are five more things to know about Warfield as she embarks on her AGT journey.

1. She Was Part of Prince’s New Power Generation

After Prince saw a video of Warfield singing The Rolling Stones‘ 1970 classic “Gimme Shelter,” he asked her to join his group the New Power Generation in 2009. Warfield toured with the band for five years and is featured on Prince’s 2009 triple album Lotusflow3r

[RELATED: 10 Songs You Didn’t Know Prince Wrote for Other Artists]

2. Prince Was Warfield’s Mentor and Wrote Two Songs for Her

While Warfield was in New Power Generation, Prince mentored her and helped her with her stage presence. Prince also executive produced Warfield’s second solo album, The Unexpected, and the New Power Generation played horns. Prince also co-wrote two tracks for the album, “The Unexpected” and “Your Show.”

Warfield revealed that Prince wrote “The Unexpected” for her after she already decided on a title for the album but didn’t have a title track. Prince later released his own version of “The Unexpected” as the opening track of his 2014 album Plectrumelectrum called “Wow.”

3. She’s in a Band with Heart’s Nancy Wilson

Soon after Nancy Wilson saw Warfield perform on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, she was invited to open for Heart at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles in 2015. Wilson and Warfield quixkly bonded and later formed the band Roadcase Royale in 2016 and released their first single, “Get Loud” from their debut First Things First

“I love working with Liv on every level,” said Wilson of Warfield. “We’re already like sisters. We get along on that level of humanity and survival. It’s become this amazing journey from the time we were rehearsing and started to write songs, very quickly, to our first show that was filmed by Danny Gold at the Rock Against MS benefit show. It was captured on film, and she came out of her skin, basically, as a performer.”

Wilson added, “You can see me going into shock seeing her sing live because we had been sitting in rooms and getting ready for performing, and then when she actually steps up to the microphone … she delivers something really powerful.”

[RELATED: 3 Songs You Didn’t Know Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson Wrote as a Duo for Heart]

4. She Used to Sing Whitney Houston Songs, Secretly

Born in Peoria, Illinois, Warfield is the daughter of a Pentecostal deacon and was introduced to music through gospel. Not allowed to listen to any secular music, Warfield would secretly sing Whitney Houston songs to herself and later pursued singing and performing after moving to Portland Oregon for college.

In 2005, Warfield performed Ray Charles‘ 1961 song “Hard Times” during a 2005 Ray Charles Tribute concert, produced by Patrick Lamb. A year later, she released her debut Embrace Me.

5. She’s Toured with Cyndi Lauper, Lionel Richie, and More

Along with touring with Prince, Warfield has also played alongside Lionel Richie, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Stewart, Martina McBride, Billy Ray Cyrus, Gary Clark Jr., and Bettye LaVette, among many others.

Photos: Trae Patton/NBC

Feedback Before Hendrix: The Story Behind “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” by The Who

On This Day in 1964: The Rolling Stones Played Their First-Ever Concert in the U.S.

On This Day in 1964: The Rolling Stones Played Their First-Ever Concert in the U.S.