If you ever head this lady sing, then you can understand why she was chosen be on the sixth season of
American Idol, finished in third place, and took the stage on the American Idol finally, and final show. World From Here got the opportunity to interview Melinda, and got an idea of who this amazing lady is.
WFH: This is one of the hardest questions I usually ask. Who is Melinda Doolittle?
Doolittle: I will definitely say that I am a person that has a heart for other people. This is probably the best business to be in for that. I get to meet new people every day. I get to sing to them, I get to tell them stories with my songs, and I get to hug and encourage them. Children are my favorite--especially with the book that I've written. I get to talk to children about dreaming big, and not being afraid to do that. I get to go sing to them, and at the same time; just have a blast. Thatís probably the thing that describes me best. I love to bless people.
WFH: Where does that come from, that love for people, that desire to really connect, help, touch, and make them happy?
Doolittle: I think a lot of it probably comes from my mother. My parents were divorced before I turned one, and so, it was just me and my mom growing up. She loves everybody; she's never met a person she didnít love. We grew up in the church, and so learning about the kind of person that Jesus is, and realizing that, that is the kind of person that I have always wanted to be, made it easy for me to love people.
Well, I did the audition, and I made it to the top three. It was scary for me--I was used to singing background and sounding like whoever a producer or an artist wanted me to sound like; I was kind of finding my voice during the process. I was just figuring out who I was, how I would like to present a song, and what worked for me. I got made fun of all the time when I looked shocked because the judges liked it. But, all in all; it was a really good learning experience.
The thing that I love the most is every time I sing in front of a new audience, is that I get to tell them new stories.
WFH: Talk about your experience with American Idol.
Doolittle: It ended up being a really amazing experience--albeit somewhat dramatic for me; and a little scary. I wasnít planning on going to the audition, and a friend that I did musical theater with was going and talked me into going to see the funny costumes. Little did I know; my mom had been praying for five years, that I would audition for American Idol. Every year she would ask me if I was going to audition, and I would say no; I am too scared. I love singing background, and I love what I do, and thereís no need to step out any further than that.
WFH: When did you first feel the desire to sing, and how did you evolve into the great singer you are today?
Doolittle: Itís actually a kind of a funny story. I started out tone deaf--all the way up to the seventh grade; it was really bad. When I would audition to sing in the choir, they would say, you have so much charisma--we are going to put you right in the middle, try really hard to move your mouth, but donít let any sound come out. That was the story of my life leading up to the seventh grade.
WFH: What is life like now after American Idol, and what does the future look like for you?
Doolittle: Life is completely different for me now. I've have been traveling pretty much nonstop, singing, and getting to know different people. I was introduced to a group called, ĒMalaria No More," because of being on American Idol. Iíve traveled to Africa, twice on behalf of Malaria, because it kills over one million kids a year, and itís a preventable disease. It goes back to my love for people and my love for children. I want to see them live the fullest life possible.
WFH: Talk about your music style, because Iíve notice that you donít sing typical Christian music. Doolittle:
I am definitely of the mindset that there are people who are called to sing for and in the church, and they have been given beautiful songs. My goal is to go to where people would never step foot a church, I want to take my band into the House of Blues and sing. I am very careful about my lyrics. Itís okay to sing about love, and think about real life relationships, and how we deal with life. I see people leave my performances encouraged, and leave knowing why I do what I do, and why I love the Lord.
WFH: Give us some insight into your tenacity, and determination to not let life's just throw anything at you.
Doolittle: I am a firm believer that has God has a plan for your life, and He gives you the desires of your heart. If there is something that people really want; I encourage them not to just sit back and hope it happens, but to do everything they can to prepare themselves. I still to this day take voice lessons and work on my stage presence. So, I am dreaming big, praying hard, and asking God to open doors. When the doors open; I am ready. I go after it with all my heart, and do everything I know to do, and leave the rest up to God.
I went to my mom and said, mamma, I want to sing. She knew that I loved music. I grew up on the Motown sound, but just couldnít replicate it for the life of me, and so, I said to myself: you are going to have to pray hard, practice hard, and set a goal, and tell God that you want to sing. My youth group had a talent show coming up in about a month, and I told God, that I really want to be able to sing by then. So, I practiced and prayed, because I wanted to be as prepared as possible. And now, that is my motto: dream big, pray hard and be prepared. When I stepped on to that stage, a voice came out of my mouth that I had never heard before.