Artist Melinda Doolittle speaks to Salt & Light Studios

CPA upper school arts students were honored to host singer and recording artist Melinda Doolittle at today's Salt & Light Studio. Doolittle shared about her early career singing backup for artists like Aaron Neville and Cece Winans and her rise to fame on American Idol.
Doolittle's story is uniquely shaped by challenges in her early life. Tone deaf as a child, Doolittle’s choir teacher would plead with her not to sing, but just silently move her mouth. Undaunted, her love of singing drove her to enter a talent show in the seventh grade where she stunned the audience with her miraculously spot on vocals and beautiful voice. She never looked back!

Doolittle graduated with a Bachelors in Music from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She became a highly sought after background vocalist singing for musical icons including Michael McDonald, Aretha Franklin, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Aaron Neville and Jonny Lang. She became a household name during season six of American Idol in 2007. She came in third in the voting, first with Simon Cowell calling her his “personal favorite” and quickly became the sweetheart of American Idol winning over the hearts of all with her stunning powerhouse vocals and her personal charm.

Doolittle encouraged students pursuing artistic career options: "Doors will open. If you do the work before then, you will be ready to walk through that door!"

The artist has released two albums Coming Back to You (2009) and You’re The Reason (2013), and is currently joining Michael W. Smith's Christmas Tour as a special guest. Doolittle's insight into her personal story and her work as an artist was valuable and inspiring for young vocalists in the CPA Arts program. 

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