Melinda Marie Doolittle (born October 6, 1977) is an American singer who finished as the third place finalist on the sixth season of American Idol.Prior to her appearance on American Idol, Doolittle worked as a professional back-up singer for, among others, Michael McDonald, Kirk Franklin, Aaron Neville, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Alabama, Jonny Lang, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Carman, and Anointed.
Doolittle was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Steve and Marguerite Duke Doolittle but considers Brentwood, Tennessee to be home; her Homecoming was held there after she made the Top 3 on American Idol season 6.’
Doolittle first auditioned for American Idol in Memphis, Tennessee. She went down to Memphis with some friends who were auditioning and decided to audition for fun. She sang the song “For Once in My Life”, which was popularized by one of her favorite artists, Stevie Wonder. Her audition received positive feedback from all three judges, although they expressed concern about the nerves she had exhibited and told her to believe in herself.
Doolittle received very consistent praise from the judges for her performances and was never in a bottom two or three prior to her elimination. She was eliminated on May 16, 2007 and finished in third place. Simon Cowell later stated he believed she should have won.