Ramiele Macrohon Malubay was born in Dammam, Saudi Arabia to Filipino parents Roger Malubay and Alicia Macrohon. When the Gulf War broke out, Malubay’s parents sent her to the Philippines; the family then moved to the United States and currently reside in Miramar, Florida. She graduated from Charles W. Flanagan High School and is currently a nursing student at Broward College. She is not of Ilocano heritage.
Malubay successfully auditioned for American Idol in August 2007 when she sang Aretha Franklin’s “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”. She received rave reviews after her performance of “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” in the first week of the voting rounds. Judge Randy Jackson called her performance “classy, almost like a pro,” while Simon Cowell proclaimed that she “outsang every single person” that night.