Melinda Doolittle

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Top 5 Perspective

Yesterday, an article came out for the New York Times that claimed to rank “The Top 5 Most Talented ‘American Idol’ Contestants Ever.” Obviously, this is all based on the opinion of the writer. There was no poll conducted or anything like that. Nevertheless, I made the list!

Fact: I don’t normally read articles like this because I never know what they’re going to say, but the link had been tweeted to me so many times, I gave in and clicked on it. Imagine my surprise when I found myself #2 on the list…sandwiched between the flawless Kelly Clarkson and the amazing Jennifer Hudson. Rounding out the list were Carrie Underwood and Nadia Turner. I was in the company of ‘Idol’ royalty!

Then, my eyes drifted to what this particular writer thought of me. His exact words were…

“The rare artist who benefited from “Idol” pushing her into unfamiliar genres (her rock rendition of Bon Jovi’s “Have a Nice Day” killed), but a postshow retreat into safe soul territory has made her a footnote in the music industry.”

In all honesty, my first reactions were of disappointment, hurt and embarrassment. I decided not to “retweet” the link to the article and tried to pretend I never saw it. However that “footnote” reference would not leave me alone. So, I did what I always do. I prayed about it. What happened next is one of the many reasons I am so grateful for a God who loves me dearly. I began to be reminded of the awesome things I have been blessed to do as a result of being on American Idol. From performing at The White House, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and so many other amazing places…to becoming an author and speaker with my own book “BeyondMe”…to traveling all over the country singing my heart out…to being a part of life-saving efforts for children both domestically and internationally…I have absolutely LOVED every opportunity.

In the midst of me being reminded of how thankful I was to be doing what I love for a living, a chapter of my book came to mind. It’s a lesson my Mommy taught me when I was younger. Chew the hay and spit out the sticks. (I grew up in Oklahoma…we’re country! LOL!) This approach to criticism is both difficult and rewarding, because you have to be willing to be extremely honest with yourself. So, that’s what I did. If I’m being honest, the NYT writer was correct. I love that ‘Idol’ pushed me into so many unfamiliar genres and it did open new possibilities for me vocally. I never knew there was a rocker in there. J However, I definitely did retreat into a safe soul territory with my CD. Whether that was my choice or not, doesn’t matter to the writer. He was just merely stating a fact. So, in “chewing the hay,” I had to agree with him and decide if I wanted to do anything about it. While I’ve always been told a CD should be one genre so as to not confuse the audience, I now tend to give more credit to the audience. My voice is soulful and It will be on any style song you hear it on. So, there’s your continuity. Genre is free game. J I can’t wait for you all to hear the new music we’ve been working on. Now, for “spitting out the sticks.” What he describes as a footnote, I describe as bliss. I hear what he’s saying and I can now say it doesn’t bother me. I see that he’s comparing me to others on his list of 5 and in sheer comparison…I get it. However, my life and career are my own and I am so grateful for how things are going. Can I do more? OF COURSE! Will I do more? YOU BET? Will it be to prove him wrong? NOPE. It’ll be because it’s what I’m supposed to be doing. Will him being proved wrong be an added bonus? MAYBE. Hehehe…

I wrote this blog to be real with you guys. There are always things in life that will attempt to bring you down and may succeed for a while. Learn to chew the hay, spit out the sticks and live your life they way God has planned for you…not for anyone else. Comparison happens, but at the end of the day, you will do your very best at just being you. I know it’s cliché, but it’s truth. So, be real with yourself and as much as you can, work on seeing the best side of all things. Your perspective makes all the difference.

So, today...I’m in the Top 5 Most Talented ‘American Idol’ Contestants! That's pretty dang cool if you ask me! Woo Hoo!


Blogger Kevin said...

Great outlook Melinda!

I am so glad to see your well deserved recognition in the authors top 5. That is awesome on its own! However, he put Nadia Turner over Fantasia, Joshua ledet or Adam Lambert, whom I think pretty much everyone would agree they would be up there on that list.(in the comments for that blog Adams name pops up like 6 times already haha). So his perspective is not 100%. So take that negative with a grain of salt. There are lots of fans out there and alot of Idol maniacs out there that remember all your extremely memorable and great performances you gave us on Idol. You are part of a group that represent the golden days of the show, when celebrity judges and drama and white male rocker syndrome was not the dominant part of the show. And I loved your CD and listen to it still. My only wish for you is that the studio did a better job on balancing the vocals with the band/backup vocals, and polished the quality of the sound a bit more. Cannot wait to hear your next music, and hope you give a concert or do a show in NY someday soon!

May 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your position in the top five is certainly deserved, although I have a difference of opinion with him on at least two of his choices. That isn't important. You are doing YOU magnificently and I am so glad that I get to enjoy your music and your knowledge and persona on Idology. Thank you for pushing yourself to do Idol in the first place and for being the Melinda Doolittle all your fans love!

May 8, 2013 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger CyndeeMN said...

Exquisite response. I would expect nothing less from you! I wasn't watching Idol when you were on so have gotten to know you and your music since then and have great admiration for both. You rock! Good job. :)

May 8, 2013 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

you, my darling, are surley one of the top. I am glad that was recognized. I always get angry when people claim idol contestants "haven't done anything". success is not always measured by number one hits. you, melinda, have changed lives. you've donated your time, heart, and dollars to very important causes. you've shared a stage with legends. you've performed at famous venues. you've landed a leading role in Joseph. you've toured. you've written a book. you have a scholarship in your name. all of those accomplishments scream success to me.

I know you know this already but I am super pumped for the music you've been working on. I know it will be outstanding.

Keep on doing your thing. You have our support and our love. I am so proud of you.

May 10, 2013 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger Shari said...

One of the biggest - and most important - things I've learned in my journey to get my books published is this: nobody can define success for us. They can try, and surely they can contribute to our own definitions, but at the end of the day, we have to live our passions for ourselves. You do that so beautifully with your music, with your career, with who you are and what you stand for ... and that's something to be proud of always. I love that you follow the path YOU want to ... it inspires us all to do the same! :)

May 10, 2013 at 7:04 PM  
Blogger Lurquer said...

What a beautiful post, Melinda. You certainly deserve to be on that list, but you don't deserve to be called a footnote. That's absolutely ridiculous, and obviously uninformed.

As an artist, you're being true to yourself by following your heart. And the fact that you chose not to be pushed in a direction by the industry for purely capitalistic reasons proves that. One of the amazing things about you is how humble and honest you are. It was patently obvious on the show, and you continue to demonstrate it.

In no way should you take that article as criticism. Instead, I think it reinforces that you're following your own individual path - the one that's right for you. Where the author of that article went wrong was by ignoring your direction and denying the great things that are yet to come from you!

Keep being wonderful. You're an inspiration! =)

May 26, 2013 at 3:15 AM  
Blogger Mr. E said...

Thank you for your honesty!!!! Perspective is a beautiful thing,eh! And knowing Who's you are! amen amen

August 31, 2013 at 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as I am concerned, you are #1 on the list, but I'm content to know that someone has placed you in the top 5 where you deserve to be. Your life is an inspiration, and I expect to see continued success in your musical career. You have handled your life and adversity with grace and wisdom. I am looking forward to the release of your new song.

October 23, 2013 at 2:18 PM  

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