Return to Headlines

Midland Valley Students Serenade 'American Idol' Star

“American Idol” star Melinda Doolittle sang for students at Midland Valley High School on Friday morning.

Then they returned the favor.

After a question-and-answer session during which Doolittle revealed CeCe Winans is her favorite artist to work with and former "Idol" judge Simon Cowell really could be scary, a student asked if the students could sing for her.

Doolittle, who had just wowed the students with covers of “Home,” from the Broadway musical “The Wiz,” and a James Bond-themed spin on Britney Spears' pop hit “Toxic,” happily obliged their request.

“I'm all for it,” she said.

While Charity Prescott directed, chorus students in harmony sang “Give Us Our Peace.”

“It was a great experience,” Prescott said after the performance. “I enjoyed it.”

Prescott even used some advice Doolittle shared with the students just minutes before.

When Cowell told Doolittle she needed to stop being a background singer, step up front and get some confidence during her first audition with him, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson, the singer remembered a life lesson her mother had taught her when she was growing up.

“She would say: Do it afraid,” Doolittle said. “Fear can be a really paralyzing thing. It can stop you from going after what is in your heart, going after what you love. As shaky as I was, the fact that I stepped out and did it in the midst of that fear got me to where I am today.”

Prescott followed Doolittle's – and her Mom's – advice.

“We were a little nervous at first, but, as she said, do it afraid,” she said. “It helped.”

Doolittle, who has sung backup for Aretha Franklin and Michael McDonald among others before becoming a solo artist, placed third during the “American Idol” finale in 2007. She and her band performed Thursday and Friday nights as part of Aiken Performing Arts 2019-20 season and at Midland Valley High as part of APA's education outreach program.

Click here to read the full Aiken Standard article. 

Larry Wood/Aiken Standard