'American Idol's' Doolittle Coming to Lufkin


The Pines Theater kicks off the 2016 season Thursday, January 21, with an intimate performance by American Idol favorite Melinda Doolittle.

"American Idol fans will remember Melinda from season six in 2007," said Tara Watson-Watkins, executive director of the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau and artistic director for The Pines.  "Simon Cowell called her his 'personal favorite,' and a lot of fans agreed. She won a lot of hearts with her powerful voice and engaging charm."

Doolittle was tone deaf as a child, and her choir teacher would plead with her to just silently move her mouth instead of singing. Undaunted, she continued to follow her passion, and by the seventh grade she was stunning audiences with her beautiful voice. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in music from Belmont University in Nashville and became a popular backing vocalist, singing for musical icons like Michael McDonald, Aretha Franklin, BeBe and CeCe Winans, Aaron Neville, and Jonny Lang.

Doolittle became a household name during season six of American Idol, when she came in third in the voting. In 2009, she released her debut album, Coming Back to You, garnering rave reviews from critics. She released her sophomore album, You’re The Reason, in 2013. She has performed everywhere from the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame to The White House, and from the Copa Room to Carnegie Hall. In addition, she has been a featured guest with the Boston Pops, Charlotte Symphony, and United States Air Force Orchestra.

In the middle of her album releases, she wrote a book, Beyond Me: Finding Your Way to Life's Next Level, and she is currently the co-host of TV Line’s Reality Check.

Doolittle's performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $35 for floor seats and $30 for balcony seats. Call 936-633-0349 to purchase tickets or go to www.visitlufkin.com.

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