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Melinda Doolittle to Headline Benefit Concert for Boiler Room Theatre

Boiler Room Theatre alumna and American Idol Season 6 finalist Melinda Doolittle returns to Franklin for a one-night-only concert event with all proceeds going to the Boiler Room Theatre on Monday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in Liberty Hall at The Factory.

Acclaimed contemporary gospel performers Point of Grace will share the stage for the fundraising concert for Williamson County's only professional theatre company.

With a critically-acclaimed debut album (Coming Back To You) released in 2009, Melinda Doolittle is forging a career as one of today's most gifted vocalists.

Doolittle's debut album recalls the magic and luster of R&B's classic artists with the lush instrumentation and supple production style of today's pop-soul renaissance. Unveiling a timeless collection of songs tailored around a voice The New York Times has hailed as one of the most "phenomenally gifted" in years, Coming Back to You's 13 songs reach back and propel you forward, sublimely blending old-school musical values with an on-the-block emotional currency that only Melinda Doolittle can deliver. Featuring production by Grammy-nominated producer Mike Mangini and recorded with top caliber musicians from the American musical epicenters of Nashville and New York City, Coming Back to You soars as a soul-baring tour de force with the singer transforming these lively soul, jazz, pop and R&B stylings into an evocative and affectionate treasure trove.

In its review of Doolittle's album, Entertainment Weekly said, "Doolittle channels Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin over live-band arrangements that feel fresh-faced and old-school at the same time..."

Doolittle will once again share her blessing with her theatre home by performing a benefit concert featuring the gospel group Point of Grace and some surprise guest stars in an unforgettable evening of music in The Factory's beautiful 1100-seat Liberty Hall.

Melinda appeared in BRT's productions of The 1940s Radio Hour (2001), Nunsense (2004), How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2005) and Big River (2006). She returned to Franklin to perform a benefit concert for BRT in 2007 and delighted fans in Liberty Hall garnering standing-room-only attendance. Doolittle achieved national acclaim as the season-six third-place finalist on the 2007 season of FOX TV's American Idol.

Raised in St. Louis and Tulsa, Doolittle studied music at Belmont University in the storied music citadel of Nashville. She would eventually perfect her craft as a back-up singer for stars such as Michael McDonald, Aaron Neville, CeCe Winans and gospel group Anointed, slowly building the necessary vocal confidence to tackle the challenges that lie ahead.

"I watched these artists and they instilled in me what to do in front of a live audience and taught me so much about what it takes to be a singer. I look back on all of this as preparation for where I'm at now," Doolittle says.

But nothing could have braced her for the wild roller coaster ride of American Idol. Doolittle became a household name as a finalist on the popular show's sixth season, garnering millions of votes every week. Plucked from obscurity on her very first audition, she stood out as something special right from the start.

"I went with 3 other friends. I didn't even want to go," she said. "16,000 people showed up. I thought it was hopeless. We got there at 4:45 in the morning and didn't audition until 12 hours later." She and her three friends sang together. Only she was chosen. "I still to this day have no idea how that happened. I'm just very grateful."

Tickets are available online at or by calling the box office at (615) 794-7744.


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