Many of you may remember Melinda as the 3rd place finisher on American Idol, season 6.
Not only is she, in my opinion, one of the best voices to ever grace the American Idol stage, she is also one of the sweetest, most generous, humble, hilarious, and godliest women I know.
When I thought about my single friends that I could highlight as God-fearing examples of living an abundant life, Melinda was at the top of my list. I put Melinda’s latest single, Never Giving Up on my Single Appreciation Spotify Playlist. Here are the lyrics to the chorus:
“Even if it means my heart keeps breaking
Even if I lose my love’s not changing
I’m never, I’m never giving up
Even if the phone leaves me broken
Even if you tell me it’s hopeless
I’m never, I’m never giving up”
When I asked Melinda to share the story behind this song, I expected her to tell me it was a song all about waiting for unrequited love. What she shared with me caused me to rethink this week of celebrating love in its many forms. Read the blog she wrote about “Never Giving Up” below:
“Recently, I had someone close to me tell me to only talk about my successes so people wouldn’t see me as weak. For a brief second, I listened, but then I remembered the people who have had the biggest influence on my life. Those were the people who weren’t afraid to share all parts of their journey with me…the failures and the successes. Then, I knew that not only was I not alone in whatever I was facing at the time, but there was success on the other side and the lesson would be in the journey. So…here goes…When I walked into the room to write “Never Giving Up”, I went in planning on writing a really upbeat, sassy song. Then my producer, Tre’ Corley, and awesome songwriter, Jonathan Lee, asked me to name the most difficult obstacle I have faced in the past 7 years. It took me all of three seconds to know what my answer was. Short and simple, it was dealing with all the awful things people said about me as a person after American Idol. There were always really amazing things being said about my singing, but when people had anything bad to say, it was always about my looks and sometimes my personality. People made fun of the fact that I have a short neck and a wider nose. They said I had a bland personality and, if anything, I was putting on an act on TV and I was probably a really rude person. Those words hurt more than anything they could have ever said about my voice. They stuck with me and I believed those words far too long. Even while singing at The White House, Carnegie Hall, The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and so many more amazing places, I still saw myself as less than.Well, one day, I was speaking to a fellow artist and I was explaining to her what people were saying about me and she told me people were saying the exact same things to her. I was shocked! I consider this woman to be one of the most beautiful and successful human beings I know and people were calling her less than also. That day changed everything for me. It was definitely a process, but I started to see myself as the beautiful woman God created me to be. I started being able to appreciate all of the awesome things I had been able to do as an artist and see the success in that. I came to the conclusion that no matter what people said about me, the true test was in what I believed about myself.That is what “Never Giving Up” is all about. Even when life takes a different path that I could have ever imagined, I will always be a big dreamer and I won’t give up until it happens. The song focuses on love, but really it’s about life. It’s about knowing myself and what I’m capable of, and not letting anything…the words people say, how hard the journey is, how delayed the winning seems…make me stop the fight. I’m so much stronger than people give me credit for and I refuse to give up on ANYTHING.