Melinda Hyder was born and raised in Elizabethton, Tennessee. She has one sister, Regina, and is proud to point out that her parents, Richard and Carol, were high school sweethearts and have been married for 44 years. Hyder began singing in church at the age of four. She trained in ballet, tap, jazz and gymnastics for 12 years. She attended classes and taught at the Watt Dance Studio in Elizabethton.
Hyder graduated with honors in music and math from Elizabethton High School. She then attended East Tennessee State University in Johnson City on a full vocal scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. While in college, she performed with the music groups 10BucsWorth, Chorale and Women's Ensemble.
After college, Hyder entertained at Six Flags over Georgia for two years. She then toured Europe while performing on a cruise ship. She also spent six years performing at Dollywood (often times with Dolly Parton). In addition, she has worked as a real estate agent, private vocal coach, dance instructor, pageant coach and model.