Melissa McGhee

Melissa McGhee Biography(Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Melissa Christine McGhee (born September 14, 1984 in Tampa, Florida) is an American singer and was the 12th place finalist on the fifth season of American Idol.

Personal life

Born in Tampa, Florida, Melissa began singing at four years old. Prior to being a contestant on the popular singing competition, American Idol, she participated in various beauty pageants. Shortly after making the top 24 on the show, an article was released which had stated that McGhee's parents had both been in conflict with the law all of her life, although she herself had never disclosed on the show. McGhee is the oldest of four children, and one of her siblings, Crystal Johnson, is also a singer and has signed a recording contract with Divercity Records under the artist name of LIL' Crystal. McGhee graduated from Sickles High School in 2003.

American Idol

In 2003, McGhee had auditioned for the second season of American Idol, but didn't advance through the early audition rounds. In 2005, McGhee decided to audition again. She took her first plane ride from Florida to Colorado, where she has family which she stayed with during the audition rounds. She was able to proceed to the third audition round in which she auditioned in front of Randy Jackson, Paula Abdul, and Simon Cowell. She chose to sing "Can't Fight The Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes. Despite Simon giving her a 6 out of 10, she was given a "yes" by the majority of the judges, and flew out to Hollywood. During the round in which contestants break into groups and perform a song, Simon declared her group the best of the day. During the "Green Mile" episode, it was revealed that McGhee would be one of the top 24 contestants vying for America's vote. McGhee began to be perceived as an underdog as she received no airtime prior to being told she made the top 24, a situation that just one other contestant faced that season. During the semifinals, she seemed to garner support from judges Randy Jackson and Paula Abdul, yet Simon continually criticized her performances. After performing What About Love by the rock band Heart, Simon told her that she would be going home. He was proven wrong during the results show when, what came to a surprise to many viewers, McGhee was the final girl to advance to the top 12, over Ayla Brown. During the first week of the finals, along with the other 11 contestants, she met with Stevie Wonder, and was embarrassed when she flubbed the lyrics to his song, "Lately" in front of him. She did the same thing during her performance, flubbing a verse and singing the word recognition rather than premonition in the chorus. On March 15, 2006 it was revealed that she received the lowest number of votes and she would be the contestant leaving that week, placing 12th overall.

American Idol Performances

  • February 22 2006 - "When the Lights Go Down" by Faith Hill
    • She received fairly positive reviews. Cowell said she may not be memorable to the viewers, and McGhee pointed out she had not been seen on the show at all until that night.
  • March 1 2006 - "Why Haven't I Heard From You" by Reba McEntire
    • She received positive reviews from all three judges. Randy called her a "hot one" and Paula said "you are unique in this competition; no one has a voice like yours." Cowell remained mostly positive; stating he loved her voice, but felt she wasn't "connecting" with the audience.
  • March 8 2006 - "What About Love" by Heart
    • Randy said she had the voice, looks, and even sounded like Heart. Paula said she was a powerhouse. Cowell told her a sharp note was probably her ticket home and that she sounded like she shouted the song. Randy thought that Ayla Brown would make it over her, but he was proven wrong when America voted their favor for McGhee over Brown.
  • March 14 2006 - "Lately" by Stevie Wonder (Eliminated)
    • The judges called her out for forgetting her lyrics again after she had done so in rehearsal (which she blamed on song choice), but then were complimentary of the overall performance. Simon called it edgy, contemporary, and her best performance yet. Many thought that, despite the forgotten lyrics, she outsang at least half of the other finalists that night. Although she received positive reviews, she was eliminated after the performance.
  • May 24 2006 - Finale
    • McGhee sang "I Made It Through The Rain" with fellow top 12 contestants and Carrie Underwood, as well as a medley with the other top 12 girls. She also sang in a duet with Ace Young.

Post American Idol

McGhee is back in Tampa working for a record deal. She has sung at various festivals such as Weeki Wachee and the Pet Rock Festival. McGhee also went on tour with Ruben Studdard from October 3rd to 7th. She recently had vocal surgery, but has made a full recovery. McGhee also stars and sings in the new More TV 32 commercial singing "More, More, More". She also appeared at VH1's "Big in '06" along with Katharine McPhee. She recently appeared at The Nevada Ballet Honors Paula Abdul as 2007 Woman of The Year along with some fellow past Idol contestants. She appeared on The Dr. Keith Ablow Show on February 9 talking about life after Idol. She has since performed at various concerts and festivals throughout Florida. There are rumors that she has caught a recording contract and is in the current stage of recording her debut album.


Year Song Album
2006 "What About Love" American Idol Season 5: Encores

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