The American Idol alum covers a blues standard on her debut CD

By Shayla Byrd
January 28, 2009 03:20 PM
Ray Tamarra/Getty

American Idol season six alum Melinda Doolittle’s debut album, Coming Back to You, doesn’t hit shelves until Feb 3., but PEOPLE.com has the exclusive first listen of her cover of the blues standard “Dust My Broom.”

Doolittle, who finished third on the show, says the song is a favorite when it comes to getting through tough times.

“This one is about letting it all go,” she says of the song’s lyrics, “I’m not just gonna dust the whole house, I’m even gonna dust my broom!”

Listen to the song here:

In personal terms, she explains, “If it’s not something that’s good for me, then I need to learn how to shake it off. Whether it’s critics saying I look like Shrek or whatever – I shake it off and let it all go. It’s a testament of how I live my life.”

And Doolittle’s life has been quite busy since her Idol stint in 2007: She’s done everything from travel to Africa with Idol winner Jordin Sparks and former first lady Laura Bush for the charity Malaria No More, to share the bill with Kid Rock at the Musicians Hall of Fame ceremony in Nashville last year.

“He asked me what I was doing afterwards,” she recalls. “I told him, ‘I’m going home and going to bed. I know I don’t sound very cool right now, but I have a 6 a.m. flight.’ ”

As for her album, Doolittle describes it as “retro soul that has a touch of Motown, a touch of blues, a touch of Tina Turner in there – all of that.”

The singer is in talks to perform on the current season of Idol, and says she is “addicted” to watching the show, but is hesitant to pick any favorites just yet. “I’ve gotta wait and see who makes it through Hollywood Week first.”

She is, however, already impressed with new judge Kara DioGuardi.

“She a little feisty,” Doolittle says of the songwriter. “It blew my mind that she sang to a contestant. I’d never seen a judge do that before!”

Doolittle hits the road for a tour this spring, and aside from looking forward to interacting with fans, she’s also excited to get some rest on the bus.

“That bunk is like a little cocoon,” she says. “You never know when the sun is out, and the bus just sways you back and forth right to sleep!”

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