University graduate student secures spot on TV show

By Features Staff Report

A University graduate student secured a spot on Kelly Clarkson’s team on NBC’s television series “The Voice.” Melinda Rodriguez, graduate student in Music, sang Eva Cassidy’s “What a Wonderful World” on Sept. 30 to earn mentorship with Clarkson and is continuing on in the 17th season of the Emmy Award-winning show.

The 23-year-old Champaign resident was born and raised in Miami by a single mother who worked nights as a registered nurse. According to a press release, Rodriguez inherited her mother’s work ethic and took the public bus two hours each way to attend a performing arts middle and high school where she realized her passion for jazz music. 

Aside from studying music at the University, Rodriguez works three jobs and performs regularly with two bands in the Champaign-Urbana community.

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