Melissa Ann Lawson (born April 10, 1976) is an American country music singer. On August 4, 2008, she was declared the winner of the television program Nashville Star, a country music singing competition which aired on NBC. Signed to Warner Bros. Records Nashville, she released her debut single "What If It All Goes Right" that year, and charted on Hot Country Songs with it. Although Lawson's label released her before she debuted her first album, she is currently performing and released 2 EPs in 2010.
Born in Dallas, Texas, Melissa grew up in Arlington, TX, where she continues to make her home. She Attended the Professional Youth Conservatory (Performing Arts High School) in Ft.Worth. When the School closed suddenly her senior year, she ended up Graduating from Arlington High School with the Principal's award. She attended Texas Wesleyan University on a drama, vocal and academic scholarship. Lawson is a working mother and entrepreneur with 7 biological sons ages 2-17. After years of performing locally, and regionally, In 2004, she tried out for the fourth season of American Idol, and made it to the final day of Hollywood week, eventually being cut in the top 75. After settling back into leading worship at her home church, In 2008, she tried to reach for the stars again, but this time, not only did she make it onto Nashville Star on NBC, but she won. She has since traveled the world, singing at the Olympics in Beijing, China, on the Grand Ole Opry, and had the privilege of writing with top Nashville Writers. Lawson was also to appear with her family on an episode of the NBC 2010 summer series Breakthrough with Tony Robbins dealing with personal issues with her then husband, Rick in the wake of her fame. However the program was canceled from airing on television before Lawson's episode could air, and it instead premiered in mid-August 2010 for video-on-demand streaming via NBC.com for a limited one-month period and then ultimately on the Oprah Winfrey Network and on Australian television
After suffering painful personal loss and grief, Melissa picked up the pieces and to this day, continues to inspire others on how to push through and allow God to make Beauty from Ashes. Her passion is helping others identify their gifts and talents. Encouraging them, in spite of the obstacles, to pursue their passions, and help them to create income producing businesses, so they can live a life they deserve. She continues to teach others how to "shift" their thinking in the 5 main areas of their life, (health/wellness, relationships, spirituality, financially, and mentally) so they can achieve success. She loves performing her own music, sharing her motivational story at speaking engagements, as well as leading worship and performing for retreats, church and worship services, business and corporate events.
Following her win on Nashville Star, Lawsons' debut single, "What If It All Goes Right", was released on August 5, 2008 to radio. It debuted and peaked at No. 49 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart as well as No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100, due to legal music downloads. It was then re-released in November 2008, where it re-entered the country charts at No. 55, and eventually reached No. 43. It was the number one Country music download on iTunes and Top 10 for all genres within 24 hours of release.
Warner Brothers, as a major label, was experiencing challenges in the industry which led them to the decision to not promote new artists. Melissa Lawson was released by Warner to pursue other opportunities. John Rich, her personal mentor on Nashville Star, successfully produced a number of tracks, which Melissa was able to secure the rights to the recordings, for future release. In 2009 Melissa and her ex-husband Rick co-wrote "United We Stand" for their appearance on the "Breakthrough with Tony Robbins" show and were nominated for two Grammy awards. Melissa serves on the Levitt Pavilion board, a non-profit, that offers outdoor, family friendly ampi-theatres nationwide which provide Free music and concerts to their local areas.
Melissa continues to write music, and plans to make it back into the studio to record another record that'll consist of Uplifting Contemporary Christian Music.
Melissa Lawson was the oldest contestant among the ten finalists. She has lost almost 100 pounds since first auditioning for the show.
She is the sixth "Nashville Star", following previous winners Buddy Jewell, Brad Cotter, Erika Jo, Chris Young and Angela Hacker. The sixth season marked the first time Nashville Star was featured on NBC, after five seasons on USA Network.
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