In the Mix

Meleana Brown joins ‘Duets’ lineup

June 6th, 2012

<em>Meleana Brown, right, performs with John Legend during last week's episode of "Duets." (Courtesy ABC)</em>

Meleana Brown, right, performs with John Legend during last week's episode of "Duets." (Courtesy ABC)

Just a few weeks after singer/songwriter Cheesa Laureta finished her run on nationally-televised singing competition "The Voice," another local girl is attempting to sing her way into the hearts of America.

<em>Meleana Brown. (Courtesy ABC)</em>

Meleana Brown. (Courtesy ABC)

Meleana Brown joined the cast of "Duets" on ABC last week after finalist Johnny Gray was mysteriously removed from the show. According to her biography on the show's website, Brown auditioned for the competition just hours before showing up on stage alongside John Legend.

"I wanted to be a part of "Duets" because singing has always been my passion," she said during an ABC interview last week. "When I first met John and started working with him, it was kind of nerve-wracking. He's amazing. He really is. He has a huge gift and is extremely talented."

Raised in Hawaii, Brown is part Hawaiian, African-American, Filipino, Portuguese and Spanish. She was homeschooled and spent time living and performing in Japan before moving to Los Angeles to further her music career. And while she may not want to revisit the experience, viewers have seen Brown on television before — she tried out for "American Idol" in 2003 alongside Camile Velasco and Jasmine Trias, but was dismissed after forgetting the lyrics to "Can't Buy Me Love" during the group audition round in Hollywood.

On "Duets," music stars Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Nettles and Robin Thicke are partnered with two amateur singers. The teams will face off each week to see who ends up "at the top of the charts" and receives a recording contract with Hollywood Records.

"The most challenging part of working on 'Duets' is trying to get everything done," said Brown. "It's very fast (and) you have to multi-task. … It's a lot of hard work."

"Duets" airs in Hawaii at 7 p.m. Thursdays on ABC.


Jason Genegabus is Entertainment Editor/Online at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and has covered the local nightlife, music, bar and entertainment scenes since 2001. Contact him via email at

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