Ties to ‘American Idol’ Right Here in Memphis at UTHSC

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Last week, David Coburn, a 27-year employee at UTHSC who had never flown before, took his first trip on an airplane — to Hollywood. He flew west to see Lil Rounds perform on “American Idol.”

Last week, David Coburn, a 27-year employee at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) who had never flown before, took his first trip on an airplane — to Hollywood. He flew west to see Lil Rounds perform on “American Idol.” More than a dedicated fan, Coburn is the proud father of Rounds whose top performances moved her into the final eight contestants of the national competition. The UTHSC paint shop supervisor could not pass up the chance to support his daughter face-to-face in Hollywood.

“Using her voice to make it is her dream and I think it’s just her time,” said the father of the talented 24-year-old. “She’s always been a bubbly, happy girl, but she thought a singing career wasn’t possible after she started a family. I support her and miss her, so I got up my nerve to fly. I liked it. I enjoyed Hollywood and seeing my little girl.” Coburn’s daughter has been singing since age three.

Rounds’ father, who had never traveled that far away from Memphis, stayed with cousins near Hollywood to tour the “entertainment capital of the world” and to witness his daughter’s on-stage performance in front of millions of television viewers. He rarely takes time off from his painting schedule at UTHSC, but when Lil Rounds’ name is mentioned, Coburn lights up.

Due to individual work demands, the UTHSC employee and his wife, Dolline, have separately visited Hollywood to see their daughter perform. Their day-to-day life at home is now filled with numerous phone calls, cards, letters and e-mails of support. To see future performances, Lil Rounds’ parents will attend “American Idol” watch parties at the Memphis Youth Performing Arts Center, 1929 S. Third Street. They realize that the songstress is going through a life-changing experience and that she must select the right songs for her voice to become the next American Idol winner.