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About Melissa Etheridge


Melissa Lou Etheridge is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Her self-titled debut album Melissa Etheridge was released in 1988 and became an underground success. The album peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, "Bring Me Some Water", garnered Etheridge her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. In 1993, Etheridge won her first Grammy award for her single "Ain't It Heavy" from her third album, Never Enough. Later that year, she released what would become her mainstream breakthrough album, Yes I Am. Its tracks "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window" both reached the top 30 in the United States, and the latter earned Etheridge her second Grammy award. Yes I Am peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard 200, and spent 138 weeks on the chart, earning an RIAA certification of 6× Platinum, her largest selling album to date.


In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, she made a return to the stage, performing a tribute to Janis Joplin with Joss Stone. Stone began the performance with "Cry Baby" and Etheridge, bald from chemotherapy, joined her to perform the song "Piece of My Heart". Their performance was widely acclaimed and India.Arie wrote "I Am Not My Hair" about Etheridge. Later that year, Etheridge released her first compilation album, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled. The album was a success, peaking at No. 14 on the Billboard 200, and going Gold almost immediately. Her latest studio album is The Medicine Show .


Etheridge is known for music with a mixture of "confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals." She has been a gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations throughout her career, winning two, in 1993 and 1995. In 2007, she won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I Need to Wake Up" from the film An Inconvenient Truth. In September 2011, Etheridge received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Etheridge was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, the younger of two daughters of Elizabeth , a computer consultant, and John Etheridge, an American Constitution teacher at her alma mater, Leavenworth High School. John Etheridge died in August 1991.


Etheridge began to play in local country music groups in her teenage years and graduated from high school in 1979. While attending college at Berklee College of Music, Etheridge played the club circuit around Boston. After three semesters, Etheridge decided to drop out of Berklee and move to Los Angeles to attempt a career in music.


Etheridge was discovered at Vermie's, a bar in Pasadena, California. She had made some friends on a women's soccer team, and those new friends came to see her play. One of the women was Karla Leopold, whose husband, Bill Leopold, was a manager in the music business. Karla convinced Bill to see Etheridge perform live. He was impressed, and became a pivotal part of Etheridge's career. This, in addition to her gigs in lesbian bars around Los Angeles, led to her discovery by Island Records chief Chris Blackwell. She signed a publishing deal to write songs for films including the 1986 movie Weeds.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Melissa Etheridge", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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