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Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge became one of the most popular recording artists of the '90s due to her mixture of confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, Janis Joplin/Rod Stewart-esque vocals. But the road to stardom was not all smooth sailing for Etheridge as she debated behind the scenes whether or not to disclose to the public that she was gay early on in her career. Born May 29, 1961, in Leavenworth, Kansas, Etheridge first picked up the guitar at the age of eight and began penning her own songs shortly thereafter. Playing in local bands throughout her teens, Etheridge then attended the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. The up-and-coming singer/songwriter and guitarist dropped out after a year before making her way to Los Angeles in the early '80s to take a shot at a career in music. At this point, Etheridge's music was slightly more bluesy than her subsequently renowned folk-pop style, as a demo of original compositions caught the attention of Bill Leopold, who signed on as Etheridge's manager. Soon after, steady gigs began coming her way, including a five-night-a-week residency at the Executive Suite in Long Beach, which led to a bidding war between such major record labels as A&M, Capitol, EMI, and Warner Bros., but it was Island Records that Etheridge decided to go with.

Etheridge's first recorded work appeared on the forgotten soundtrack to the Nick Nolte prison movie Weeds before her self-titled debut was issued in 1988. The album quickly drew comparisons to such heavyweights as Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, as it spawned the hit single "Bring Me Some Water" and earned gold certification. In the wake of the album's success, Etheridge performed at the Grammy Awards the following year and contributed vocals to Don Henley's The End of the Innocence. Etheridge managed to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump with 1989's Brave and Crazy, which followed the same musical formula as its predecessor and proved to be another gold-certified success. It would be nearly three years before Etheridge's next studio album appeared, however, and 1992 signaled the arrival of Never Enough, an album that proved to be more musically varied.

But it was Etheridge's fourth release that would prove to be her massive commercial breakthrough. Tired of rumors and questions regarding her sexuality, Etheridge decided to put the speculation to rest once and for all, titling the album Yes I Am. Ex-Police producer Hugh Padgham guided the album, which spawned two major MTV/radio hits with "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window" (the latter of which featured a video with movie actress Juliette Lewis); the album would sell a staggering six million copies in the U.S. during a single-year period and earned a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocalist. But subsequent releases failed to match the success of Yes I Am, including 1995's Your Little Secret, 1999's Breakdown, and 2001's Skin, the latter of which dealt with her separation from Julie Cypher. (Cypher had birthed the couple's two children via artificial insemination; CSN&Y's David Crosby was the father.)

Etheridge's autobiography, The Truth Is: My Life in Love and Music, was released in 2002, and 2004's Lucky was her celebration of a new romance. Later that same year Etheridge revealed that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. But early detection allowed for recovery, and she gave strength to many of those stricken by the disease with a powerful performance of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" at the 47th annual Grammys, held in February 2005. That September, Etheridge released Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled, a compilation of career highlights and new material. It featured a cover of Tom Petty's "Refugee" as well as "Piece of My Heart" and a new song dedicated to breast cancer survivors. In 2007, Etheridge released her first studio album of new material in three years, The Awakening, on Island, following it a year later in 2008 with a holiday album, A New Thought for Christmas, also on Island. Fearless Love appeared early in 2010. Her 12th studio album, 4th Street Feeling (named for the main drag in her hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas) was released in 2012; it marked the first occasion in her career when Etheridge played all the guitar parts on one of her recordings. Two years later, she went independent with her 13th album, This Is M.E., an ambitious collection that saw her collaborating with several different producers including R&B specialists Roccstar and Jon Levine; the album debuted at 21 on Billboard's Top 200. Two years later, Etheridge switched to Concord's revived Stax imprint to pay tribute to classic '60s soul on Memphis Rock and Soul. ~ Greg Prato
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: This Is M.E.

1. I Won't Be Alone Tonight

2. Take My Number

3. A Little Hard Hearted

4. Do It Again

5. Monster

6. Ain't That Bad

7. All The Way Home

8. Like A Preacher

9. Stranger Road

10. A Little Bit Of Me

11. Who Are You Waiting For

x

Track List: 4th Street Feeling

1. Kansas City

2. 4th Street Feeling

3. Falling Up

4. Shout Now

5. The Shadow Of A Black Crow

6. Be Real

7. A Disaster

8. Sympathy

9. Enough Rain

10. A Sacred Heart

11. I Can Wait

12. Rock And Roll Me

x

Track List: Fearless Love

1. Fearless Love

2. The Wanting Of You

3. Company

4. Miss California

5. Drag Me Away

6. Indiana

7. Nervous

8. Heaven On Earth

9. We Are The Ones

10. Only Love

11. To Be Loved

12. Gently We Row

x

Track List: The Awakening

1. All There Is

2. California

3. An Unexpected Rain

4. Message To Myself

5. God Is In The People

6. Map Of The Stars

7. Threesome

8. All We Can Really Do

9. I've Loved You Before

10. A Simple Love

11. Heroes And Friends

12. The Kingdom Of Heaven

13. Open Your Mind

14. The Universe Listened

15. Imagine That

16. What Happens Tomorrow

x

Track List: Lucky

1. Lucky

2. This Moment

3. If You Want To

4. Breathe

5. Mercy

6. Secret Agent

7. Will You Still Love Me

8. Meet Me In The Dark

9. Tuesday Morning

10. Giant

11. Come On Out Tonight

12. Kiss Me

13. When You Find The One

x

Track List: Skin

1. Lover Please

2. The Prison

3. Walking On Water

4. Down To One

5. Goodnight

6. It's Only Me

7. I Want To Be In Love

8. Please Forgive Me

9. The Different

10. Heal Me

x

Track List: Breakdown

1. Breakdown

2. Angels Would Fall

3. Stronger Than Me

4. Into The Dark

5. Enough Of Me

6. Truth Of The Heart

7. Mama I'm Strange

8. Scarecrow

9. How Would I Know

10. My Lover

11. Sleep

x

Track List: Your Little Secret

1. Your Little Secret

2. I Really Like You

3. Nowhere To Go

4. An Unusual Kiss

5. I Want To Come Over

6. All The Way To Heaven

7. I Could Have Been You

8. Shriner's Park

9. Change

10. This War Is Over

x

Track List: Yes I Am

1. I'm The Only One

2. If I Wanted To

3. Come To My Window

4. Silent Legacy

5. I Will Never Be The Same

6. All American Girl

7. Yes I Am

8. Resist

9. Ruins

10. Talking To My Angel

x

Track List: Never Enough

1. Ain't It Heavy

2. 2001

3. Dance Without Sleeping

4. Place Your Hand

5. Must Be Crazy For Me

6. Meet Me In The Back

7. The Boy Feels Strange

8. Keep It Precious

9. The Letting Go

10. It's For You

x

Track List: Brave And Crazy

1. No Souvenirs

2. Brave And Crazy

3. You Used To Love To Dance

4. The Angels

5. You Can Sleep While I Drive

6. Testify

7. Let Me Go

8. My Back Door

9. Skin Deep

10. Royal Station 4/16

x

Track List: Melissa Etheridge

1. Similar Features

2. Chrome Plated Heart

3. Like The Way I Do

4. Precious Pain

5. Don't You Need

6. The Late September Dogs

7. Occasionally

8. Watching You

9. Bring Me Some Water

10. I Want You

x

Track List: A Little Bit Of Me (Single)

1. A Little Bit Of Me

x

Track List: A Little Bit Of Me: Live In L.A.

1. I Won't Be Alone Tonight (Live)

2. I Want To Come Over (Live)

3. Chrome Plated Heart (Live)

4. Take My Number (Live)

5. Come To My Window (Live)

6. Ruins (Live)

7. A Little Bit Of Me (Live)

8. If I Wanted To (Live)

9. Meet Me In The Back (Live)

10. Bring Me Some Water (Live)

11. I'm The Only One (Live)

x

Track List: Falling Up (Single)

1. Falling Up

x

Track List: Fearless Love (Radio Single)

1. Fearless Love

x

Track List: I Need To Wake Up [Radio Single]

x

Track List: Memphis Rock And Soul

1. Memphis Train

2. Respect Yourself (People Stand Up)

3. Who’s Making Love

4. Hold On, I’m Coming

5. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)

6. Any Other Way

7. I’m A Lover

8. Rock Me Baby

9. I Forgot To Be Your Lover

10. Wait A Minute

11. Born Under A Bad Sign

12. I’ve Got Dreams To Remember

x

Track List: Message To Myself (Cd Single)

1. Message To Myself

Comments

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One of my all time favs
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Simply amazing!!!.. Been my favorite for 20 years... Still follow her:)
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Wonder who she was singing too lol
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AWESOME last night @ Gretna Fest YOU ROCK!!!!!!
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LOVE HER!!!
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She magifcent
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She knocks it out of the ball park!! Melissa E. Sexy voice. With heart & feeling pouring out like largest water fall. I like a lot of women singers.
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mildredrmarc u s 7 0
her life lessons are so easy to listen to...LOVE HER...
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Saw Melissa as opening act for The Eagles' Hell Freezes Over tour. She was nothing short of a- MAZE-ing! She could have played another hour and no one would have complained! Her struggle/vic t o r y over breast CA shows the inner strength she still possesses,wi t h the lyrical sensibility (not to mention the musical talent!) she displayed with her first album. Her insight, sensitivity, and warmth have come out of her along with some of the most powerful lyrics about interpersona l relationship s .
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I would think that being gay would make a difference. Her ability to stir our souls w/ her music reflects who she is-her struggles and her triumphs-the same ones we all have. I don't want to sound like a schoolteache r , but is important to celebrate our commonalitie s AND our differences.
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❤❤❤❤❤
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U are amazing Michelle I miss u make aother cd miss u michelle brach
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<3
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this coming from a non-lesbian
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being a lesbian has nothing to do with her talent. She has a good voice and her music is good. Her sexual preference is for a total different conversation besides the fact that it's none of our business.
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Melissa and KD Lang, OMG, fuk'n awesome voices and messages of Love and heartaches. Been there.
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Hey YEAH. ..rawness in the making, ,,give her sum Hornitos
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REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY IS NOVEMBER 8  ★☆★☆★☆★☆★^_^
Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth as a day to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts.
Report as inappropriate
I cannot believe how underrated she is !
I've been following her for years love that voice! She is an extremely talented musician maybe she just likes staying in the background…h u m m m m m m ?!!.....

0:o)
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I want to come over: Come over and I will try to find something for us to eat. :-)
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She looks like my cousin Vicki.
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I first saw Melissa in Pomona, California. The Bar was Robbie's
I would go see her play. It was the best, I knew then she was bound for greatness. My girlfriend at the time, would have a great night. Later on my heart was broken. Hearing Melissa, brings back some good memories. I love Melissa.
Report as inappropriate
Saw Melissa with my daughter in Burlington, vt . Class act.
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debbieww830
Thank you Missy for the best time of my life. I will never forget our first time together.
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I can Listen to her all day long
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gypsyme3
WAS A b DAYYYY MMMMMMM
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gypsyme3
Her b EST SONG ... I wanna come over !! If for someone else .. I will
Lv u alone .. Sorry
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maggiekksb
Would b nice and sweet!!!!
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Message to Myself: Great song. Great lyrics. Yes, EXACTLY.
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kc01000101
Please ignore bobonnit he is obviously suffering from a mental disorder called NPD.

@bobonnit dude, seek professional help quickly.
Report as inappropriate
She hurts my ears. Always has. Thumbs down, I don't need her howling at me while I'm trying to work
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I've been listening to Melissa Etheridge's music since I was little, and her songs still inspire me.
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Love her voice
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kidslikelang u a g e s
One of a kind with a priceless voice and a heart that tells the truth. Thanks Melissa...yo u go girl!!!
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Melissa is a rock goddess!!!!
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Love her
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bodett123
Melissa ROCKS!
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I hate BIGOTS
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luana_henry
Awesome in every way. Love you Melissa
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mpeterson172
This is not goodbye....l o v e you, mom.
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my crush forever
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Melissa is one of the best by far...... :)
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she is a good singer
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letuna1
just saw her this weekend in NJ...She is JUST AS WONDERFUL as when I saw her 15 yrs ago...she is TOTAL CLASS and ROCKS
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@bobonnit well both Melissa and Joan are talented enough to have been successful in the music industry for years....how many gold records have YOU put out lately....yo u get off MY Pandora!
Report as inappropriate
Now if she would just sing and otherwise shut up!
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Raw emotions, great rock sound, and talent... that's how you define a true artist. Thanks Melissa for getting me through the rough times with your music!
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I keep looking over my shoulder and wondering where this woman has been hiding and just how come she writes all about my life. Step by step, she has recorded every event in my life. Many thanks.
Report as inappropriate
Melissa ROCKS in concert and sounds as great in person as her cds!
Report as inappropriate
To me her voice sounds like Rod Stewart's only feminine.
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