Melissa Etheridge: Humble Beginnings to Rock Stardom

Posted by Katy Kelly on Nov 13, 2015 3:52:19 PM


Melissa Etheridge is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist. Releasing her self-titled debut album in 1988, Melissa Etheridge’s music has connected with her fans over the past 27 years through her mixture of heartfelt confessional lyrics, raspy voice and pop-based folk rock style of music.

Melissa Etheridge received her first Grammy® nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance for her lead single, “Bring Me Some Water” from her debut album, Melissa Etheridge. In 1993 she won her first Grammy® for the single, “Ain’t It Heavy” and later that year released what became known as her mainstream breakthrough album, Yes I Am, which featured her second Grammy award winning song, “Come to My Window”.

Melissa Etheridge has been nominated for 17 Grammy® Awards of which she won two. She also won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for “I Need to Wake Up” in An Inconvenient Truth and a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk Of Fame.

Humble Beginnings to Rock Stardom

In 2004 Melissa Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy and after a year returned to the spotlight to perform her tribute to Janis Jolin with the song "Piece of My Heart." She took the stage with her bald head and bold couarge proving her hair does not define her as a woman.

Melissa's love for music began when she picked up her first guitar at he young age of 8. She played in all-men country groups as a teenager, moved to Boston for college, only to drop out after three semesters. She then headed west and found herself playing in bars in Los Angeles. Melissa signed with Island Records and released her stripped-down, self-titled debut album in just four days. Throughout the 90's Melissa released several albums and skyrocketed to rock stardom.

This is M.E.

Her newest album, M.E., features her 12th collection of new material and she teamed with some of the most creative, inventive figures on the music scene: Jerrod Bettis (Adele, One Republic, Eric Hutchinson, Gavin DeGraw), Jon Levine (Nelly Furtado, K’Naan, Selena Gomez), JerryWonda (Grammy Award-winning producer of the Fugees, Mary J. Blige, Akon) and Roccstar (Usher, Chris Brown) at the forefront.

“I haven’t been this excited about making music and creating in ages,” Etheridge says. “Song after song was a great experience.”

These are songs right from her heart, the frisky flirtation of “Take My Number” and mystery-trip “Stranger Road” among those drawing on scenes and settings of her Kansas upbringing. And “Who Are You Waiting For” closes the album on the most intimate, emotional, personal, lump-in-the-throat note of her entire career. It’s the song she wrote for and debuted at her wedding earlier this year to Linda Wallem.

“I opened a door to my inner little heart and wrote a song,” she says. “I sat down at the piano, started writing and the chorus came out, about how we were friends for years and years, and as we got closer it was ‘Who are you waiting for? I’m right here!’”

As the album title says, this is all Melissa Etheridge— ME.

See Her Live

Buy Now

Love Melissa Etheridge? Be sure to get your tickets to see her live in Reno in the newly renovated Grand Theatre! This is one stage and performance you won’t want to miss.


Spotify Playlist: Melissa Etheridge

Enjoy the sounds from Melissa Etheridge from her greates hits to her new This is M.E. Tour.

Topics: Entertainment

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