Melissa Etheridge was born in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1961. She got her first guitar at the age of eight, had written her first song by the age of ten, and was playing regular gigs in a country band by the time she was 12 years old. She had her first romance with a woman at the age of 17, and her life was changed forever.
Leavenworth wasn't the best place in the country to be an aspiring musician and definitely wasn't the easiest place to be a lesbian. In 1979 after graduating high school, Melissa made her way to Boston where she would study at the Berklee College of Music. Melissa dropped out of college after a year and spent a couple of years gigging around to find herself musically before moving to Los Angeles in 1982. It became apparent that the type of music Melissa was doing wasn't what the industry was looking for at the moment, but she stayed true to her music and gained a small but dedicated following, especially among the lesbian community.
Her big break came in 1986 when a record founder heard her show at a Long Beach bar and signed her to Island Records. Her self-titled debut was released in 1988 and quickly reached platinum status. Her follow-up, Brave and Crazy, also went platinum, while her third effort, 1992's Never Enough, provided the song 'Ain't It Heavy,' which earned her a Grammy for Best Female Rock Performance. However, it was her fourth album in 1993, Yes I Am, that cemented her celebrity and status as one of America's premier performers. The album boasted 3 top ten hits, and 'Come To My Window' won her a second Grammy.
The late '90s were great years for Melissa Etheridge who, by this time, had made a prolific name for herself. She sang before thousands at Woodstock, performed 'Piece Of My Heart' during Janis Joplin's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, performed with her idol Bruce Springsteen during her MTV's Unplugged, and took home the coveted, ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year award. In 1997 Melissa and her partner of many years, Julie Cypher, celebrated the birth of their first child, Bailey Jean. The next year, Cypher gave birth to another child, a boy they named Beckett. Shortly after the birth of their son, the couple revealed the biological father of their children to be David Crosby and the entire group appeared together on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.
1999 saw Etheridge return with Breakdown, a heartfelt collection of songs including a moving tribute to gay-bashing victim Matthew Shepard entitled 'Scarecrow'. In 2000 Etheridge and Cypher ended their relationship of 10 years. Her seventh album, Skin, was released 2001, and her autobiography, 'The Truth Is: My Life in Love and Music' followed in 2002. Melissa released another album in the early part of 2004 named Lucky. The album produced two hit tracks, the first being 'Kiss Me', followed by 'Breath'. Her 2007 release, The Awakening, is already moving up the charts bolstered by the single 'Message to Myself'. Tickets to see Melissa Etheridge are always in demand - get yours now and see this talented artist live in concert!
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