Melissa Etheridge

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Melissa Lou Etheridge

Birthplace: Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Dewey Etheridge and <private> Etheridge (Williamson)
Wife of <private> Wallem
Ex-wife of <private> Doring
Mother of <private> Cypher; <private> Etheridge; Minor Child and Minor Child
Sister of Jennifer Etheridge

Occupation: Singer, songwriter, musician, activist
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

    • <private> Cypher
    • <private> Cypher
    • <private> Etheridge
    • <private> Doring
    • Minor Child
    • Minor Child
    • <private> Wallem
    • <private> Etheridge (Williamson)

About Melissa Etheridge

From Wikipedia (English):

Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961) is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1988 and became an underground hit. The album peaked at #22 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, Bring Me Some Water, garnered Etheridge her first Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In 1993, Etheridge won her first Grammy award for her single, Ain't It Heavy, from her 3rd album Never Enough. Later that year, she released what would become her breakthrough album, Yes I Am. The album featured the mainstream rock hits I'm the Only One (#8) and Come to My Window (#25), the latter which scored Etheridge her second Grammy award. Yes I Am peaked at #15 on the Billboard 200, and spent 138 weeks on the chart, earning a RIAA certification of 6x Platinum, her largest 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 and, although bald from chemotherapy, performed a tribute to Janis Joplin with the song "Piece of My Heart". Etheridge's performance was widely lauded, with India.Arie writing "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 huge success, peaking at #14 on the Billboard 200, and going Gold almost immediately. Her latest release is 4th Street Feeling.

Etheridge is known for her mixture of "confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals." She has also been an iconic gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations, winning two, and an Academy Award. In September 2011, Etheridge received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.



Melissa Etheridge was born on May 29, 1961, in Leavenworth, Kansas. Her career leapt forward in 1986, when Island Records signed her. Her fourth record, Yes I Am (1993), launched her into rock stardom with the two giant hits: "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window." Etheridge, who continued to churn out studio albums, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She made a full recovery.

Early Life

Rock singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge was born on May 29, 1961, in Leavenworth, Kansas. The youngest of two girls born to John and Elizabeth Eldridge, a high school teacher and computer consultant respectively, Melissa grew up in what she later described as a lonely home, where her family offered little in the way of emotional support.

For solace and companionship, Etheridge turned to music, picking up her first guitar at the age of 8. She took lessons, finding refuge in her family's basement, where she wrote and played her music. When she got older and gained enough courage, Etheridge started playing for friends. Even at a young age, Etheridge wrote songs from the heart, with lyrics that spoke of pain, love and abandonment.

"I learned very early on that I could write truths," Etheridge later told CNN. "I could write about sadness or anger, where I couldn't actually speak it."

At the age of 12, Etheridge began playing with other musicians, largely male country-music groups at local bars around her hometown. Her hoarse voice was evident even then, though, and her concerned parents had her work briefly with a voice coach.

In 1979, the 18-year-old Etheridge realized her dream of moving out of Leavenworth to pursue a career in music. She headed east, to Boston, to study at the famed Berklee College of Music. Playing opportunities awaited her as she quickly got up to speed on the piano bars around the city and started earning a few extra bucks.

School, though, was another matter. After just a year, Etheridge dropped out. Eventually she packed her life into her car and moved to the other coast for a new life in Los Angeles. It wasn't long before Etheridge again found decent work in the clubs around the city. She had a manager, too, who soon helped her land a desirable five-night-a-week residency at the Executive Suite in Long Beach.

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Melissa Etheridge's Timeline

May 29, 1961
Leavenworth, Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States