Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album. Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Melissa has remained one of America’s favorite rock stars for more than two decades.
Melissa’s artistic and commercial successes have been highlighted by accolades including two Grammy Awards for “Best Female Rock Performance,” a “Songwriter of the Year” honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards, and a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the 2007 Academy Awards for I Need to Wake Up, written for the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth. With massive original hits such as I’m the Only One and Come to My Window, Melissa cemented herself as a musical and cultural icon.
Throughout her career, Melissa has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed “inconvenient truths” to keep her silent. She publicly acknowledged her sexual orientation at a time when it was considered risky to do so, and continued her activism for Marriage Equality.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2004, Melissa appeared on the 2005 Grammy telecast despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, to sing “Piece of My Heart” in tribute to Janis Joplin. As a cancer survivor, Melissa has publicly advocated for the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis.
October 2022 saw Melissa’s return to the theatre with her one woman show, My Window – A Journey Through Life. The critically acclaimed, sold-out run premiered at New World Stages in October 2022, and has plans to move to Broadway in 2023.
Melissa founded the nonprofit Etheridge Foundation following the tragic death of her son Beckett in 2020. Through the Etheridge Foundation, Melissa has continued her activism and public education with a mission to help people heal through the transformative power of plant medicines.