On her first tour to Australia since 2012, Melissa Etheridge will make her first ever appearance at Bluesfest in 2016.
Melissa carved and led a niche in modern rock through her honest and courageous approach to song writing and performance. Early in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. It gave way not only to the world embracing both Melissa and her music, but an ally and champion for the LGBT community.
In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy telecast to sing ‘Piece of My Heart’ in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease.
Melissa’s latest album This is M.E. is her 12th collection of new material. The powerful lyrics, incomparable voice, indelible melodies, and blazing guitars could be from no one else. The opening track titled ‘I Won’t Be Alone Tonight’ holds some new meaning. Melissa collaborated with some of the most creative, inventive figures on the music scene on the album including Jerrod Bettis (Adele), Jon Levine (Nelly Furtado, K’Naan, Selena Gomez), Jerry Wonda (Grammy Award winning producer of the Fugees, Mary J. Blige, Akon) and Roccstar (Usher) at the forefront. She even enlisted the help of Neyla Pakarek, cellist from the folk rock band and Bluesfest alumni, The Lumineers, to contribute to a couple of songs.