Recent Comments

    Melissa Etheridge Is One of the World’s Most Charitable Artists

    Have you ever seen Melissa Etheridge live in concert? Her gutsy, long and heart-felt shows demonstrate her true love for both music and her fans. There are so many reasons to see her in person! Let us count the ways…

    She is one of rock music’s great female icons.

    Her critically acclaimed eponymous debut album was certified double platinum. Etheridge’s popularity built around such memorable songs as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs,” and “Ain’t It Heavy,” for which she won her first Grammy for Best Female Rock Vocal.

    Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album Yes I Am, featuring the massive hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window” a searing song of longing that brought her a second Grammy. The six times platinum album spent more than two and a half years on the album chart. Etheridge is also an Oscar winner for Best Original Song in 2007. In 2011, she made her Broadway debut as St. Jimmy in Green Day’s rock opera American Idiot, where she replaced Billie Joe Armstrong for one week, and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

    We could go on about her career as a performer, but let’s move to another reason to see Etheridge in person.

    She is a groundbreaking LGBT activist.

    Etheridge came out publicly as a lesbian in January 1993 at the Triangle Ball, a gay celebration of President Bill Clinton’s first inauguration. At the time, few musicians of her stature risked hurting their careers with such an admission. Her honesty and integrity helped to pave the way for many more artists to come out of the closet. She inspired countless others to do so as well.

    Taking another risk that year, Etheridge boycotted playing shows in Colorado over its passage of Amendment 2, which was poised to prevent any city, town or county in the state from taking legislative, executive or judicial action to recognize homosexuals as a protected class. According to public opinion surveys, the people of Colorado then strongly opposed discrimination, and yet at the same time, they opposed affirmative action based on sexual orientation. In 2007, fifteen years after the referendum on Amendment 2, the Colorado legislature amended its anti-discrimination law by forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, in employment. In 2008, Colorado further expanded its LGBT protections to include housing, public accommodation, and advertising.

    Etheridge has taken other such risks over the course of her decades’ long career, putting policy goals ahead of her pocketbook. She has helped to change minds and discriminatory legislation along the way.

    She took cancer out of the closet, too.

    In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent surgery and chemotherapy, which caused her to lose her hair.

    Instead of hiding her altered appearance and medical condition, Etheridge again remained true to herself and to the public. She shocked viewers of the 2005 Grammy Awards when she strode on the stage—still bald—and tore into an incredible Janis Joplin tribute, singing one of our favorites, “Piece of My Heart.” The audience jumped out of their seats in recognition of this incredible moment. It was not only a victory for Etheridge, but also was one for those with cancer and other physical challenges. From then on, more people spoke candidly about their health and did not attempt to shy away from visible related truths.

    She is one of the world’s most charitable artists.

    The organization Look to the Stars ranks Etheridge as being one of the planet’s most generous performers, up there with legendary philanthropists and successful performers like Elton John, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. Here are just a few of the many charities and foundations that Etheridge has supported: Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Clothes Off Our Back

    Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Dream Foundation, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Family Equality Council, Feeding America, GRAMMY Foundation, Live Earth, Love Our Children USA, MusiCares, National Domestic Violence Hotline, Pink Bracelet Fund, Stand Up to Cancer, The Art of Elysium, Treatment Action Campaign, V-Day and World Vision. Now Dan Ashley’s Rock the CASA and its beneficiaries can be added to that long and ever-growing list.

    If you have seen Etheridge live in concert, then we are preaching to the chorus and you probably already have your ticket to Dan Ashley’s Rock the CASA. If you have not seen Etheridge live on stage before, put this on your bucket list, get your ticket to Rock the CASA and show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T for this legendary LGBT performer and activist. You will have the time of your life, and all for a great cause during a time when many of us, including Etheridge and Ashley, are looking for ways to bring positive energy back into our schools and communities.