Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961) is an American rock singer-songwriter and activist. 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. After an unreleased first effort that was rejected by Island Records as being too polished and glossy, she completed her stripped-down self-titled debut in just four days. Her eponymous debut album Melissa Etheridge was an underground hit, and the single, "Bring Me Some Water", a turntable hit, was nominated for a Grammy. Brave and Crazy followed the same musical formula as her eponymous debut garnering a Grammy nomination. The album peaked at #22 on the Billboard charts (equal to her first album). Etheridge then went on the road, taking a page from one of her musical influences Bruce Springsteen, and built a loyal fan base. Etheridge is a Bruce Springsteen fan, and she has covered his songs "Thunder Road" and "Born to Run" during live shows.
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