Melissa Louise Etheridge was born in Leavenworth, KS, USA on May 29, 1961. Musically inclined since her earlier years, she started playing guitar when she was six and can now play a variety of instruments ( drums, saxophone, piano, clarinet ) . She wrote her first song at age 10 and as a teenager she would bring her guitar along to accompany her father to his conventions. In 1979 she graduated from Leavenworth High and moved to Boston, MA to enroll at the Berklee College of Music, the greatest music school on the face of this earth.

After her first year at Berklee, Melissa dropped out. "I wasn't in the frame of mind to learn about music, I wanted to play.". She then returned to Kansas and then to L.A. where she would work in bars and pubs, taking her Janis-Joplin approach of rock to the road. She also did some demos for a couple of record companies and wrote film music.In 1984 Melissa auditioned for the TV series FAME. The producers thought that she was terrific but they hired Janet Jackson instead.

This is Melissa Etheridge performing on MTV Unplugged with one of my teenage idols, Bruce "The Boss" Springsteen.


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