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Melissa Etheridge’s fearless love captivates her devoted fans

Photo courtesy of the Vancouver Sun

Story published in the Vancouver Sun February 18, 2011.


Melissa Etheridge isn’t afraid to put fear in its place.

Of course, we’ve known this since the early ‘90s. Ever since the raspy-voiced Kansas native rocked her way onto the charts in 1993 with her breakthrough recording Yes I Am, fans and critics alike have known she packs no-nonsense punch in her songs and personal beliefs.

Over the years, however, the openly gay American artist and gay rights activist has stumbled upon a few concrete roadblocks. Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She battled Proposition 8 in 2008, which banned same-sex marriages in her current home state of California. And last spring, she split from her longtime partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels.

Some may question whether such a world of pain would soften the Grammy Award-winning artist’s defiant vocals, or dampen her triumphant stage presence.  If Etheridge beckons us to “come to her window,” will we still feel compelled to go?

The answer is yes.

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