- Category: News
DEADWOOD, S.D. (03/11/19) – One of the most celebrated rock stars of the modern era will make a tour stop in Deadwood as Melissa Etheridge will perform on Saturday, July 6th in the Deadwood Mountain Grand Event Center.
Rock singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge was born on May 29, 1961, in Leavenworth, Kansas. The younger of two girls born to John and Elizabeth Etheridge, a high school teacher and computer consultant respectively, Melissa grew up in what she later described as a lonely home, where her family offered little in the way of emotional support.
For solace and companionship, Etheridge turned to music, picking up her first guitar at the age of 8. She took lessons, finding refuge in her family's basement, where she wrote and played her music. When she got older and gained enough courage, Etheridge started playing for friends. Even at a young age, Etheridge wrote songs from the heart, with lyrics that spoke of pain, love and abandonment.
"I learned very early on that I could write truths," Etheridge later told CNN. "I could write about sadness or anger, where I couldn't actually speak it."
At the age of 12, Etheridge began playing with other musicians, largely male country-music groups at local bars around her hometown. Her hoarse voice was evident even then, though, and her concerned parents had her work briefly with a voice coach.
In 1979, the 18-year-old Etheridge realized her dream of moving out of Leavenworth to pursue a career in music. She headed east, to Boston, to study at the famed Berklee College of Music. Playing opportunities awaited her as she quickly got up to speed on the piano bars around the city and started earning a few extra bucks.
School, though, was another matter. After just a year, Etheridge dropped out. Eventually she packed her life into her car and moved to the other coast for a new life in Los Angeles. It wasn't long before Etheridge again found decent work in the clubs around the city. She had a manager, too, who soon helped her land a desirable five-night-a-week residency at the Executive Suite in Long Beach.
In 1984, Etheridge caught a break when she was hired as a songwriter for A&M Records, giving the young musician the chance to write songs for B-movies.
Etheridge's career lept forward in 1986, when Island Records president Chris Blackwell heard her perform. He signed her a few days later. After an unreleased first effort, she completed her stripped down self-titled debut in just four days. Melissa Etheridge (1988) was an underground hit, and the single, "Bring Me Some Water," was nominated for a Grammy.
In 1989, Brave and Crazy was released and, failing to break the top of the charts, Etheridge went on the road. She built a widespread fan base thanks to long, high-energy sets in the spirit of her musical idol, Bruce Springsteen.
While the adoration continued with her third release, Never Enough (1992), it was Etheridge's fourth record, Yes I Am (1993), which launched her into rock stardom. With ex-Police producer Hugh Padgham at the helm, the album produced two giant hits: "I'm the Only One" and the Grammy-winning "Come to My Window."
Etheridge, who continued to churn out studio albums, including the 2004 recording Lucky, found her life derailed when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Etheridge would go on to make a full recovery, but just like so much else in her life, she wasn't afraid to expose her illness or the struggles that came with it as she fought the disease.
In one of the more dramatic moments in Grammy history, Etheridge, bald from her chemo treatment, showed up at the 2005 awards—her first appearance since being diagnosed with cancer. Later that night, she delivered a driving rendition of Janice Joplin's "Piece of My Heart."
The recent years have been an up-and-down affair for Etheridge. While never matching the success and sales that came with Yes I Am, Etheridge has continued to produce lauded studio work. A greatest hits album was put out in 2005, and two years later a record of new material hit stores with the release of The Awakening. That same year, Etheridge was rewarded with an Oscar for her original song, "I Need to Wake Up," which had been showcased on the soundtrack for Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. In 2008, Etheridge delivered fans a compilation of holiday songs in A New Thought for Christmas.
In 2011, Etheridge debuted as host of the syndicated The Melissa Etheridge Radio Show, which would go on to win a Gracie Award for Outstanding Talk Show.
Tickets go on sale for Deadwood Mountain Grand Reward Members at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 12th and to the general public at 10 a.m. Friday, March 15th. They will be available at the Deadwood Mountain Grand Box Office – The Company Store – or at ticketmaster.com. Both hotel reservations and ticket arrangements may be made by calling 877-907-GRAND. Please be aware of third party ticket brokers as Ticketmaster is the only official ticket outlet for Deadwood Mountain Grand.
For more information, visit www.deadwoodmountaingrand.com or call 605-559-1188. To open your free Grand Rewards Center membership and enjoy the benefits of purchasing advance tickets ahead of the general public, bring a photo ID to the Grand Rewards Center counter, located in the Deadwood Mountain Grand Resort Casino.