Etheridge,Melissa - Breakdown
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Notes / Reviews

Breakdown is the sixth album by singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge, released in 1999 (see 1999 in music). A Limited Edition version of the album was simultaneously released featuring three bonus tracks.

"Scarecrow" is dedicated to the memory of Matthew Shepard, and his family and friends.


*Melissa Etheridge - acoustic guitar, vocals

*Kenny Aronoff - drums, marimba, shaker

*Jon Brion - guitar

*Mark Browne - bass

*Matt Chamberlain - drums

*Steve Ferrone - percussion, drums

*Rami Jaffee - keyboard

*Jim Keltner - drums

*Greg Leisz - guitar, mandolin, lap steel guitar, pedals

*Brian MacLeod - percussion, drum loop

*Pino Palladino - bass

*John Shanks - dulcimer, guitar, harp, marimba, background vocals

*Patrick Warren - keyboard

*Gota Yashiki - drum loop


*Producers: Melissa Etheridge, John Shanks

*Engineers: Marc DeSisto, Greg Goldman

*Assistant engineers: John Aguto, Tom Nellen, Geoff Walcha

*Mixing: Bob Clearmountain, Tom Lord-Alge, Chris Lord-Alge

*Mastering: Bob Ludwig

*studio technician: Brett Allen

*Art direction: Scott Denton Cardew

*Artwork: Scott Denton Cardew

*Photography: Barbara Green, Rocky Schenck

*Hair stylist: Bernhard Tammé


Album - Billboard (North America)

Singles - Billboard (North America)


Category:Melissa Etheridge albums

Category:1999 albums

Category:Albums produced by John Shanks

Category:Island Records albums

This text has been derived from Breakdown (Melissa Etheridge album) on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

Artist/Band Information

Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961) is an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations winning two, one Academy Award and has sold twenty-seven million albums worldwide and almost fourteen million in the United States alone.

Known for her mixture of confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy vocals, Etheridge has been an iconic gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993.

Life and career

1961–86: Early life and career

Etheridge was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, the younger of two girls, to John Etheridge, a psychology teacher at Leavenworth High School, and Elizabeth Williamson, a computer consultant. She attended David Brewer School, which is still located at 17th and Osage Streets. She graduated in 1979 from Leavenworth High School (LHS), 10th Avenue and Halderman. Etheridge was a member of the first "Power and Life" musical/dance group at LHS which is still active today. Her childhood home was at 1902 Miami Street.

Etheridge's interest in music began early; she picked up up her first guitar at 8. She began to play in all-men country music groups throughout her teenage years, until she moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music.

During her time in Berklee, she befriended fellow student Lauren Passarelli, now a guitar professor at Berklee. Etheridge played the club circuit around Boston, but after three semesters decided to drop out of Berklee and head to Los Angeles to attempt a career in music. Etheridge was discovered in a bar called Vermie's in Pasadena CA. She had made some friends on a women's soccer team and they came to see her play. One of the women was Karla Leopold, whose husband, Bill Leopold, was a manager in the music business. Karla convinced Bill to see her perform live. He was impressed, and has remained a pivotal part of Etheridge's career ever since.. This, in addition to her gigs in lesbian bars around Los Angeles, got her discovered by Island Records chief Chris Blackwell. She got a publishing deal to write songs for movies including the 1986 movie Weeds.

In 1985, prior to her signing, Etheridge sent her demo to Olivia Records, a lesbian record label, but was ultimately rejected. She saved the rejection letter, signed by "the women of Olivia", which was later featured in Intimate Portrait: Melissa Etheridge, the Lifetime Television documentary of her life.

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.

1986–92: Road to rock stardom

Etheridge followed up her first album's modest success by contributing background and contributing vocals to Don Henley's album The End of the Innocence. She went into the studio and recorded her sophomore effort Brave and Crazy which was released in 1989.

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.

In 1992, Etheridge released her third album Never Enough. Similar to her prior two albums, Never Enough didn't reach the top of the charts peaking at #21 but gave Etheridge her first Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for her single "Ain't It Heavy". Never Enough was considered a more personal and mature album from Etheridge at that time. With rumors circulating around her sexuality (Etheridge was not out yet at this point), the album seemed to inadvertedly address these rumors.

In 1992 Etheridge established a performing arts scholarship at LHS in honor of her father. She said her father used to "spend his weekends driving me to Kansas City and all points around there so I could play in bands. I was underage so I couldn't have gone without him."

1993: Yes I Am

On September 21, 1993, Etheridge released what would become her mainstream breakthrough recording Yes I Am. Co-produced with former The Police and Genesis Grammy-winning and Producer of the Year award-winning producer Hugh Padgham, Yes I Am spent 138 weeks on the Billboard 200 charts and peaked at #15 and scored mainstream hits "Come to My Window" and her only Billboard Top 10 single "I'm the Only One", which also hit #1 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart. Sales-wise, Yes I Am earned a RIAA certification of 6× Platinum. Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 22, 2008. making it her biggest selling album to date.

Etheridge earned her second Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female for her single "Come to My Window". She also garnered two additional nominations in the Best Rock Song category for "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window" losing to Bruce Springsteen's "Streets of Philadelphia".

In 1993, Etheridge boycotted playing shows in Colorado over its passage of Amendment 2.

In a visit to Leavenworth in November 1994, she performed a benefit concert for a new park to be built near the high school. A ball field at the park will be named after her father. While she was here, she also donated money to help refurbish the Performing Arts Center in Leavenworth at 401 Delaware.

In 1994, Etheridge played a cover version of "Burning Love" live in Memphis, during the "It's Now Or Never, The Tribute To Elvis".

1995–2002: After her breakthrough

The success of Yes I Am helped increase sales of Etheridge's earlier albums. In 1995 Melissa Etheridge earned a RIAA certification of 2× Platinum while Never Enough earned a RIAA certification of Platinum

Etheridge's follow-up to Yes I Am was the moderately successful Your Little Secret which wasn't as well received by critics as prior recordings. Your Little Secret is the highest charting album of Etheridge's career reaching #6 on the Billboard album charts, but only spent 41 weeks on the chart. The album produced two Top 40 singles "I Want to Come Over" (Billboard #22) and "Nowhere to Go" (Billboard #40) and earned a RIAA certification of 2× Platinum, less than "Yes I Am."

In 1996, Etheridge won ASCAP songwriter of the year award, but took a lengthy break from the music business to concentrate on her domestic arrangements. She also recorded "Sin Tener A Donde Ir (Nowhere to Go)" for the AIDS benefit album Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin produced by the Red Hot Organization.

In 1997 she appeared as herself on the sitcom Ellen on "The Puppy Episode Part 2".

Etheridge returned to the music charts with the release of Breakdown in October 1999. Breakdown peaked at #12 on the Billboard charts and spent 18 weeks in the charts. Despite this, Breakdown was the only album of Etheridge's career to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Album (losing to Santana's Supernatural). In addition, her single "Angels Would Fall" was nominated in two categories: Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (losing to Sheryl Crow) and Best Rock Song (losing to Red Hot Chili Peppers) in 2000. A year later, another single from the album "Enough of Me" was nominated for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (also losing to Sheryl Crow).

The album earned a RIAA certification of Gold, below her prior 5 albums.

2001 saw the release of Skin an album she described as "the closest I've ever come to recording a concept album. It has a beginning, middle and end. It's a journey." Skin garnered generally positive reviews with Metacritic scoring the album 73/100 from 9 reviews. Recorded post her breakup with first partner Julie Cypher, critics noted that Skin was "A harrowing, clearly autobiographical dissection of a decaying relationship." Despite the positive reviews, Skin sold less than 500,000 copies. On the Billboard charts, it peaked at #9 but dropped out of the Top 200 after just 12 weeks. The single "I Want to Be in Love" was nominated for the Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female (losing to Lucinda Williams).

In 2002, Etheridge released her autobiography "The Truth Is: My Life in Love and Music."

2004–present: Lucky, cancer diagnosis, Academy Awards and Fearless Love

Etheridge began 2004 with the release of her eighth album Lucky on February 10. The album was a more joyful Etheridge who was now in the midst of celebrating a new relationship with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels whom she began dating in 2001. Lucky performed similarly to Skin, selling less than 500,000 copies, peaking on the Billboard charts at #15 and spending 13 weeks on the charts. It also garnered a Grammy nomination for Etheridge's cover of the Greenwheel song "Breathe" for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo (losing to Bruce Springsteen).

In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the 2005 Grammy Awards (the same ceremony for which "Breathe" was nominated), she made a return to the stage and, although bald from chemotherapy, performed a tribute to Janis Joplin with the song "Piece of My Heart". Etheridge was praised for her performance, which was considered one of the highlights of the show. Etheridge's bravery was lauded in song in India.Arie's "I Am Not My Hair".

On September 10, 2005, Etheridge participated in ReAct Now: Music & Relief, a telethon in support for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. ReAct Now, part of an ongoing effort by MTV, VH1, CMT, seeks to raise funds for the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and America's Second Harvest. Etheridge introduced a new song specially written for the occasion called "Four Days". The a cappella song included themes and images that were on the news during the aftermath of the hurricane. Other charities she supports include The Dream Foundation and Love Our Children USA.

On November 15, 2005, Etheridge appeared on the Tonight Show to perform her song "I Run for Life", which references her own fight with breast cancer and her determination to overcome it, and seeks to encourage other breast cancer survivors and their families. After her performance Jay Leno told her, "Thanks for being a fighter, kiddo".

Etheridge wrote the song "I Need to Wake Up" for the film documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2006. The song was released only on the enhanced version of her greatest hits album, The Road Less Traveled.

Etheridge was also a judge for the 5th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.

In August 2006, Melissa also produced and sang the vocal tracks on the Brother Bear 2 soundtrack, including collaborations with Josh Kelleyhttp. Melissa Etheridge DNC 2008.jpgthumbrightEtheridge performs during the third night of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.

On July 7, 2007, Etheridge performed at the Giants Stadium on the American leg of Live Earth. Etheridge performed the songs "Imagine That" and "What Happens Tomorrow" from The Awakening, her tenth album, released on September 25, 2007, as well as the song "I Need To Wake Up" before introducing Al Gore. On December 11, 2007 she performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway, together with a variety of artists, which was broadcast live to over 100 countries. In addition, she performed at the U.S. 2008 Democratic National Convention on August 27, 2008. In July 2009, Etheridge announced through her website that she and John Shanks would begin recording her 11th studio album the following summer. This was the first time since 1999 Etheridge and Shanks were the only ones involved in the production of a project.

Etheridge will be featured in UniGlobe Entertainment's breast cancer docudrama titled 1 a Minute scheduled for release in 2010.http The documentary is being made by actress Namrata Singh Gujral and will also feature breast cancer suriviors Olivia Newton-John, Diahann Carroll, Namrata Singh Gujral, Mumtaz and Jaclyn Smith as well as William Baldwin, Daniel Baldwin and Priya Dutt. The feature is narrated by Kelly McGillis. The film will also star Barbara Mori, Lisa Ray, Deepak Chopra and Morgan Brittany.

Etheridge also held a private listening party hosted at Michele Clark's Sunset Sessions 2010. She debuted her new album Fearless Love at the event held at the Rancho Bernardo Inn where she did a question and answer and played an acoustic set of her new singles in front of convention attendees and about 50 listeners of host station KPRI/SAN DIEGO.

Etheridge performed her title track "Fearless Love" from her new album and "Come to My Window" from 1993 on the airing of April 27, 2010's "Dancing With the Stars" on ABC.

Etheridge performed the role of St. Jimmy in Green Day's hit Broadway musical, American Idiot from February 1-6, 2011.http http

Personal life

Etheridge's father, John Etheridge, was a high school psychology teacher, counselor and athletic director at her alma mater, Leavenworth High School. He died in 1993. Her mother Elizabeth, was a homemaker and a computer analyst and is now retired.

Etheridge is famous as a gay rights activist, having come out publicly as a lesbian in January 1993 at the Triangle Ball, a gay/lesbian celebration of President Bill Clinton's first inauguration. She is also a committed advocate for environmental issues and in 2006, she toured the US and Canada using biodiesel.

Etheridge had a long-term partnership with Julie Cypher, and their relationship occasionally received press coverage. During this partnership, Cypher gave birth to two children, Bailey Jean, born February 10, 1997, and Beckett, born November 1998, fathered by sperm donor David Crosby.

In 2000, Cypher began to reconsider her sexuality and on September 19, 2000, Etheridge and Cypher announced they were separating. In 2001, Etheridge documented her breakup with Cypher and other experiences in her memoir.

In April 2003, Etheridge became engaged to actress Tammy Lynn Michaels. The two had a commitment ceremony in Malibu, California, on September 20, 2003. Their wedding was featured on ABC's InStyle Celebrity Weddings.http

In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy.

In October 2005, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Etheridge appeared on Dateline NBC with Michaels to discuss her struggle with cancer. By the time of the interview, Etheridge's hair had grown back after being lost during chemotherapy. She said that her partner had been very supportive during her illness. Etheridge also discussed using medicinal marijuana while she was receiving the chemotherapy.NBC Dateline interview, aired 10/16/05. Transcript available at http She said that the drug improved her mood and increased her appetite.

In April 2006, Etheridge and Michaels announced that Michaels was pregnant with twins via an anonymous sperm donor. Michaels gave birth to a daughter, Johnnie Rose and a son, Miller Steven, on October 17, 2006.

In October 2008, five months after the Supreme Court of California overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, Etheridge announced that she and Michaels were planning to marry but were currently "trying to find the right time... to go down and do it".

In November 2008, in response to the passing of California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, Etheridge announced that she would not pay her state taxes as an act of civil disobedience." TV Guide. November 8, 2008. Retrieved on November 12, 2008.

Etheridge supported Barack Obama's decision to have Pastor Rick Warren speak at his 2009 Presidential inauguration, believing that he can sponsor dialogue to bridge the gap between gay and straight Christians. She stated in her column at The Huffington Post that "Sure, there are plenty of hateful people who will always hold on to their bigotry like a child to a blanket. But there are also good people out there, Christian and otherwise that are beginning to listen.". The Huffington Post. Published December 22, 2008. Retrieved December 22, 2008.

In a June 15, 2009 interview with Anderson Cooper, Etheridge admitted that she still uses marijuana to lessen the effects of acid reflux or in extremely stressful situations. Medical marijuana is legal in the state of California.

On April 15, 2010 Etheridge and wife Tammy Lynn Michaels announced they had separated.


Academy Awards

The Academy Awards are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)


*1988: Melissa Etheridge

*1989: Brave and Crazy

*1992: Never Enough

*1993: Yes I Am

*1995: Your Little Secret

*1999: Breakdown

*2001: Skin

*2004: Lucky

*2005: Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled

*2007: The Awakening

*2008: A New Thought For Christmas

*2010: Fearless Love


This text has been derived from Melissa Etheridge on Wikipedia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0

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