"My personal goal is to get people to understand that health is our responsibility." - Melissa Etheridge

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Eco-Friendly Street Team Interview with Noreen Fraser from 2010

Note: This interview was originally posted on the MEIN website in 2010.

Noreen Fraser Interview, September 28, 2010
by the Eco-Friendly Street Team

Noreen Fraser is a breast cancer survivor living with Stage IV breast cancer. She co-created and co-produced the 2008 and 2010 Stand Up To Cancer television specials that have raised over $180 million dollars in donations and pledges for cancer research. Noreen created the Noreen Fraser Foundation to fund translational cancer research in the area of women’s cancers. In 2009, Melissa Etheridge became a Board Member of the Noreen Fraser Foundation. The Eco-Friendly Street Team spoke with Noreen about meeting Melissa Etheridge, the Noreen Fraser Foundation and Stand Up to Cancer, and the importance of early cancer detection.

Eco-Friendly Street Team: When did you first meet Melissa Etheridge?

Noreen: I met her in 2008 maybe two months before Stand Up To Cancer when we did a press conference where we announced that we were doing the show. We had a red carpet and we had several celebrities that came to say they were supporting our initiative to raise money for cancer. At that point she had already agreed to be on the show, so that’s how I met her.

EFST: What was your impression of her?

Noreen: I was overwhelmed, I gotta tell ya. I used to produce Entertainment Tonight so I’ve worked in my career with many, many, many celebrities and you could say I’m a little bit jaded because there aren’t very many people that really impress me. When she came up to me and talked to me, I couldn’t believe her eyes. It was like looking into Peacefulness, and Happiness, and Love. I was overwhelmed by her eyes. I introduced myself and told her that I have Stage IV cancer, and the other [Stand Up To Cancer] Producer, Laura Ziskin, also has Stage IV cancer, and I told her that’s why I had came up with this idea to do Stand Up To Cancer.

Sometimes, not always, but sometimes when I talk to people and bring up that I have Stage IV cancer, depending on the day, sometimes I will cry. I get teary saying it and I don’t know why I feel like I’m going to cry. I don’t know if it’s every time I say it, like right now I feel like I’m going to cry, so when I say it, tears usually well up. When I told Melissa, she grabbed my hand, she was so beautiful, and she said, “It’s going to be OK. It’s really going to be OK.” She said, “You know what, we’ll get together and we’ll talk.”

Then all this time went by, and then the show came and of course she was performing for the show so I was in the green room talking with her, then she performed, then- I want to tell you, I had never seen her perform, and I- what year would you say she really became mainstream popular? Was that when she won her first Grammy?

EFST: I think it was Yes I Am, and that was in the 90’s when she had her huge hits like Come To My Window and others. That’s when she really hit mainstream.

Noreen: My sister who’s younger than me knows all of her music. Back then- that’s when I was immersed in babies, I was having babies and I stopped working. I wasn’t talking to anyone about what was going on in any part of the entertainment industry. So when Melissa performed at Stand Up To Cancer, I almost had a heart attack. I couldn’t believe it.

Shortly thereafter, I went to see her in concert. I’m telling you, even if somebody would have taken me there and I had nothing to do with cancer, if somebody had just told me to go to her concert, I would have fallen in love with her music there. I’ve never seen a better performer in my life. And so versatile in everything that she can do. I’m totally in awe of her writing, her voice, everything that she’s done. I mean I never thought of her as a ‘Rock Star’. She’s a Rock Star. Who knew? I really didn’t know that much about her- as I was saying I was immersed in raising my children, but after- she’s been so wonderful to me and so supportive, and so kind and caring, she’s been a real blessing in my life.

EFST: How did she come to be on the Board of Directors of the Noreen Fraser Foundation?

Noreen: I originally was going to do a television telethon that was just for breast cancer. I had been planning a fundraiser for women’s cancer and I had sold it to Lifetime and Oxygen and I had a date in March that the show was going to air, and all of my money was going to go to UCLA and my Doctors Glaspy and Slamon. Dr. Slamon is the scientist who was responsible for discovering Herceptin. These two guys are geniuses in the field of breast cancer.

I saw Laura Ziskin in treatment when I was in treatment, and I said I knew her from Entertainment Tonight. I said I needed her to help me get celebrities, and I asked John (Dr. Glaspy), “Can you call and set up a meeting?” I went to see her and she said, “Yes I’ll help you get any celebrities you want, just write them out on a piece of paper and I’ll start calling and we’ll get together in a few weeks.” Then as fate would have it she ran into Sherry Lansing and Sherry Lansing said, “You know Katie Couric and I have been talking about doing this for NBC because her husband died of colon cancer.” So she said, “Why don’t you bring Noreen and we’ll meet her.” I came in and Sherry was very convincing talking me into doing not just women’s cancer but to collaborate with them and do all cancers. And I did. We made over 100 million dollars.

One of the breast cancer projects ended up getting funded $15 million dollars, so it was a win-win. Then I decided I really want to do my own thing. I want to go back to what I was doing. Healing and humor was very important to me. I really wanted to just do women’s cancer research, so I called Melissa and I asked her if she’d have breakfast with me.

Michelle McBride, my Executive Director and I went out there and I told Melissa what my goals were and that I was starting this new foundation. We had a great breakfast and at the very end of it, I remember Michelle was looking at me . . . you know how when you’re looking at someone like ‘Go ahead, say it!’ and you’re like ‘Uhhhh . . .’ and then you go on to another topic? No one wants to get rejected. You put yourself out there, you put yourself up to chance for rejection, so I just blurted it out, “Will you join my board,” and Melissa said, “I would love to.”

I was like oh my God. I said, “Thank you Melissa, we’ll get together.” Michelle and I went back to get our car in the parking lot. We were not doing anything. We were stunned. Back in our car in the parking lot, we looked at each other, and we rolled all the windows up and we SCREAMED: “AAAAAAHHHH!!!!”

EFST: (Laughs.)

Noreen: We were SO EXCITED! ‘MELISSA ETHERIDGE IS ON OUR BOARD!!’

EFST: (Still laughing.) That’s awesome!

Noreen: It was the biggest thing. I mean I’ve had a lot of big Board Members but they are people that I’ve known my whole life in the entertainment industry. Getting someone who is Melissa Etheridge is like having a rock star so it’s very, very exciting.

EFST: If you were to choose one word to describe Melissa Etheridge, what would that one word be, and why did you choose that word?

Noreen: It would be two words that really are one word. I would say Other Wordly. From another world. There is a vibe there, and an energy there, a spirituality there, that I’ve never felt in my life in meeting anyone.

EFST: Noreen, you are living with Stage IV breast cancer, and in 2003 it metastasized to the bones. How are you doing today? How are you living with that on a day to day basis?

Noreen: I guess I’m getting used to it, if you ever get used to it, actually I take that back I’m not used to it. I try to . . . it was really hard for me to start this Foundation. It took about two years. Every time I went to try to sell a show, I would cry. And I would pitch it, and it was humiliating for me. It was so unprofessional, and I would go home and go, “I am NOT doing this. I am not doing this. It’s too hard. I cannot do it. I can’t face my situation anymore.” So then I would put it away for six months. Then I’d get it out again, then I’d cry again. My biggest inspiration was my daughter who was ten when I was first diagnosed and I didn’t want her to have to live with cancer or any of her darling little girlfriends that I love so much. Every time there was a resurrection it would be because of my daughter. It took a very, very long time.

The way I react to it today- I get scans every three months for my organs and every three months for my bones. I try not to think about it until the day I go in for my scans. I’m busy, busy, busy, then I run over to UCLA and get in a room and take off my clothes and I put the gown on, that’s when I go Holy Shit. I can’t believe this. I get in the machine and I usually cry. And I’ll feel sorry for myself. And I’ll go home and ever since the kids were little, on scan days- or pizza night or something- I don’t have a car. I let myself go lie down on the couch and either take a nap or watch television or play with the kids and I try to chill out and give myself the day off to feel sorry for myself.

EFST: So many people go through these hard times and they have to find strength in different places, and they do find the strength to go on and just live day by day. You, on the other hand, went out and you created Stand Up To Cancer, you created the Noreen Fraser Foundation. The first event in 2008 raised over $100 million and the second one this year- there’s over $80 million in pledges. I can’t even tell you the tremendous strength in what you’ve done and how you’re helping the world. When you say you find your strength, I mean, Wow. You are changing the world. Being a Melissa fan, I hear her up on stage and she says, ‘I want to be with people who want to change the world.’ It’s obvious to me how the two of you have crossed paths and are now working together with the Foundation to help fund a cure for breast cancer.

Noreen: It would be interesting to ask Melissa why she was willing to be on my Board. I’ve never asked her why. It must have been- the feeling that I had when I looked into her eyes- that feeling, that brings people together, sometimes you don’t know why, you don’t know when it’s going to happen, but I felt an instant connection to her and I have to believe that she must have found that with me because I don’t know why else she would have agreed to do this.

She’s been great, and we’re really looking forward to raising money to put into environmental studies and obviously putting all our money into research. I am looking for projects right now and when I see Melissa next, we’ve been trying all summer so I’ll have to set up a time to get together with her and narrow it down. She wants to do environmental as well so we’re going to have to pick some kind of forward thinking person who’s doing cancer research regarding the environment. That’s my next phase.

EFST: What message would you convey to women facing breast cancer today, maybe somebody who’s recently diagnosed or someone who is starting to go through the treatment today?

Noreen: I think I have more of a message for people who do not have cancer and have not yet been diagnosed, but my message to people who have been diagnosed is- I have three words for them- Just do it. Just do it and get on with your life. You gotta buck up, and do it. People say ‘you’re such an inspiration’ and I look at them and I go ‘well what other choice do we have?’ I don’t see myself as anyone special. You think anyone’s going to listen to me if I’m a crybaby every day? They are going to get sick of me. You can only help your friends so much and be supportive, but you cannot live a life of complaining and feeling sorry for yourself because no one wants to be around that person. You have moments and your friends will support you in those moments, and I believe I have a great network of some fabulous women and they keep me going.

I have been in support groups and I have heard stories about women who have had a lump and have not done anything about it. It makes me crazy. Who would find a lump and not do anything about it?

EFST: I have to say I know of someone who has a lump and hasn’t gone in, and I want to go kidnap her and take her in and say, “The smartest thing you can do is early detection!”

Noreen: There really are a ton of organizations that if you don’t have the money will pay for a mammogram. Don’t tell me you don’t have any money to get your mammogram. Get real. Get on the fricken internet. Get your boss, your sister or friend to help you figure it out if you’re too overwhelmed. You can get a mammogram in this country if you want it. You can figure it out.

This is a side thing and this is something I haven’t really had the chance to talk to Melissa about yet, but the GLBT community, this group of women have a very high incident of breast cancer and ovarian cancer that’s caught in a later stage. They are usually not Stage I people because they are saying that that group of people does not want to go to the doctor. I thought that was so fascinating. I thought that might be something Melissa and I should work on. Getting the word out that you’ve got to get checked! You cannot wait! Early detection- you must find the Stage I. You must! It is the only way.

I was a Stage I the first time. My tumor was so small that there was a 96% chance that if I did radiation and took Tamoxifen and did not do chemo there was a 96% chance it would not come back. Now, sorry to say, I’m in the 4% where it came back and moved into my bones. So you know what? I got screwed. What can I say. But 96% is pretty damn good statistics. Those are good odds! So that’s the key- if I would have been in the 96% instead of in the 4%- I mean 96% of the people can be cured! It’s incredible to me.

EFST: My sister is a Radiation Therapist and in discussing things with her she said some people have Stage IV cancer and live with it for years and other people can pass away from Stage I. You never know. The odds are there but some people sometimes defy the odds.

Noreen: Right. And I guess no one will ever know why.

EFST: No. Like you say, early detection is key and nipping it in the bud before it gets a chance to grow or spread or anything else. It’s so important to have that happen.

Noreen: Thanks for taking the time to talk with me!

EFST: Thank you so much. The honor is all mine. Like I mentioned Melissa wants to be with people who want to change the world and I can see why the two of you have come together.

For more information, please visit the Noreen Fraser Foundation at www.noreenfraserfoundation.org and Stand Up To Cancer at www.standup2cancer.org

Monday, October 20, 2014

Melissa Etheridge Transcript from Tavis Smiley Interview

Source. Also click link for the video: Tavis Smiley

TRANSCRIPT

Tavis Smiley: Good evening from Los Angeles. I’m Tavis Smiley.

Tonight, a conversation with two-time Grammy winner, Melissa Etheridge, about her latest CD, “This is M.E.,” her 12th studio album and one that she describes her most personal and uplifting over her 25-plus year career. In addition to those wins, she’s received 15 Grammy nominations and an Oscar win for a song she wrote for the documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

The singer-songwriter is known, of course, for her high energy performances, that is, as well as for being an advocate for cancer research. She’ll close our show tonight with a performance of a song off the new album called “A Little Bit of Me.”

We’re glad you’ve joined us. A conversation with Melissa Etheridge coming up right now.

Tavis: Melissa Etheridge has two Grammy Awards and a slew of nominations to her credit. She also has amassed five platinum albums and two gold records over her 25-year career. Perhaps most importantly, she is thankfully a 10-year breast cancer survivor.

Her latest CD is titled “This is M.E.,” M.E., which she describes as intensely personal and uplifting. Indeed, it is. She’ll close our show tonight, we are grateful to say, with a performance of a song called “A Little Bit of Me” off the new CD. M.E., it is always good to have you come see me. How are you, darlin’?

Melissa Etheridge: I am so happy. I’m so good.

Tavis: I’m delighted to have you here. Let me go – Jonathan, put the cover of this CD up for me, if you wouldn’t mind, please? Thank you, sir. So I love this. This is like an amalgam of – what makes up this photo of you?

Etheridge: We sent out to the website. We sent out to the social media and said, “Send your pictures in. If you’re a Melissa Etheridge fan, send your pictures in” and thousands of them did. We got about 900 of them to digitally – we had an artist put them together to create that photo of me.

Tavis: Wow. So I think I get it. You wouldn’t be you without your fans.

Etheridge: Without my fans. This is me.

Tavis: I like that. I like that. That’s cool.

Etheridge: And even the website has an app that you can then go find yourself.

Tavis: You can find yourself in the photo. Oh, man.

Etheridge: Yeah, and then tag it.

Tavis: I know the fans are loving that.

Etheridge: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun.

Tavis: That is a very, very cool concept. Let me, before I get too far in this, say how grateful we are, fans of yours, that you’re still with us. This is October.

Etheridge: As happy as I am too [laugh]. 10…

Tavis: I figured you’re happy about that.

Etheridge: Yes, I’m very happy [laugh]. It was 10 years ago this week, so, yeah, it was 10 years ago.

Tavis: 10 years ago this week, and this happens to be that month, October, the pink ribbons and everything.

Etheridge: Everything pink comes out. It’s all breast cancer awareness. Yeah, every October, I’m reminded. I’ve very aware that it’s about health now. I concentrate mostly on the health side.

Tavis: How do you feel? You look great.

Etheridge: I feel happier and healthier than I ever have because, after I went through cancer, I understood that it is about my health and those things are priority. My nutrition, stress, you know, the happiness, the joy is very important.

Tavis: Somebody once said to me and I think they’re right that life is best – how might I put this? That life is best lived when you’ve – I’m screwing this up. But life is sort of best lived when you had a near-death experience. Does that make sense?

Etheridge: Yes, so I am grateful. I would tell other people, “Oh, I hope it doesn’t take that to get you there” because it is a choice. It’s a thought that we can have about life and about health and putting ourselves first.

Oftentimes as partners or as parents, we constantly are putting other people first, stressing ourselves and weakening our own health. When taking care of ourselves, if each of us did that and we learned how to do that, we could become very strong, very healthy.

Tavis: Before I go into this project more expressly, let me just ask a strange and maybe off-putting question, but I’ll ask anyway. After 25 years of doing this, you’re not turned off by this music business?

I ask that against the backdrop of – you know what I’m asking that for. You got your own record company now. You’re doing your own thing. You’ve left the other guys. You ain’t sick of this after 25 years, the business of it?

Etheridge: No, no. Because I feel like last year I made a choice to become a small business owner. I made a choice to jump off the corporate big boats that are sinking really fast because the model doesn’t work.

People are still listening to music. People love music. People come to see me live more than ever. What has changed is the way they’re receiving it. They don’t have to go buy that certain record, so the business of the records not so good anymore.

But what does work is the artist. This is, I think, a renaissance for the artist. You can brand yourself. You can create and be what you want and that’s what was exciting to me is that I can now take hold of this.

Tavis: So I take your point. So the beauty is that you can take hold of it and do it the way you want to do it and you got to answer only to me – you, in this case.

Etheridge: Yeah, and I can only blame me and I’m responsible, yep.

Tavis: It’s all about M.E. [laugh].

Etheridge: Yep, this is M.E.

Tavis: Anyway you want to take it, this is M.E., yeah. So I get the joy of that and having that sort of being liberated in that way and sort of being in the freedom of that. I get that. What’s the challenge, though, to being in charge of your own brand?

Etheridge: Well, the first challenge is financially. You don’t have the money up front, so I had to create the album differently. And it’s much like an independent film. You give away more of the back end. You say, okay, you can have a certain percentage of this song because you are involved in the creation of it.

So you get some people who, because of technology, they have the little studios. They can make the big huge sounds and the music is even more vibrant, I believe, because of this. But sort of financially is probably the hardest part. You know, promotionally and everything, you don’t have that money up front.

Tavis: Until you turn that corner and then it’s all yours.

Etheridge: That’s what we’re working on.

Tavis: We’re all trying to turn that corner, aren’t we? [Laugh]

Etheridge: Yes, aren’t we?

Tavis: Sounds like a great song title, “Turn the Corner.”

Etheridge: Turn the corner.

Tavis: Yeah. Speaking of song titles, tell me about this project musically. What are your fans going to hear on this one?

Etheridge: Oh, when they put it on, they’re going to hear that intensity that they love from me. The lyrics are personal and intense and rock and roll. There’s a lot of fun. It’s been called lusty. There’s a little bit of that going on in there.

Tavis: I like lusty.

Etheridge: Yes, lusty. It’s rock and roll. I even have some hip-hop. I worked with a hip-hop artist, RockStar. And there’s some R&B, there’s even a little country. It’s me at the yummy center surrounded by a whole lot of stuff [laugh].

Tavis: I like that, the yummy center. I think you’ve always been this way as long as I’ve known you and been talking to you on this program. I’ve always respected your sense of transparency, but I note on this project that you’re even ever more transparent.

Etheridge: It has always worked. In the 25 years, I have always made that choice to not do maybe the comfortable thing, but stand on my truth and be transparent, be up front about it. And it has always led me exactly where I’m supposed to go, so I have no desire to stop now. I feel that our society is just opening up to amazing things right now.

Tavis: There are some truths about your life and, for that matter, my life, all of our lives. There are some truths that are harder for some people to handle than other truths about our own existence. How have you become comfortable to the extent that you are being so transparent and being so truthful, never mind what others might think about your truth?

Etheridge: There came a point in my life where I realized that what I felt about myself, the love or frustration or whatever I was feeling about myself, was more important and did more to my life than what other people thought of me. So if I could begin to guide my life with – I call it the truth – those choices, it always never lets me down. It is always the better thing.

Maybe in the moment, it might be uncomfortable and painful, yet you have to walk through it whether it’s the good stuff or the bad stuff or the tabloid stuff or whatever it is. If you don’t speak your own truth, then you’ll be living someone else’s and that’s just strange, I think.

Tavis: How did you get to a place of not taking that stuff personally?

Etheridge: Well, I had to stop looking at it for a while. You really do. When you are a public figure, googling yourself can be really, really…

Tavis: That’s why I never do [laugh].

Etheridge: Painful.

Tavis: I don’t even want to know, yeah [laugh].

Etheridge: So I had to stop for a while. You know, you can’t do that. You have your trusted people around and you know that you can’t get everyone to understand your mind or where you come from. We’re all different just like I don’t understand theirs, they’re not understanding mine. And this is a beautiful country that can hold all of those thoughts.

Tavis: Let me go back to your sound. You kind of referenced this earlier and I think for all of us who are fans of your music and particularly and especially of your sound – this is my word, not yours. But there’s such a bigness to your approach.

I mean, the way you play, the way you move, the way you sound. Has it always been that way? Was there ever a time in your career where you were not so big, the sound? I mean, you were just a little more understated? You’ve always been this…

Etheridge: I’ve always been kind of big, yet I didn’t understand that I was for a long time.

Tavis: You didn’t get that?

Etheridge: No.

Tavis: There’s such an intensity to your stuff. I mean, I love it, but it’s really…

Etheridge: I don’t know. I know when I was like in grade school and would sign in the choirs, they’d put me in the back row ’cause [laugh] one day they said, “Your voice sounds so strange. Sit back there.”

Tavis: It’s funny you should say that. I literally just last night, for those who are fans of the Andy Griffith Show, they’ll remember this episode, the episode where Barney is in the choir [laugh]. I saw it last night. Barney cannot sing…

Etheridge: Put him in the back.

Tavis: And they’re trying to figure out how to get rid of Barney in the choir. It’s a funny episode ’cause Barney just couldn’t bring it. But in your case, you could actually sing. It’s just the sound was so…

Etheridge: Very different, yeah.

Tavis: How does that – I guess I could ask this question, I suspect, of any artist. I remember talking to Prince about this once time about how on his love songs, on his ballads, he uses his upper register on his love songs.

It just works best for him, he thinks, best for the sound when he goes to his upper register for his love songs, for his ballads. How does your sound influence the music that you write or the music that you – does that make sense?

Etheridge: Yes, totally. Oh, yes. It’s a very musical question. But I chose – when I started singing other peoples’ music, I always wanted to use just my chest voice. There’s the head voice which is the really high voice. I don’t use that except for just like at the end of a song on a show just to kind of go crazy or something.

But mostly it’s that power, that I’ll take it to that level. And I also have a very low voice, so it’s that range that I always work in when I write and perform and there’s a couple of little different – I kind of get out of my comfort zone on a couple of these songs.

Tavis: Tell me, tell me.

Etheridge: One is “Do It Again.” I wrote it with Jerry Wonda of The Fugees and Angela Hunte whose Grammy Award-winning song, “Empire State of Mind,” with Alicia. And she and I were kind of singing around and I don’t usually collaborate with someone on melody and she went up to this “Oh, baby, it hurts” and I was like, “Really? That melody? I don’t know if I can sing it.”

And she goes, “No, try” and I hit it and it’s a part of my singing that I don’t use very often. But because it was someone else sort of guiding me like go ahead and do it, I did it. So I’m a little out of my zone in a couple of these, yet it makes for really good music, I think.

Tavis: It works. That’s a good thing, it’s a good thing. Have you noticed – you were describing your voice a moment ago. Can you tell, can you hear, has your voice changed at all over these 25 years?

Etheridge: My voice has gotten healthier. I’ve noticed the change. If I listen to my older records, actually there’s different times in my life, different albums, where I can hear the different health that I had when I was still eating sugar and how that would make – ’cause the healthier my body is, the healthier my voice is. It’s like a muscle. It’s like an athlete.

Tavis: That makes sense.

Etheridge: Yeah, it absolutely does. So when my nutrition and general state of health and sleep, things like that – my voice is stronger. So I think this is the strongest that my voice has ever been is right here.

Tavis: What do you still get out of – I want to go back to where we began this conversation with all these fans on the cover of this project. What do you get – I mean, I know it’s a pain to go through all the process of being on the road. When you’re actually up on stage, what do you get out of that?

Etheridge: That is what it’s all about. That is it. That’s the dream that I had when I was a child, the first time I stood in front of somebody and sang and got that energetic response from 10 people, to being able to play for thousands now.

To be able to walk on stage and already the audience is going crazy, I haven’t even done anything, you know, that’s an enormous welcome. That’s an enormous anticipation of we are going to have such a great time.

And then presenting my songs and looking out in the audience and seeing people relating to it, that moment where I felt so alone and I’m writing ’cause I was in pain or hoping or dreaming or whatever the song came from, to know that that personal moment transforms, that it translates to another human being, that it’s universal. I love that. I love that.

Tavis: You have a – how might I put this – a beautifully, rabid, hardcore fan base [laugh].

Etheridge: Do not spell my name wrong. They will come get you. Yes, they will.

Tavis: Yeah, I’m sure. Yeah, I know that, yeah, I know that [laugh]. That’s why I just stay with the M and the E. I can handle that part. But a rabid and very dedicated fan base. To what do you attribute that after all these years?

Etheridge: Because I think I have been dedicated to my music in such a way that they kind of get that, that they have related to the personalness. They have that song that means so much to them, that song that means about that relationship or that’s their song or this was the song that people come up to me for all different reasons.

Now it’s cancer, it’s LGBT, it’s anyone who’s questioning about life. If the music can move them, they jump right in and I’m available to my fans. I’m on the social media. I like knowing exactly what they feel about the music.

Tavis: Since you mentioned social media, Melissa, how important is that in advancing this phase of your life where you’re producing, managing your record label, all of that?

Etheridge: It’s everything. It’s what I’m relying on because it’s that instant connection to my fans to tell them this is what I’m doing. I’m on your show this time. You can buy this. I’m going to be in your town. I can go straight to them. It’s the reason that I don’t need the middleman in anymore, that middle entity, that I can do it myself. Social media has really changed that.

Tavis: Do you – I mean, you’re 25 years in, so you got a lot of time left in front of you. But do you imagine that you’re going to be doing this until they throw dirt on you?

Etheridge: Oh, heck, yeah. There’s no such thing as retiring from this. This is a part of who I am. I love creating and I think we are beings that were put here to create, to learn and create. And I’m going to do it until they put dirt on me, like you said.

Tavis: How much will you be touring for this one?

Etheridge: Well, I start in November and we’ll see. I’ll go until they tell me it’s time to come back.

Tavis: Yeah. When you put a new project out – I’m always fascinated by these kinds of questions, for me at least. I’m such a music lover. So when you have a new project out, how do you balance or weave – you tell me – this new stuff in with the stuff that you know they want to hear? I mean, if you ever do a concert and you don’t sing, as I like to say it jokingly, the window song…

Etheridge: The window song. People would be wading back. They would say, “Wait a minute. Where’s the window song?”

Tavis: Exactly. If you don’t sing the window song, you’re in trouble, yeah.

Etheridge: I love singing my hits, I do. And every show, you’re going to hear at least – and fortunately I have a good handful of hits, you know.

Tavis: Yeah, you got a few of them [laugh].

Etheridge: So this tour, this album, is so strong and my fans have been reacting so strongly about it that this tour will be a good amount of the new ones and the hits. That’s pretty much what this show is going to be ’cause I’ve got a new band, the band that…

Tavis: I was just about to ask you about that. You changed bands.

Etheridge: Yeah. I love to do that. It always challenges me to work with new musicians, new feel. I’m actually going to work with Jerry Wonda and the Platinum Sound, so it’s a little bit more of an R&B sound. I’m going to move a little bit more in that direction ’cause it’s always been there. But, definitely, you will hear the hits and you will hear the rocking songs on this.

Tavis: Two things you just said I want to go back and get right quick.

Etheridge: Sure.

Tavis: One – and there are any number of artists who do this – when an artist – Melissa Etheridge or whomever – changes a band, changes bands at a certain point in their career, whenever it might be and for whatever reason, why do that? Why a change in band at a certain point in your career?

Etheridge: Well, because I change it up on the record because I don’t want to stay in one place. And I’ll tour with these guys. I still have the same drummer that I’ve had for four years because he and I definitely are connected. To branch out where I want to go, I felt like I needed just different musicians, different…

Tavis: So a different band helps you get a different sound? Is that what you’re after? A different sound?

Etheridge: Not so much a sound, but a feel.

Tavis: Feel. Okay, I got it.

Etheridge: Different feel, very much so. It’s a collaborative effort up there and personalities and the way someone plays a song, you know, whether they’re on top of the beat or whether they hang back, makes a big difference. So that’s going to bring that out in me and I’m really looking forward to playing with these guys.

Tavis: The thing about R&B, as you said, it’s always sort of been there. And for those of us who listen to your stuff, we can hear it and feel it and you always make us rock and move and all that. What has been your love affair with R&B all these years? How’d that start? As a kid?

Etheridge: I grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas and we had one radio station. It was WHB, that AM station. It played Tammy Wynette, it played Led Zeppelin, but then it would play Marvin Gaye and it would play The Supremes. Motown was coming through big time and I didn’t have the different boxes that they put everything in.

Everything was right there. I had a huge Jackson 5 – I was nuts about Michael Jackson. All of that music, the Temptations, everything right there. Then when the 70s came, then we did have a rock and roll station. We also had a crazy soul station that I would listen to the original Commodores, Ohio Players, Parliament Funkadelic.

All of that felt perfect to me and then, as life goes on, they want to put me into a box and I’m like, okay, I’ll go over here, but someday I’m going to get out. Someday I’m going to move a little bit more.

Tavis: Free at last [laugh].

Etheridge: Yes, yes, yes.

Tavis: I just love hearing the term Parliament Funkadelic come out of Melissa’s mouth [laugh].

Etheridge: Bootsy [laugh].

Tavis: Bootsy, yeah. I love it. That was priceless right there. The M to the E is back. The new project, “This is M.E.,” it’s got some good stuff on it and I think you will love it. Melissa, good to have you on the program again.

Etheridge: Oh, it’s always a pleasure, Tavis.

Tavis: I’m always honored to have you come see us. And we are delighted tonight that Melissa is going to close the show with a performance, a song called “A Little Bit of Me,” off the new CD, “This is M.E.” So I’m going to say goodbye right now, get out of the way, let Melissa do her thing. I love you. Good to have you back on again.

Etheridge: Thank you.

Tavis: Love you too. Thanks for watching. Enjoy the performance and, as always, keep the faith.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Melissa Etherigde Breakthrough at Tony Robbin's Unleash The Power Within

Find out how Grammy Award winning artist, Melissa Etheridge, discovered how her life's journey has come full circle at Unleash the Power Within.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Melissa Etherige on Larry King Now, on ORA TV

Click here to watch the video

Music icon Melissa Etheridge on the "panic" in her industry, Obama's job performance, legalizing marijuana and her new self-released album.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Melissa Etheridge Interview with G Philly

Source: G Philly

INTERVIEW: Melissa Etheridge On Becoming a Gay Icon, Defeating Breast Cancer, and Why You Should Bring an Extra T-Shirt to Her Concert
BY BRYAN BUTTLER

“There’s an exchange of energy and spirit between the audience and myself,” says Melissa Etheridge, the iconic singer/songwriter who is bringing her “This Is M.E.” tour to Philadelphia in November. “For some people, it’s the only spiritual thing they do: go to a concert to move, to feel.”

Clearly, Etheridge would know: The two-time Grammy winner has 17 additional nominations under her belt, plus an Academy Award for her song “I Need To Wake Up” from An Inconvenient Truth. Yet, despite all her accolades, when I spoke with Ms. Etheridge this week she was one of the most practical, wise, down-to-Earth individuals I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing.

"I know that a lot of people throw the word 'legend' out when they talk about you," I said.

"I'm not that old! I'm not that old!," the 53-year-old joked. "Look, when I take a look around, I've been doing this for over 25 years. I think I can be called that. I'll take it."

Part of that legacy has to deal with her own sexuality: Ms. Etheridge has been an out lesbian for almost the entire stretch of her career, even when busting through the glass closet wasn't necessarily looked upon as a wise PR move.

"I had no desire to be closeted to the public. It didn't feel right," she said. "So, being gay was the thing I talked about."

Never one to aspire to be a "gay icon," it wasn't until Ms. Etheridge interacted with her fans that she realized the impact of being an "out" person of power.

"The first time someone said, 'Hey, you saved my life,' it really changed perspectives for me," she said. "It means so, so much to hear that. You can't ever take that away from me. Each time one of us came out, it gave us strength. It wasn't so scary."

She took this fearless approach to her public condemning of Prop 8, writing a now-famous article where she said she wouldn't pay taxes to California as a gay citizen.

"The passing of Prop 8 was a big wake-up call for America," she said. "We all thought, 'This is ridiculous.' It turned it up a notch. What we're seeing now [with the marriage quality momentum] is the result of the shockwave of 2008."

Etheridge also thinks that, within the next four years, Republican President or not, gay marriage will become a federal right, adding in a half-joking tone, "We have other fish to fry!"

She's also another icon, something that, clearly, she never aspired to be: a survivor of breast cancer.

"It completely changed me," she said. "It made me stop, look at my health and my happiness and ask how those two things really are. If I don't have those two things, I'm not good for anything. My health is my number-one priority. There's no excuse; that word is not even in my lexicon."

And, indeed, the shift has required her to re-think her nutrition, what she's eating, and if she's treating her body well. To use her words, "food is medicine. We've really got to get that in our heads."

So far as Philly is concerned, she's pumped to share her newest music with her audience at the Merriam Theater. We talked about the style of her newest album, and how the songs all approach their musicality in unique ways.

"There's so much variety on the album, because I worked with such a variety of people," she shared. "I collaborated more than ever. It's just amazing and completely different than how I usually work. It's some of the best songs we've ever done."

She's so confident in the work that she made this suggestion to her fans who are going to attend the November 4 concert: "It's such a hot, smoking, steamy collaboration, people need to bring a new shirt to wear home because they are going to need it. I guarantee it."

"So, what keeps you going? When you look out over an audience and you see all of those people, what goes through your head?" I asked.

"They come to that one place to hear music," she said. "When I play 'Come to My Window,' and every single person is dancing and singing and waving, there's nothing like that, and I am honored and grateful to partake in that with thousands of people."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Melissa Etheridge Interview and Performance on Home & Family

Home & Family rock legend Melissa Etheridge joins Mark & Cristina to talk about her new album “This is M.E.” and where she is today in her life. She discusses the song “Monster” and how it came about from her visit to the U.N. to support LGBT rights around the world. Melissa talks about her 4 kids and how they are excited for their favorite holiday: Halloween.

Ever heard of the “Switch Witch”? Melissa explains a really great way to keep your kids from gorging on Halloween candy.


Video posted on Youtube by Triple 7 PR

Melissa Etheridge performs A Little Bit of Me" on Home & Family


Video posted on Youtube by Triple 7 PR

Melissa Etheridge Audio Interview With Mario Lopez

Click here to visit the page and listen to the interview

Melissa Etheridge Performs at Deloitte Digital's Dreamforce

Source: Deloitte Digital

Last night’s Bash at the Bently Reserve: It’s all about M.E.

Last night’s Bash at the Bently brought the house down. Attendees were surprised with a special guest performance by Melissa Etheridge—an awesome way to kick off the first night at Dreamforce, if we do say ourselves.

Etheridge played for a packed house last night at Deloitte Digital’s invite-only party. Guests rocked out to her new album, This is M.E., and of course some fan-favorites.

This wasn’t the first time Deloitte and Etheridge have teamed up. In March, she was the headliner for Deloitte’s party at SXSW, beginning a relationship that led to the recent announcement naming Deloitte Digital as her Digital Agency of Record.

So, what's with all the love?

It started with shared values.

Deloitte has a history of promoting inclusion in the workplace, a value that’s near and dear to Etheridge. It sparked her interest in learning more about what we do, and the opportunities began popping up from there.

Since SXSW, in preparation for her new album release, a team from DD's Seattle Studio has been using social analytics to better understand her fan base, grow her audience, and manage her online presence and strengthen relationships with her followers. Twitter was, well, all atwitter with fans enjoying the show. By our counts 412,689 heard about her performance at Deloitte Digital's party at Dreamforce on social networks alone.

We’d say that’s M.E. gettin’ digi with it. And it’s only the beginning.

Melissa Etheridge performs Come To My Window at the DreamForce 14 Deloitte party


Video posted on youtube by Mark Somerville

Jessica Antonette, Back-Up Singer for Upcoming Tour

Tweeted/Instagramed by J.Antonette:



My face when I realized I'm going on #tour with #melissaEtheridge as her backup singer!!! So excited ! #happy #hardwork #grind #hustle #tourbus #la #nyc #country #rock #blues #dreams #music #blessed #thankful #gratitude !!

Visit Jesicca's website here

Friday, October 10, 2014

Melissa Signs Deloitte Digital as Digital Agency of Record

Source: Outsmart Magazine

Etheridge will Kickoff Relationship with Private Performance at “Dreamforce”

LOS ANGELES, CA — Academy Award® and GRAMMY® winning artist Melissa Etheridge has announced she is teaming up with Deloitte Digital to be her Digital Agency of Record. Deloitte Digital will leverage their knowledge in analytics to deeply understand Melissa’s fan base, grow her audience with strong fan-driven campaigns and manage her online presence to help her build a stronger relationship with her followers.

“I just released my new album This Is M.E. so it’s the perfect time to work with Deloitte Digital to help me reach my fans in new and powerful ways,” said Etheridge. She continued, “I look forward to making beautiful music together.”
Etheridge is kicking off the relationship by holding a private concert at Deloitte Digital’s event at “Dreamforce,” (Salesforce.com’s annual conference) where she will play her newly released songs plus some of her greatest hits.

From strategy to delivery, Deloitte Digital combines cutting-edge creative with trusted business and technology experience to define and deliver digital solutions. Deloitte Digital creates digital experiences for the connected enterprise. From B2B, B2C, or B2E, Deloitte Digital delivers strategy, mobile, social, web, cloud and digital content management solutions that can help strengthen clients’ brands and evolve their businesses.

Melissa Etheridge Interview with Premier Guitar

Source: Premier Guitar

Melissa Etheridge: Guitar Storyteller
by Tessa Jeffers

In the days of the Ed Sullivan Show, it was actually the cartoon garage band The Archies that caused 6-year-old Melissa Etheridge to fall in love with the guitar. She didn’t have her own instrument then, so she pretended to play on a badminton racket. “I really wanted to be Reggie,” she remembers.

When her father brought home a Stella beginner guitar, Etheridge was 8 years old and very determined. “He brought it home for my sister,” Etheridge says. “I was like, ‘But I want to play!’ My sister was 12 and the teacher said I was too young. Finally the teacher said, ‘Let her come but she’ll quit after a week because it’ll be too hard. Her fingers will bleed.’ Of course, yes, my fingers bled ... and I did not quit [laughs].” (Her sister, however, did quit.)

This is the story behind her first guitar experience, and there have been many since. For her just-released album This Is M.E., Etheridge wanted to do something special to kick off the tour for her first record on her own label, ME Records. For the first leg of dates, she wanted to play solo, with the help of nine or 10 of her best friends: her guitars. “I love playing solo—it’s where I came from,” Etheridge says. “I played solo in bars for 10 years.”

For her solo show, Etheridge stands ("no stools allowed" is her motto) onstage within a semi-circle of her favorite instruments, a group that includes the usual suspects along with a few wild cards. From the road, Etheridge shares the unique background of each guitar she’s using on this tour, instruments that help her explore the many styles in her repertoire. Without further ado, meet the guitars and gear of Melissa Etheridge, as described in her own words.

Melissa Etheridge Signature 1598-MEII 12-String Ovation
This is my No. 1 because it’s like my favorite pair of shoes. If I’ve got to walk a mile, that’s the pair of shoes I’m going to pick. I write on the Ovation—it’s just like a piece of me and it has been for so long. I’ve played Ovations since I was 14. Oh my god, that’s almost 40 years. I don’t even know how many I have [laughs]. I’m awfully hard on them and that’s one of the reasons I like them—their durability. What I count on from my 12-string is that it’s electric-acoustic, easy to plug in, I don’t get feedback, I can EQ it, I can make a big humungous sound with it, and I can hit it on the front and back and beat it—it’s almost a percussive instrument. I always hear the drums in my head so it comes out that way on the 12-string.

Gibson Custom ’82 Les Paul
Man it’s just so sweet, it’s one of my favorites. It has little handles on the tuners that were just from that one model year. I had a custom 1974 when I was in high school and it was so heavy that I traded it in for a Strat. This one isn’t as heavy. You can’t beat the sustain and you can’t beat the smoothness of it ... I just love it. I play it on “I’m the Only One” and I used it a lot on the new album—most of the electric guitar on the album is my Les Paul.

James Trussart Baritone
James Trussart makes such nice guitars. The neck on that thing, I think it’s rosewood, it just feels ... I love to touch that guitar, it has an energy you can feel. I bought it because on my last album, 4th Street Feeling, I wrote “The Shadow of a Black Crow” on a borrowed Jerry Jones baritone. So when I was looking for a baritone to play that song, my bass player Brett Simons recommended a Trussart. I’ve always admired his guitars as art, and when I plugged it in I thought, “This is an incredible sound and an incredible instrument.”

Jerry Jones 12-String
I’m kinda crazy about all 12-string guitars. I’ve gone a little nutty about it and that’s okay, that’s what I do. I’ve found that with the Jerry Jones, I can get a tone that’s not harmful. Sometimes on a 12-string electric, you can’t use it like a rhythm guitar, because it just eats up all the midrange and there’s no room for anything else. The Jerry Jones has a tone to it that is pleasant, and then I can bang! I can throw on a little distortion and I can actually play lead on the 12-string, which people go nuts for because it’s a sound they aren’t used to. It’s like a mandolin, but not. “Chrome-Plated Heart” is usually what I play on the Jerry Jones.

Custom Shop Fender Thinline Telecaster
I can’t remember the year of this guitar, I’m so not like a boy—they can recite the serial number to you, I can’t do that. This guitar is very rich, and when I want a clear tone, I use this Tele. It’s a replica of an older original custom Tele that I retired from the road. It belonged to a jazz player and has the ashtray on the bridge, and the dudes on their break used to go in the alley and smoke and put their cigarettes out on their guitars. My original has stains where he used to stub out his cigarettes.

12-string Dobro
I’m going to have to retire this thing after this solo tour because it’s just barely hangin’ on! I bought it in the early ’90s at the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena. I used to always check out guitars at flea markets. I opened this up and it was a 12-string. I had never, ever seen a 12-string resonator! It was a little crunched up, but I think I got it for $300 or something. I did some research and found out that National only made it for one year and there was no market for it. I took it out this year because I’ve just started playing more slide. It’s been a natural progression.

I’m using it now on the end of “The Shadow of a Black Crow.” It’s in open B and tuned really low—it’s like “BWAAAAH” [laughs]. It’s cool. I detune it, it rattles around, I play the slide, I put a little bit of distortion on it, and people just go crazy. On the new album, all the slide you hear is this resonator.

National Reso-Phonic
This is the latest guitar—I bought it just a couple of weeks ago. I bought it because I have to retire the 12-string Dobro and I needed something solid for the road. I bought a Dobro from Norm’s [the legendary L.A. music store, Norman’s Rare Guitars] and brought it out on the road and was like, ‘What was I thinking?’ It wasn’t electric. So I traded it back in for this 6-string resonator.

Gibson SG Doubleneck
This was from when they started making the reissues in the ’90s. Of course, I wanted to be a purist and get one from the ’70s, but the ’90s version fixed everything that was wrong with the ’70s model—and that’s great. I was on tour in Sioux City, Iowa, headlining a big festival. It was me and Sublime. A music conservatory there was hosting a guitar show. I thought I’d just go visit it and I saw this doubleneck … and you know me and 12-strings.

I knew I’d be doing a solo thing and I thought, “That’s just perfect.” It’s heavy as a mother—insanely heavy. I just play it one song at a time. At soundcheck where we run through something a couple or three times I’m like, “Okay, I’ve got to take this off. This is killing me!”

It is such a phenomenal sound—the sound and the quality of that guitar amazes me. In the solo show, I’ve reworked a lot of the ballads. I’ll play “Royal Station” or “Don’t You Need” and other ballads where I’ll sing and play on the 12-string and loop that and then I’ll play lead parts on the 6-string on top of it.

12-string Phantom MandoGuitar and Boss Loop Station
The MandoGuitar is fun to play on the solo tour. On “If I Wanted To” I loop my 12-string Ovation and then pick up the MandoGuitar. It’s cheating—it’s not a real mandolin. I haven’t used it on an album since [2010’s] Fearless Love when I did the song “Only Love.”

Suhr Badger 35
Marc Vangool works with me and my guitars and pedals. He’s my tech when I can have him, but he’s very much in demand. He really guided me in the last few years to be a better guitar player. And Peter Thorn: He is the reason I’m a better guitar player today. He was so instrumental and he was so kind. He was such an amazing and gentle teacher. He introduced me to the Suhr people. My Suhr amp has such a great sound at low volume, which onstage ... that’s golden.

Pedalboard 1
My pedalboards are pretty straightforward. I’ve got the Bonamassa wah, I love that. The tones you can get from it—just as a boost, not even using the wah part—are amazing. I usually use it as a wah, but if I really need one more push, I’ll do that. What I do love is the Tube Screamer. And that Maxon, if you love just a beautiful analog delay, it adds such a nice effect.

I use my other delay [MXR Carbon Copy] when I want a slapback. I’ve got a tremolo reverb pedal, the Strymon, but I’m not a guitarist that’s doing all the crazy stuff. I’m very organic in my sounds. A lot of lead guitarists program everything in, but I just can’t go down that road—I’m just not that girl. I want my pedalboard to be a useful tool in the moment where I go, “Tonight I want this sound,” so there is freedom and choice in the moment. [Board #2 houses a G Lab Power Supply, Strymon Flint, TC Electronic PolyTune Mini, Dunlop JB95 Joe Bonamassa Wah, Ibanez Tube Screamer, MXR Carbon Copy analog delay, and a Vintage Maxon AD-999 analog delay].

Pedalboard 2
I have different distortions because the Malekko and the BB Preamp are so loud I don’t use them on the solo tour—they obliterate everything. I use the Koko Boost almost every time I pick up the guitar. [Board #1 is home to a G Lab power supply, MXR Phase 90, Boss NS-2 Noise Suppressor, Xotic Effects BB Preamp, Suhr Koko Boost, and a Malekko B:Assmaster.]

Blog Post by Smell The Truth

Source: Smell The Truth

Would You Drink Melissa Etheridge’s Marijuana-Infused Wine?
by David Downs

Grammy and Academy Award-winning rocker Melissa Etheridge is helping to develop and market a cannabis-infused wine, she tells Bloomberg News this week.

“I believe this is a huge opportunity,” Etheridge said. “A huge business and a huge market. You’re going to see my name with a lot of these things. I actually have a wine that’s coming out. It’s a cannabis-infused wine, which actually tastes amazing.”

“I really look forward to bringing this to the world in a not scary way.” Etheridge said. “Not a drug outlaw way. It’s not that anymore. This is an American business that really needs a lot of help.”

Etheridge is a breast cancer survivor who — like an estimated 1.4 million other Californians — found cannabis helpful for the condition.

“This wasn’t about getting high.” Etheridge wrote in a letter. “And I didn’t get high. It just let me be normal, and it still does. I have long-term damage to my gastrointestinal system, leaving me with a complete intolerance to acid of any kind, marijuana settles my stomach instantly.”

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Melissa Etheridge Interview With People Now


Video posted on Youtube by People

Melissa Etheridge Interview with The Insider

Click here to watch the video

Melissa Etheridge on Family, Health, and New Wife

"The Insider With Yahoo" co-anchor Thea Andrews sat down with Melissa Etheridge, who opened up about her family, health, and new wife and revealed a personal story about the first time she heard Macklemore's "Same Love and how it affected her. Melissa said, "My daughter … I am driving with her, and she says, 'You might like this song, it's a new artist named Macklemore.' She played "Same Love" for me. I had to pull over, I was crying. I had never heard it before." Melissa married "Nurse Jackie" co-creator Linda Wallem last May after California courts passed the Marriage Equality Act. "To really find love, I was done. I was like, 'Nope, I'm horrible at this; I'm obviously no good at this,' and she was my best friend." Check out this video to see more from Melissa, and tune in to "The Insider With Yahoo" for the latest in entertainment news.

Interview with Karen K. from the Pink Bracelet Fund

The Pink Bracelet Fund Website: www.pbfund.org



The Pink Bracelet Fund has been going strong for ten years now, raising funds for Breast Cancer Research in honor of Melissa Etheridge. The Eco-Friendly Street Team checked in with friend and one of the Pink Bracelet Fund founders Karen K. for an update.

Eco-Friendly Street Team: Where were you when you first heard of Melissa’s diagnosis and what was your reaction?

Karen: Like many people, I logged onto Melissa’s website in early October 2004 and immediately saw the announcement that Melissa had been diagnosed with breast cancer and that all of her future appearances had been cancelled. I was initially surprised and thought I hope she can beat this and I hope she is doing well. I next wondered what I could do to help. Could I make a donation somewhere and many others were thinking the same thing.

EFST: How did you come to help launch the Pink Bracelet Fund?

Karen: As fans, we wondered what we could do to help support Melissa during this difficult time in her life. The idea was to produce pink bracelets inscribed with a famous Melissa quote "Be Strong" to show our support for her as she battled this disease. The Pink Bracelet Fund was born in just a few days’ time as several fans worked around the clock to make this project a reality. I am a CPA and thought that I could help on the business end. I immediately volunteered and a few days later I was at the bank opening up an account for the Fund.

I initially thought it would be a quick fundraiser to sell some bracelets and donate the money; however we soon realized that it would be much bigger than that. Within days, we had a website and had released a press statement. I was fielding phone calls from reporters and supporters every day; it was crazy those first few months. In just one month, we had sold 23,000 bracelets, which is more than any of us ever expected, it just seemed like an instant outpouring of support.

The real test was a short time later when we realized our order was on backlog and it would take several months to get our supply of bracelets here so we could start shipping. We did everything we could to get them here as quickly as possible. We finally got everything in and started shipping and have been selling the bracelet for 10 years now and in the last 10 years, we have sold nearly 95,000. While the bracelets are not as popular as they once were, our mission has never changed. We are still an all-volunteer organization that strives to (1) raise much needed funds for breast cancer research so that a cure can be found in our lifetime and (2) educate women about and raise awareness of breast cancer health issues

EFST: How long had you been a Melissa Etheridge fan prior to that?

Karen: I became a fan when I started hearing Like The Way I Do on the radio. I immediately loved that voice, and I bought the debut CD and followed her career with interest for many years. But I did not take the plunge to see her in concert until 2002 and I was hooked quickly. I was even more hooked when I saw her in Chicago during the Lucky Super Club Tour in 2004 where I was at the stage all evening.


Karen K. and MLE. Photo provided by Karen.

EFST: What’s the most important advice you can give to someone who has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer?

Karen: Don’t ever give up hope! Breast cancer research is making advances every day, talk to your doctor to see what is right for you. In the meantime, remember the factors that will reduce your breast cancer risk: eat a healthy low-fat diet, get regular exercise and evaluate any changes in your breast. Finally, if you are over 40, get an annual mammogram. Early detection is still the best defense. Talk to your doctor and discuss the best course of action for you and your health.

EFST: Tell us some of the highlights of your experiences at the Pinktober events over the years.

Karen: I attended the Hard Rock Pinktober events in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The highlight of attending these events is of course seeing Melissa and seeing her cancer free, happy and doing well. However, the Pinktober event in 2009 allowed us the opportunity to attend symposiums in New York and Washington DC that were quite informative.

The symposium panel in Washington DC was made up of several distinguished researchers who are on the front line of breast cancer research. They spoke of how their hopes are to make breast cancer a thing of the past, a disease that no longer exists much like tuberculosis. They spoke of identifying a vaccine similar to the cervical cancer vaccine that will make breast cancer a thing of the past. The point being is that important work is being done in the research field, so fundraising dollars are more important than ever.

EFST: How much money has the PBF donated to date?

Karen: We have donated $215,600 directly to breast cancer research and spent another $5,000 in raising awareness by producing informative brochures and bookmarks that we distribute at special events.

EFST: Which organizations has the PBF donated to?

Karen: In 2004 when Melissa was first diagnosed, she released a statement saying that anyone wishing to make donations should direct them to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation. So we initially worked with that organization as our first recipient. In later years, we directed some contributions to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and The Noreen Fraser Foundation because of the specific research they were doing.

EFST: The PBF fund has been around for ten years. What keeps you going?

Karen: Coffee? Over the years, I have heard many stories from survivors and from those currently battling breast cancer. It is unreal how many people that breast cancer has affected. Everyone seems to know someone who has been touched by it.

Additionally, I have heard from individuals who are currently battling breast cancer and are simply seeking help to pay their utility bills due to their treatment costs. While we are a very small player in fundraising, it is exciting to know that the money we donate to research could end up funding that bit of research that ends breast cancer forever. That keeps me going.

EFST: What do you think of Melissa’s latest album, This Is M.E.?

Karen: It’s a great new album; I really like I Won’t Be Alone Tonight, Like A Preacher and Take My Number. Monster is a fun song and I heard a live acoustic version of Who Are You Waiting For that I loved.

EFST: Are you in the This Is M.E. photo mosaic?

Karen: Yes, so much fun to be a part of Melissa’s album cover!

EFST: Have you seen MLE in concert recently?

Karen: I did not see her on this solo tour earlier this year due to other commitments, however, I have seen her many times and I’m looking forward to the Texas and Oklahoma shows on the This Is M.E. tour this fall.


Karen K. and MLE. Photo provided by Karen.

EFST: Thank you so much Karen, for all of your efforts with the Pink Bracelet Fund!

For more information or to purchase pink bracelets, visit www.pbfund.org

Monday, October 6, 2014

Inside the Making of Melissa Etheridge's "Take My Number" Phonebook Challenge

Go behind the scenes with Melissa Etheridge and the co-founders of HyperJamz to learn all about the collaboration that lead to the company's debut "music video game."


Video posted on YouTube by HyperJamz.

Melissa Etheridge Interview on Bloomberg, Plans to Create Cannabis Infused Wine

Click here to watch the video

Melissa Etheridge Mentioned on The Big Bang Theory

Melissa Etheridge was mentioned on an episode of The Bing Bang Theory.


Video posted on Youtube by Tracy Albright

Article on the Release of the Game for Melissa's song Take My Number, by University Chronicle

Source: University Chronicle

Rock Icon Melissa Etheridge Releases Original Mobile Game Inspired by Latest Single, Take My Number

Game Developer, HyperJamz, Launches with Mission to Give Fans a New Way to Experience and Interact with Music

Today, Academy Award® and GRAMMY® winning recording artist, Melissa Etheridge, announces the release of an original mobile game for iOS and Android, inspired by her latest single “Take My Number.” Melissa Etheridge’s “Take My Number” Phonebook Challenge is a collaboration between the artist and the Boston / New York City-based mobile game startup, HyperJamz, Inc., part of the HyperPower Game Group™. Inspired by the first single from Etheridge’s new album, “This is M.E.” which was released last week, the game is an example of a new category of mobile “Music Video Games” from HyperJamz that use gameplay to immerse fans in the artistry, stories and emotions of music from top artists. With elements that nod to classic games like Tetris and Bubble Blast, the “Take My Number” Phonebook Challenge takes ultimate inspiration from Etheridge’s new song by “gamifying” the names and numbers in players’ own iPhone and Android phonebooks. Users are asked to guide and match falling guitar picks, while guessing and learning the phone numbers of people they know–all while jamming out to “Take My Number,” which streams for free throughout the game.'

“I’m excited to share and release the ‘Take My Number’ Phonebook Challenge because it’s a fun and interactive way to connect with my amazing fans and provide them with a different and new way to experience my music,” explains Melissa Etheridge. “A big thank you to the team at HyperJamz for creating such a personalized (and addictive) game!”

Designed to appeal to music fans and game lovers alike, the fast-paced mobile game is one of the first “match three” games to incorporate physics through its falling guitar picks and the first to help players learn the numbers of their own phone contacts through its unique phonebook “gamification.” In fact, this dual-gameplay was purposefully designed to help mimic the pace and clutter of life keeping people from remembering and connecting to the people they care about—something Etheridge sings about in “Take My Number.” To complete the overall experience for diehard fans as well as a new generation of listeners, the game also features an exclusive introduction video from Etheridge, custom sound effects recorded by the artist just for the game and graphics featuring art from her most popular albums. This is the first mobile game released by HyperJamz, which has partnered with the artist management and marketing company Primary Wave Music, to develop mobile music video games for A-list artists and rising stars from their client roster and from across the music industry.

Melissa Etheridge’s “Take My Number” Phonebook Challenge is available as a free download from the iTunes App Store and Google Play beginning today. An ad-free, premium version will be available for $2.99, and players may choose to enhance their gameplay through in-app-purchases like Rockstar Picks, which range in price starting at $0.99.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Melissa Etheridge Interviewed on HuffPost Live

Click here to watch the video

Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge joins HuffPost Live to talk about her new album, "This Is M.E." She'll also dish on married life, her health after facing cancer and all things rock 'n' roll.

Melissa Etheridge and Samuel Tsui Perform A Little Hard Hearted


Video posted on Youtube by TheSamTsui

Melissa Etheridge on The View

Click on this link to watch Melissa perform Monster

Click here for interview with Rosie

Melissa Etheridge was Born To Run, Video From MyMusicRx

Melissa talks about her go-to album by one of the all time rock greats. Filmed at The Bing Lounge in Portland, OR.


Video posted on Youtube by MyMusicRx

Melissa Etheridge on FOX411

Click here to watch the video

Melissa Etheridge on new album, 10 years cancer free

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Premier Guitar- Staff Picks: Finding Your Voice

Source: Premier Guitar

Forging one’s unique musical path isn’t a cakewalk. This month we asked an artist with an unmistakable voice—Melissa Etheridge—to join us in giving pointers about finding and staying true to your own vision.

Melissa Etheridge — Guest Picker

What advice would you give to young players trying to find their voice?
Make sure you’re doing what you love. If you’re just doing what you think others are gonna like, it’ll get old fast. So play what you love, and then be open. Listen to other music and to what people tell you: Look at them and see the reaction. Are they enjoying what you’re playing? It’s a group effort, this music is to be shared. If you can combine the love and someone else feeling that, that’s where you start to have success.

My current obsession is: I started playing 12-string when I was 14 because this kid at church camp had one and it just sounded so beautiful. I was so happy with it and I still am.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

This Is M.E. October Photo Challenge

Tweeted 10/1 by Melissa. "Photo challenge anyone? Take the #ThisIsME photo challenge all through October by sharing your themed photo daily!"



You can post your pictures on Twitter or Facebook with hashtag #ThisIsME