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Melissa Etheridge

Sunday, July 6 @ Miller Lite Oasis, 9:30 p.m.

Jun. 16, 2014
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melissa ethridge, summerfest
For years, classic rock artists were a Summerfest staple, as dependable as the iconic Sky Glider. Then the winds of change blew in with a slew of indie artists and jam bands. That suggested Summerfest was catching up with the times, which is fine, but the announcement of Melissa Etheridge’s headlining performance at the Miller Lite Oasis takes us back to the so-called “old days.”

The 53-year-old guitar-playing singer-songwriter, breast cancer survivor and political activist released her best music between 1988 and 1995, but she never stopped being relevant. In 2012, Etheridge released her 12th studio album, 4th Street Feeling, which debuted at No. 18 on the Billboard 200. Perhaps more importantly, she became one of music’s leading gay rights activists (coming out in 1993) and has rallied around other worthy causes, usually writing a song to go with them: “Four Days” for victims of Hurricane Katrina, “I Run For Life” to increase breast cancer awareness and “I Need to Wake Up” about global warming. Her latest song, “Uprising of Love,” presents a call for unity while supporting the safety and dignity of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Russians. It ranks among Etheridge’s best work, with a universal message that cuts to the core of humanity.


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