Melissa Etheridge is one of rock music’s great female icons. An AFM Local 47 member since 1984, the iconic singer-songwriter will headline and close out the 2019 Pride Festival at Marston Point in Balboa Park, San Diego on Sunday, July 14, 2019.
“To my LGBTQ fans in San Diego and around the world, I have so much to thank you for,” Etheridge said. “You are the proof that we can become the change we wish to see. This community makes me a better person every day and this year at San Diego Pride, we will raise our spirits to the heavens and rock ‘til we drop!”
This year’s Pride celebration is a historic one. Executive director of San Diego Pride, Fernando Z. López, said Etheridge is the perfect person to mark this milestone in San Diego. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that launched the modern-day LGBTQ civil rights movement, our Pride theme is ‘A Legacy of Liberation,’ and I can think of no one better to embody that spirit than Melissa Etheridge,” López, said. “Her decades of meaningful music and inspired advocacy continue to connect the LGBTQ community and carve a better path forward both here and around the world.”
The artist launched her career in 1988 with an eponymous debut album, which was met with high critical acclaim. In 1993 her album “Yes I Am” catapulted her onto the mainstream charts and features the massive hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” a searing song of longing that brought her a second Grammy. The six-times-platinum album spent more than two and a half years on the album chart. She is also an Oscar winner for Best Original Song in 2007 with “I Need To Wake Up” for the documentary film “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Etheridge has become an inspiration not only to the LGBT community but to cancer survivors as well. The rocker is a survivor of breast cancer but even that didn’t stop her from taking the stage at the 2005 Grammy Awards to pay tribute to another icon, Janis Joplin.
On June 20, 2016, she released her song “Pulse” in reaction to the mass shooting that took place in the Orlando gay nightclub of the same name earlier that month. As she told Rolling Stone, “We want to try to make sense. We want to try to heal. We want to bring some meaning, some purpose. We also want to put it down forever in history. That’s how I’m coping.” All proceeds from the sale of “Pulse” went to benefit Equality Florida, the states largest LGBTQ civil rights organization.
It is this tenacity and spirit which makes her one of the most inspirational voices in the LGBTQ community. She will bring that same energy to San Diego Pride this summer where thousands of people will gather together to celebrate a historic moment in the often tumultuous timeline of persistence within the community. That journey was made easier thanks to the music and advocacy of the incomparable Melissa Etheridge.
For more information on Pride 2019 and to purchase tickets, visit sdpride.org.