"Melissa Lou Etheridge" (born May 29, 1961 in Leavenworth, Kansas) is an American rock musician.
Etheridge has released nine albums since signing her first major recording contract in 1987. Three of them have gone multi-platinum: ''Melissa Etheridge'' (1988), ''Yes I Am'' (1993) and ''Your Little Secret'' (1995). Two others went platinum, and two more gold.
She has won the Grammy award for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance twice in her career, for the song "Ain't It Heavy" in 1992 and "Come to My Window," in 1994.
She is a Bruce Springsteen fan, and she has covered his song "Thunder Road" during live shows.
In October 2004, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, she made a return to the stage and, although bald from chemotherapy, performed in tribute to Janis Joplin with Piece of my Heart. Etheridge was praised for her performance, which was considered one of the highlights of the show.
Etheridge has admitted to using medicinal marijuana while she was receiving chemotherapy. She said that the drug improved her mood and increased her appetite. Chemotherapy patients often have difficulty eating because of severe nausea.