Melissa Etheridge is exactly the kind of artist who may still need some introduction for those unfamiliar with her work yet who, paradoxically, can never be justifiably introduced in just 300-or-so words.
Always more of an album artist than a writer of singles, the Kansas-born Etheridge has released 10 studio records since her self-titled 1988 debut. Most popular in the US and Europe (notably Germany and the Netherlands), all of her albums released in those territories have made the Top 40 at least. More commonly they have broken the Top 20, or better, and turned many times Platinum in the process.
She has survived breast cancer, won an Oscar (for her song 'I Need To Wake Up' from the Al Gore documentary 'An Inconvenient Truth'), picked up a couple of Grammy awards and become a staunch supporter of lesbian and gay rights (she came out in 1993). In 2008, and as a California resident, Etheridge threatened not to pay her state taxes in objection to the Golden State passing 'Proposition 8', which banned same-sex marriage.
Her fourth album, 'Yes, I Am', was released the year she revealed she was gay and the title is widely believed to relate to her proud, somewhat defiant, coming out after long-term rumours about her private life. 'Yes, I Am' went on to become her most successful record to date, selling more than six million copies.
The UK and Ireland dates are the first of the European leg of her Fearless Love Tour. The 'Fearless Love' album, her tenth, may have been released more than a year ago, but Etheridge is continuing to tour the record (one of her most successful) around the world.
Melissa Etheridge kicks off her tour in Ireland at Dublin's Olympia Theatre on Tuesday 14th February moving on to gigs at the Manchester Academy 2 and then the Shepherds Bush Empire, before the final date of the short run in Brighton on Sunday 19th February.
We will have tickets for all dates when they go on sale at 9AM on Friday 14th October, priced £35 for London, £30 for Manchester and Brighton and from around 40 for Dublin.