Kansas-born singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge is a folk-rock artist with strong pop sensibilities who is best-known for her hits of the mid-1990s, though she released her debut album in 1988. Her charismatic raspy croon and her confessional lyrics first captured the attention of mainstream audiences in 1993 when she released her album Yes I Am, just a few months after coming out publicly as a lesbian. The album featured the Grammy Award-winning song "Ain't It Heavy," and put her on the map as a soldier in the fight for not only LGBT rights, but also for women's rights among the wave of outspoken female singer/songwriters of the 1990s including Alanis Morissette and Jewel.
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