Melissa Lou Etheridge (born May 29, 1961) is an American rock singer-songwriter, guitarist, and activist. Her self-titled debut album was released in 1988 and become an underground hit. The album peaked at #22 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, Bring Me Some Water, garnered Etheridge her first Grammy nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. In 1993, Etheridge won her first Grammy award for her single, Ain't It Heavy, from her 3rd album Never Enough. Later that year, she released what would become her breakthrough album, Yes I Am. The album featured the mainstream rock hits I'm the Only One (#8) and Come to My Window (#25), and scored Etheridge her second Grammy award. Yes I Am spent 138 weeks on the Billboard 200, peaked at #15, has a RIAA certification of 6x Platinum, and remains her most successful album to date.In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, and underwent surgery and chemotherapy. At the 2005 Grammy Awards, she made a return to the stage and, although bald from chemotherapy, performed a tribute to Janis Joplin with the song "Piece of My Heart". Etheridge's performance was widely lauded, with India.Arie writing "I Am Not My Hair" about Etheridge. Later that year, Etheridge released her first compilation album, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled. The album was a huge success, peaking at #14 on the Billboard 200, and going Gold immediately. Her latest release is 4th Street Feeling.Etheridge is known for her mixture of "confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals." She has also been an iconic gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993.Academy AwardsThe Academy Awards are presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS)Grammy AwardsThe Grammy Awards are awarded annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Etheridge has won two awards from fifteen nominations.Other accoladesAt the 20th Annual Juno Awards in 1990, Etheridge won International Entertainer of the Year.In 1996, she was awarded ASCAP's Songwriter of the Year Award.In 2001, she won the Gibson Guitar Award for Best Rock Guitarist: Female.In 2006, at the 17th GLAAD Media Awards, Etheridge received GLAAD's Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which honors openly lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equal rights. In addition, she was awarded as Outstanding Music Artist for Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled.On May 13, 2006, at Berklee College of Music's 2006 commencement, held at Northeastern University's Matthews Arena, in Boston, Massachusetts, Berklee's president, Roger H. Brown, presented Etheridge with an Honorary Doctor of Music Degree ". Etheridge delivered the commencement address in front of more than 800 graduating students and 4,000 guests.On February 18, 2009, Etheridge was named the "Celebrity Marshall" for Boston's 2009 Pride Parade by the Boston Pride Committee. The interesting part about this award is she actually didn't attend. The committee bestowed this honor without checking to see if she was available.On September 27, 2011, Etheridge received the honor of having her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Located at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard, it is the 2,450th star awarded.