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Melanie Ann Safka-Schekeryk (b. 1947; known professionally as Melanie) is a U.S. singer-songwriter.Read More...
Born on the 3rd February 1947 in Astoria, New York, Melanie made her first recording, "Gimme a Little Kiss", when she was five.
She first found chart success in Europe. Her 1969 song "Bobo's Party" reached number one in France. Later that year she had a hit in the Netherlands with "Beautiful People" before performing at Woodstock. Apparently, she was inspired to write "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)" by the audience lighting candles during her set; the song became a hit in both Europe and the USA. Her biggest hit in the USA was "Brand New Key", also known as "The Roller Skate Song". She has been awarded three gold albums.
Three of Melanie's compositions were hits for The New Seekers: "Look What They've Done to My Song Ma", "Beautiful People", and "The Nickel Song".
With one exception her albums have been produced by her husband, Peter Schekeryk. Her three children - Leilah, Jeordie and Beau-Jarred -are also musicians. Beau-Jarred is a guitarist and accompanies his mother on The 2003 Australian hip-hop track "The Nosebleed Section" by The Hilltop Hoods sampled Melanie's "People in the Front Row".
In 2004 Melanie released Paled by Dimmer Light, which is co-produced by Peter and Beau-Jarred Schekeryk.
In 2010 the last album co- produced by her now late husband Peter Schekeryj and their son Beau Jarred Schekeryk was released: Ever Since You Never Heard Of Me
Melanie, who became the voice of an era in one magical instant onstage at Woodstock, has been putting the pieces in order.
Pieces of a career, scattered by the winds of experience and assembled again by the force of love into the most personal and brilliant moments of her musical journey.
Melanie is poised to enlighten new generations about what it means to sing with both passion and eloquence, to write at once with intelligence and emotion, and to inspire through song… and nobody does this better than Melanie.
Others learned this that night at Woodstock, where as a New York kid barely known outside of the coffeehouse circuit in Greenwich Village, she sang her song "Beautiful People" and inspired the first panorama of candles and cigarette lighters ever raised at a concert event. That, in turn, moved the young singer to write "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain"), which sold more than one million copies in 1970 and
prompted Billboard, Cashbox, Melody Maker, Record World, and Bravo to anoint her
as female vocalist of the year. Her single "Brand New Key," an infectious romp about
freedom and roller skates, topped the charts in 1971.
And so her story began.
With guitar in hand and a talent that combined amazing vocal equipment, disarming
humor, and a vibrant engagement with life, she was booked as the first solo pop/rock
artist ever to appear from the Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan
Opera House, and later opened the New Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the
Sydney Opera House, and in the General Assembly of the United Nations, where she
was invited to perform on many occasions as delegates greeted her performances
with standing ovations.
The top television hosts of all time -- Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, and Dick Cavett --
battled to book her. (After her stunning performance on his show, Sullivan goggled
that he had not seen such a "dedicated and responsive audience since ElvisPresley.")
Accolades rolled in, from critics ("Melanie's cult has long been famous, but it's a cult
that's responding to something genuine and powerful -- which is maybe another way
of saying that this writer counts himself as part of the cult too," wrote John Rockwell
in The New York Times) as well as peers ("Melanie," insisted jazz piano virtuoso
Roger Kellaway, "is extraordinary to the point that she could be sitting in front of us in
this room and sing something like 'Momma Momma' right to us, and it would just go
right through your entire being.")
In the years that followed Melanie continued to record, continued to tour.
UNICEF made her its spokesperson; Jimi Hendrix's father introduced her to the
multitude assembled for the twentieth anniversary of Woodstock. Her records
continued to sell -- more than eighty million to date. She's had her songs covered by
singers as diverse as Cher, Dolly Parton, and Macy Gray. She's raised a family, won
an Emmy, opened a restaurant, written a musical about Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity
She has, in short, lived a rare life. But all of it was just a prelude to what's about to
"For the first time, I'm not afraid to voice exactly what I feel. I used to feel that I didn't
want to say too much, but now I can say anything. I feel like a person who's never
been heard. Maybe people think they've heard me, but they never really have. I'm a
new artist who is having so much fun with my voice -- a person shouldn't be allowed
to have so much fun. I'm the woman I wanted to be when I was sixteen and going for
Edith Piaf. It's me -- I'm back."
(Written by Robert L. Doerschuk)
Top SongsTotal plays on Last.fm over the last 6 months
- LyricsI rode my bicycle past your window last night
I roller skated to your door at daylight
It almost seems like you're avoiding me
I'm okay alone but you got something I need
Well, I got a brand new pair of roller skates
- Ruby Tuesday - 165,558 plays
- LyricsBeautiful people
You live in the same world as I do
But somehow I never noticed
You before today
I'm ashamed to say
- LyricsLay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile
At the ones who stand and frown
Lay down, lay down, lay it all down
Let your white birds smile
- Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma - 35,216 plays
- Animal Crackers - 28,849 plays
- Leftover Wine - 26,110 plays
- Good Book - 21,860 plays
- Nickel Song - 20,357 plays
- Close To It All - 19,249 plays