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An Evening With Melanie

Melanie became the voice of an era after her memorable Woodstock performance, where she sang her song "Beautiful People," inspiring what was one of the first panorama of candles and cigarette lighters ever raised at a concert event. That, in turn, moved the young singer/songwriter, who was barely known outside of the Greenwich Village coffeehouse circuit at the time, to write "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)," which sold more than 1 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. She subsequently performed at Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, and later 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. After her performance on his "The Ed Sullivan Show," the host gushed that he had not seen such a "dedicated and responsive audience since Elvis Presley." In the years that followed Melanie continued to record and tour. UNICEF made her its spokesperson and she was named honorary ambassador of peace to South Korea; Jimi Hendrix's father introduced her to the multitude assembled for the 20th anniversary of Woodstock; and her records continued to sell (more than 80 million to date). She's had her songs covered by singers such as Cher, Dolly Parton, and Macy Gray. She's raised a family, won an Emmy, opened a restaurant, and written a musical about Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. She has, in short, lived a rare life. But all of it was just a prelude to what's about to come. Today, Melanie continues to be active in United for Human Rights, and still serves as an honorary ambassador of peace to South Korea. The GRAMMY Museum welcomes Melanie to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation on her prolific career and special performance, hosted by Scott Goldman, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.

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Photo: Rebecca Sapp/

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Photo: Rebecca Sapp/