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Melissa Etheridge

Husky voiced singer-guitarist Melissa Etheridge, who grew up in Leavenworth, Kansas, likes to say that her voice always had a raspy quality. "I remember my choir teacher used to put me in the back row of the choir because I had such a strange voice," she told us in a 2014 interview. Her experience in the choir notwithstanding, she originally gravitated toward country music, and when she was a teenager, she cut her musical teeth playing with local country groups. After a short stint at Berklee College of Music, she moved to Los Angeles and hit the coffeehouse circuit. Her 1993 album, Yes I Am, became a huge hit, and she’s never looked back. Now, the pop/rock star has turned her attention to the Stax catalog. Her latest effort, Memphis Rock and Soul, features covers of classic tunes from the days when Stax acts ruled the charts. (Jeff Niesel)

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