LOS ANGELES — Oct. 11, 2013 – Chart-topping, Academy Award® and Multi-GRAMMY® winning artist Melissa Etheridge discusses a broad range of subjects in a riveting interview with Dan Rather on THE BIG INTERVIEW: MELISSA ETHERIDGE, which can be seen on AXS TV, Monday, October 14, 8-9 p.m. ET (5-6 p.m. PT). The interview took place at the singer-songwriter’s Southern California home.
Etheridge covers her entire life in the all-encompassing, intimate interview– from the Midwestern roots that shaped her, to the epiphany she had as a breast cancer survivor, to how she became enthralled with music, and finally her emergence as a gay rights leader.
Etheridge, who has been cancer free for nine years, tells Rather the positive aspects of her Oct., 2004 diagnosis and how it changed her life.
Said Etheridge: “I always tell people I’m grateful for my cancer diagnosis because it was the greatest gift because it completely changed my life. I was able to stop and let my whole life and world just crash over me like a wave. And I stood there and went, ‘Wow.’ And for the first time I stopped everything. I had to. I did the chemotherapy that was, it’s called dose dense. Because I didn’t have to work, I was able to stay home, they put this crazy chemo stuff in me. So I laid in bed for weeks. And all I had– all I could do was think. But I thought– I found a beautiful stillness.
“There’s a point, I’m sure it’s what yogis go to the mountain to do to get away from life. There’s a point when your tape of life runs off the reel and there’s this stillness of your own — I got to know myself. And I got to understand spirit and body and health. And I came outta that a whole new person and excited about life, about my art. Dedicated to: I am only gonna do what I love from now on.”
A clip representing this quote can be seen here: http://bit.ly/19iTqYC
Etheridge, who spontaneously came out publicly as a lesbian at Bill Clinton’s 1993 Presidential inauguration, also explains what it was like growing up gay in Leavenworth, Kansas in the 1970s and 80s.
“When I finally realized when I’m about 15 that all my friends are, ‘Oh, Joe, Bobby, Mike,’ you know, and I’m ‘Jodie,’ ” Etheridge tells Rather. “You know, I’m like — ‘Wait a minute, what am I doing?’ – that it’s a scary thing. It was scary for my generation, but you realize, the first time I kissed a girl I was 17 and that’s when it was like, ‘Oh,’ it was a huge difference.
“Well, it’s funny, you don’t try to hide it, it’s hidden because it doesn’t exist. And so you know what you’re doing is wrong and everyone’s gonna be freaked out by you.”
See her comments in this video clip: http://bit.ly/1fjGmbz
Toward the end of the interview, Etheridge is joined by her fiancée, Emmy® Award-winning writer/producer, Linda Wallem and the conversation turns to the strides made in gay rights during their lifetimes and their reactions to the Supreme Court’s rulings regarding gay marriage.
Etheridge commented: “There’s a little bit more sense of I’m not so afraid to hold her hand. I’m not so afraid to go to the school and, they have two mommies, you know? It’s not so strange anymore. It’s starting to be a part of the American fabric.”
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Acclaimed journalist Dan Rather gets to the heart of the matter as he has for more than 60 years in this intimate program where he explores the past, present and future lives of entertainment luminaries. Rather’s natural curiosity and easy going manner is on display, unearthing compelling, often news making, interviews.
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