Music Superstar and Outspoken Activist Melissa Etheridge Sits Down with Dan Rather For AXS TV’s “The Big Interview,” Monday, October 14, 8 P.M., ET

Compelling Hour-long Interview Covers Etheridge’s Upbringing, Career, Her Battle with Breast Cancer and Her Role As a Gay Rights Trailblazer

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:

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:

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.”

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.

Bringing music back to television, AXS TV, launched in July of 2012 by visionary entrepreneur Mark Cuban, has created a one-of-a-kind, live television environment for entertainment and other cutting-edge trends. AXS TV delivers relevant, unpredictable and irreverent programming offering an unparalleled experience to a nationwide audience by presenting unfiltered, uncensored and uncut access to entertainers and their performances. “AXS TV Concerts,” indicative of the network’s dedication to music programming, crosses genres and international waters to deliver everything from stadium tours to club acts to some of the most anticipated festivals on the calendar, including the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Stagecoach Festival in California and the British Summer Time at Hyde Park Festival. A roster of diverse and unique talent is also a hallmark of the network with shows hosted by Dan Rather and Tom Green, performances by artists such as Carrie Underwood, Maroon 5 and Billy Joel as well as the top comics working the circuit on the signature “Gotham Comedy Live.” Sports programming is led by “AXS TV Fights” which produces over 40 live mixed martial arts broadcasts a year in addition to the longest running weekly MMA news show on television, “Inside MMA.” The network is available in the United States via AT&T U-verse, Charter, Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Suddenlink, Verizon FiOS, and other TV providers. It is also distributed in Canada and the Caribbean. The network is spearheaded by a partnership including Mark Cuban, AEG, Ryan Seacrest Media, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and CBS. For more information, visit the website,; go to the Facebook page here and follow the company on Twitter,@axstv; on Instagram; Tumblr and YouTube.

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