Over Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge is easily the queen of bare-your-heart schlock-rock, a performer whose guitar seems surgically attached to her torso as she grinds through gut-wrenching ballads about the trials and tribulations of love. "Like the Way I Do" and countless other singles never bowed to predominant conventions for female performers, remaining unabashed, blues-tinged Hard Rock driven by her gritty, raspy vocals. Besides garnering the support of a bevy of Hard Rock fans -- male and female alike -- Etheridge holds a special place in women's hearts, both as a successfully out lesbian and as a songwriter whose gusto provides ample alternative to waif bands the world over. Over-the-top emotionalism? Perhaps. Shaky melodic construction? At times. Still, Etheridge is, in the truest sense of the phrase, a woman who rocks.