Hollywood News, Melanie Safka
Hollywood News, Melanie Safka

Melanie Safka, the renowned singer known for hits like “Brand New Key” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” as well as her iconic performance at Woodstock in 1969, has passed away at the age of 76, according to an announcement by her children Lelilah, Jeordie, and Beau Jarred. The sad news was confirmed by Melanie’s record label, Cleopatra.

In a heartfelt Facebook post, her children shared,

“This is the hardest post for us to write, and there are so many things we want to say, first, and there’s no easy way except to say it… Mom passed, peacefully, out of this world and into the next on January 23rd, 2024.”

They expressed their gratitude for the affection shown by Melanie Safka’s fans and emphasized her talent, strength, and passion, stating,

“She was one of the most talented, strong, and passionate women of the era and every word she wrote, every note she sang reflected that.”

Describing the world as dimmer without her, they concluded,

“Our world is much dimmer, the colors of a dreary, rainy Tennessee pale with her absence today, but we know that she is still here, smiling down on all of us, on all of you, from the stars.”

While the cause of her death was not immediately disclosed, Cleopatra mentioned an “illness” in their statement. Melanie’s children requested fans to light a candle in her honor at 10 p.m. CT on Wednesday evening.

Melanie Safka’s Incredible Achievements During Her Life

Born on February 3, 1947, in Astoria, New York, Melanie Safka began her singing career while studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1967, she crossed paths with her future manager, producer, and husband, Peter Schekeryk. After signing with Columbia Records, she released singles like “Beautiful People” and “Garden in the City.” However, she shifted to Buddah Records in 1968, where she launched her debut LP.

At the age of 22, Melanie Safka took the stage at Woodstock in 1969, sharing the spotlight with legends like Joan Baez, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead. Recounting the experience to the Associated Press in 2019, she admitted, “The thought of me performing in front of all of those people and that huge stage — I was all by myself. Then it started to rain, and I truly believed that everyone was going to get up and go home. It’s raining, I’m free, I’ll go back to life as it was.”

In 1971, Billboard recognized Melanie Safka as the year’s biggest-selling female artist in the U.S. Following hits like “Lay Down” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday,” she founded her record label, Neighborhood Records, and achieved chart-topping success with “Brand New Key.”

Before her passing, Melanie Safka was actively working on her 32nd album, a tribute titled “Second Hand Smoke,” featuring covers of songs by Morrissey, Nine Inch Nails, Radiohead, and more. Additionally, she collaborated with Cleopatra label to reissue her post-1971 albums, starting with the release of her 1984 live album “One Night Only,” supervised by her three children and set to be released posthumously.

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