Death is an inevitable aspect of life that we, as humans, must come to terms with. The passing of a beloved entertainer can evoke a sense of sorrow, even for those who did not personally know them.
Today, we mourn the loss of Melanie, a folk singer who captured the hearts of many, especially with her performance at Woodstock in 1969. Melanie, whose full name was Melanie Safka, has left us at the age of 76. The news of her passing was conveyed by her PR agency, Glass Onyon PR. She had been actively involved in the music scene until just a month ago. The cause of her death has not been disclosed at this time.
One of Melanie’s most well-known songs is “Brand New Key,” but her musical journey extends far beyond that. She was working on her latest project, “Second Hand Smoke,” slated for release by Cleopatra Label. This album would have marked her 32nd musical endeavor.
Melanie is survived by her three children, Leilah, Jeordie, and Beau Jarred, who expressed their grief on Facebook. In their post, they acknowledged the outpouring of affection for their mother, describing her as one of the most talented, strong, and passionate women of her era. Despite the world feeling dimmer without her, they believe she is still present, smiling down on everyone from the stars.
To honor Melanie’s memory, her family has invited fans to light a candle on January 24th at 10 p.m. Central Time. The gesture aims to illuminate the darkness and unite everyone in remembrance of the extraordinary woman who played the roles of wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.
Melanie’s musical journey began with hits like “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” and reached new heights with the chart-topping “Brand New Key.” Despite the success, she wasn’t as widely recognized as some of her contemporaries. In a 2021 interview, she shared mixed feelings about the song, expressing that it was the “bane of her existence” for a few years.
Reflecting on her Woodstock experience in 1969, she described having her first out-of-body experience, feeling terrified yet transcendent. Her performance took place amidst a rainstorm, and the audience was encouraged to light candles to ward off the rain. Melanie recalled witnessing the hillside aglow with flickering lights, a memory that drew her back to her body.
While her fame may not have reached the heights of some peers, Melanie’s music gained renewed interest when Miley Cyrus covered her song “Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma,” with Melanie herself by her side.