New York, USA – American singer-songwriter Melanie Safka, known as Melanie, has passed away at the age of 76. Her children, Leilah, Jeordie, and Beau Jarred, announced her death on social media, describing her as “one of the most talented, strong and passionate women of the era and every word she wrote, every note she sang reflected that.”
Born and raised in Queens, New York, Melanie rose to fame in the late 1960s after performing in the folk clubs of New York’s Greenwich Village. Her unique, bright but husky voice appealed to a diverse audience, leading to her debut album, Born to Be, which was released by the Buddah label in 1968. Her talent gained her popularity in Europe, with her album reaching the top 10 in France and the Netherlands.
Melanie’s biggest breakthrough came in 1971 with the release of her album Gather Me, featuring the hit single Brand New Key. The song’s playful rhythm and Melanie’s mellifluous nursery-rhyme melodies resonated with audiences worldwide, resulting in the song reaching No. 1 in the US, Canada, and Australia, and the UK Top 5.
Beyond her chart-topping success, Melanie continued to release a steady stream of albums and developed a devoted following. Her influence even extended to other musicians, as notable names like Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker covered her songs.
Throughout her career, Melanie was married to Peter Schekeryk, who also produced all her major releases. Their marriage lasted until his death in 2010.
Melanie’s legacy as a talented and passionate musician will be remembered fondly by her fans and the music industry alike. Her impact on the folk and pop music world will continue to inspire generations to come.