Melissa Etheridge kicks off world tour

Melissa Etheridge kicks off Fearless Love World, July 8, 2012

Melissa Etheridge kicked off her world tour in Auckland, New Zealand, on Friday. The concert was Etheridge’s first New Zealand appearance since 1996 and the first stop on her Fearless Love World Tour.

The 51-year-old lesbian icon, environmentalist and breast cancer survivor opened with her title “Fearless Love” track from the 2010 album and had people dancing in the aisles from the first note.

With eight shows scheduled for July 9 – July 20, Etheridge’s first U.S. appearance will be in Honolulu, Hawaii on July 23. From there, she’ll head to Portland, Ore., Seattle and New Orleans. Additional dates are pending.

Island Records also announced that a September 4 release date for Etheridge’s next album, “4th Street Feeling.” The album was recorded in Los Angeles at HOB Studios, and was produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones) and Steve Booker (Duffy), and co-produced by Melissa Etheridge.

Melissa wrote twelve new songs for the album, which features Blair Sinta on drums, Brett Simons on bass, Zac Rae on keyboards. Melissa takes the lead on vocals, piano, harmonica, banjitar and some lead guitar.

The first single on the album, “Falling Up,” will be available on iTunes beginning August 7 and can be heard online here.

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