February 21, 2024

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Melanie, 'Brand New Key' singer who played Woodstock, dies at 76

Melanie, 'Brand New Key' singer who played Woodstock, dies at 76

Melanie, the husky-voiced singer-songwriter who was one of the surprise stars of the 1969 Woodstock music festival and two years later had a No. 1 single with the childishly catchy “Brand New Key,” died Tuesday. She was 76 years old.

And it was her death Advertise on social media By her children, Laila, Jordi, and Beau Jared. He did not mention the reason or the place.

Melanie, who was born Melanie Safka in 1947, was only 22 years old, but was already on the New York folk scene when she appeared at Woodstock. She was one of only three women to perform at the festival unaccompanied – and, as she later recalled, terrified at the thought of performing in front of a much larger crowd than the café crowds she was accustomed to.

It started raining before she went on stage, and she later said that seeing people in the crowd lighting candles inspired her to write “Lying Down (Candles in the Rain)“, which she recorded with gospel-style backing from the Edwin Hawkins Singers. Released in 1970It became her first hit, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100.

Her biggest hit, “Brand New Key” It charmed listeners with its simplicity but sparked controversy – and some radio stations were said to have banned it – because some people heard sexual innuendo in lyrics like “I've got a new pair of roller skates / I've got a brand-new key.” She admitted that the words could be interpreted that way, but insisted that this was not her intention.

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“I wrote a new key in about 15 minutes one night,” she told an interviewer. “I thought it was nice; kind of an old '30s tune.

She continued: “I think the key and the lock have always been Freudian symbols, and very obvious ones at that. There was no deep serious expression behind the song, but people read things into it.