Melanie, Singer Who Performed at Woodstock and Topped Charts With ‘Brand New Key,’ Dies at 76

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The singer, who wrote ‘Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)’ based on her experience at Woodstock, had been at work this month on a covers album.

by Chris Willman

Variety

January 26, 2024

Melanie Safka

Melanie, the singer who performed at Woodstock in 1969 and had major pop hits with “Brand New Key” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” in the early ’70s, died Tuesday at age 76. News of the death came from her publicity firm, Glass Onyon PR.

No information on the cause of death was immediately given. But Melanie — full name Melanie Safka — had been in the studio earlier this month working on a new record of cover songs, “Second Hand Smoke,” for the Cleopatra label; it would have been her 32nd album, the label said.

Her three children, Leilah, Jeordie, and Beau Jarred, posted a message on Facebook, writing: “We are heartbroken, but want to thank each and every one of you for the affection you have for our Mother, and to tell you that she loved all of you so much! 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. 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.”

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