Lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge brought a green, and distinctly queer, message to the Live Earth extravaganza broadcast to billions of viewers around the globe on July 7. She appeared at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, joining nearly 150 major artists—including Madonna, Rihanna, Angélique Kidjo and MIA—who performed at various locations worldwide to help raise awareness about the global climate crisis.
Etheridge, who looked fantastic almost three years after her well publicized battle with breast cancer, asked the question, “America, what happened to us?” before she launched into a long jam that culminated in a passionate rendition of “I Need to Wake Up,” her Academy Award-winning theme song to An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore documentary on global warming. She urged listeners to transcend their differences, including sexual orientation, in order to work together toward a solution to the impending environmental catastrophe.
Live Earth was organized by Save Our Selves, with partners including former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the Alliance for Climate Protection. Gore attended concerts in Washington, D.C. and New Jersey, flanked by celebrity presenters such as Alec Baldwin, Rosario Dawson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Randy Jackson.