Melanie, a 76-year-old singer-songwriter who achieved chart success with her hit song “Brand New Key”, has passed away.

Melanie, a 76-year-old singer-songwriter who achieved chart success with her hit song “Brand New Key”, has passed away.

Melanie Safka, the renowned American singer-songwriter who achieved worldwide success with her hit song “Brand New Key”, passed away at the age of 76.

Leilah, Jeordie, and Beau Jarred, the children of the deceased, shared on social media the news of her passing. They described her as a skilled, resilient, and passionate woman of her time, whose every word and song reflected her character. No information has been provided on the cause of her death.

Melanie, who grew up in Queens, New York, made her mark in the music industry in the late 1960s after performing in folk clubs in Greenwich Village. Her unique voice, which was both bright and husky, appealed to fans of popular music and the counterculture. She was signed to Buddah Records, and her first album, Born to Be, was released in 1968. While she initially found success in Europe, the album also reached the Top 10 charts in France and the Netherlands.

She was among the three solo female performers, along with Janis Joplin and Joan Baez, who performed at the 1969 Woodstock festival. She described the experience as “unbelievably frightening” and expressed her dislike for the term “hippy”. Instead, she identified more with the beat generation and the freedom of expression in the Village during that time.

She displayed her vocal abilities with the gospel-influenced song Lay Down (Candles in the Rain), which became a Top 10 hit in the United States. It was inspired by the sight of the crowd at Woodstock lighting candles. Her album Candles in the Rain, released in 1970, gained her more recognition and reached No. 5 in the UK. Her rendition of the Rolling Stones’ Ruby Tuesday also became a hit in the UK. A performance at Carnegie Hall in New York was recorded and released as a popular live album.

Performing in 2015.

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In 1971, she had her most successful year yet with the release of her album, Gather Me, and its popular single, Brand New Key. The song’s lively rhythm, twinkling background music, and Melanie’s charming nursery rhyme melodies made it appealing to people of all ages. While the lyrics about roller-skating may have been seen as a metaphor for sexual experimentation, Melanie claimed that there was no deep meaning behind the song. Nevertheless, it topped the charts in the US, Canada, and Australia and reached the Top 5 in the UK. In 1976, a cover version with different lyrics focused on agriculture by the comedy group the Wurzels, titled The Combine Harvester, also reached No 1 in the UK.

“I Got a Brand New Pair of Roller Skates” became her final successful song, but she made a comeback on the UK charts in 1973 with her version of the 1960s classic “Will You Love Me Tomorrow?” Melanie continued to put out numerous albums, reaching a total of 28 with her most recent release, “Ever Since You Never Heard of Me,” in 2010. She gained a devoted fan base, including famous artists like Morrissey, who covered her song “Some Say (I Got Devil)” from the album “Gather Me,” and Jarvis Cocker, who introduced her at a concert in London in 2007.

In 1968, she wed Peter Schekeryk, her producer for all major releases. Together, they had three children and their union lasted until his passing in 2010.