Melanie Safka, best known for her musical hits “Brand New Key,” “Ruby Tuesday,” “What Have They Done to My Song Ma,” and her song about performing at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),” has just signed on as President of Tennessee United for Human Rights, the local chapter of the worldwide United for Human Rights initiative.
Melanie has long been an advocate for peace, and recently headlined the Peace Day concert in Nashville, sponsored by Tennessee United for Human Rights (TNUHR). Just before the concert, she accepted the position as president of TNUHR. In her role, she will be an ambassador and spokesperson.
“When I first learned about the Declaration of Human Rights, I thought – ‘well of course!’ the rights all make sense and everyone should be aware of what they are,” she said. “When people realize they can influence government, that’s when by their actions, they can make things happen.”
Melanie became famous during one unforgettable night on stage at Woodstock in 1969. According to her website, during that night at Woodstock, Melanie was a New York kid barely known outside of the coffeehouse circuit in Greenwich Village. Long before it was a trend, while she sang her song "Beautiful People," the audience was inspired to light their candles and raise their lighters. That, in turn, moved the young singer to write ‘Lay Down (Candles in the Rain),’ which sold more than one million copies in 1970 and prompted Billboard, Cashbox, Melody Maker, Record World, and Bravo to anoint her female vocalist of the year.
Melanie appeared before the General Assembly of the United Nations, where she was invited back on many occasions. When she became an official UNICEF ambassador in 1972, she agreed to forego a world tour in favor of raising money for the organization. It was her work for the UN that sparked her unrelenting drive to speak out for peace.
For more information about Melanie, visit her website melaniesafka.com. For more information about United for Human Rights, visit humanrights.com.