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Melissa Etheridge backstage at the 2013 Grammy Nominations Concert

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The 2013 Grammy Nominations Concert took place on Dec. 6 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles, and was televised in the U.S. on CBS. Several of the artists who performed or were presenters at the event were also announced as nominees for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on January 26, 2014, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Here is what this Grammy Nominations Concert entertainer said backstage in the press room.

MELISSA ETHERIDGE

What do you think has kept your career alive and going for as long as it has?

The love of music. I love what I do. I’m so happy that I get to get up and sing for people. Are you kidding? That’s like the greatest job on earth! And to sit and home work, which is to create music, I’m the luckiest person on earth. I love it.

Who have you been listening to this year?

All these new folks. It’s interesting, having been around now for 25 years, and seeing the cycles in music. My [older] kids, who are 15 and 16 now, are like, “Mom, listen to this!” Some of it, I’m like, “OK, that sounds like music we were singing in the ‘70s — the kind of folk music.” And then you have your dance music and the great stuff.

I was really curious to hear Lorde. It’s so fun when they come from New Zealand. And Gotye, when he came out. What are they doing down there? Everyone can make music now, all around the world, and have it be a certain quality. And so I love that you’re getting these people who haven’t performed much, but they are creating really interesting music, and I enjoy it.

What’s been the highlight of 2013 for you?

I can’t but just think about my kids. I love being a mom. I’ve got four kids, so I’m loving that. The highlight? I took my daughter to the Grammys. It was her 16th birthday in February, and the Grammys were on her birthday. It was Feb. 10. She looked at me like, “Really? You’re not going to take me to the Grammys?” And I was like, “All right.”

So we went to the Grammys, and I had nothing to do but sit and watch the show. It was awesome! And I got to listen to the Lumineers, and it was awesome. I had a great time at the Grammys. So that was probably a highlight: being able to watch the Grammys and not really be a participant.

What do you think about performing at the Grammys?

There’s nothing like performing at the Grammys. There’s nothing like it. It’s hands-down, the greatest experience.

With the passing of Nelson Mandela, do you have anything to say about the music from South Africa?

It’s been beautiful. You know when Paul Simon went down there and worked and made “Graceland,” and you hear that incredible music. And then you hear these new artists now … that’s direct influence from Ladysmith Black Mambazo. I love that with the next generation, it’s just absorbed.

Like reggae, it’s another beat now that they can bring in. It’s so rich and full of that culture. And Nelson Mandela, you know, we’re just so much better that he was alive.

What’s next for you?

I have a new album coming out, of course. What I’m really enjoying right now is the writing. It’s kind of unlimited right now what I can do now. It’s actually very exciting.

There’s no rules anymore. You can cross over and do all this crazy stuff. So I’m really looking forward to some interesting creations and some surprises next year.

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