Melanie Anne Safka-Schekeryk (born February 3, 1947) is an American singer-songwriter. Known professionally as Melanie, she is best known for her hits “Brand New Key“, “Ruby Tuesday“, “Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma”, and her song about performing at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival, “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)“.
Melanie was born and raised in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, New York City. Her father, Fred, was of a Ukrainian ethnic background and her jazz singer mother, Pauline “Polly” Altomare Safka-Bertolo (1926-2003), was of Italian heritage. Melanie made her first public singing appearance at age four on the radio show Live Like A Millionaire, performing the song “Gimme a Little Kiss”. She attended Red Bank High School in Red Bank, New Jersey, after transferring from Long Branch High School, graduating in 1964.