This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," December 17, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: She is an Oscar winner, a Grammy winner, and has a new album, "A New Thought for Christmas."
Moments ago Melissa Etheridge went "On the Record."
VAN SUSTEREN: Melissa, thank you very much for joining us. We haven't seen you since the Democratic Convention.
MELISSA ETHERIDGE, SINGER: It's good to see you again.
VAN SUSTEREN: Or was it with the Republicans?
ETHERIDGE: I think I was with the Democrats.
VAN SUSTEREN: Today you have a new CD out, and what is it called?
ETHERIDGE: It is called "A New Thought for Christmas."
VAN SUSTEREN: Who names these? Does the artist name the CD, or is that someone else who does that?
ETHERIDGE: I'm in charge of all the creative stuff. It's all my fault. So that was my idea.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the buck stops here with you.
VAN SUSTEREN: Tell us about the new CD, because I know you have a lot of fans and listeners who want to hear about it.
ETHERIDGE: It's a combination of some Christmas standards. It is pretty rock and roll. I really wanted to come out rocking on this album
I have Elvis Presley "Blue Christmas." I have a nice version of "Have yourself a merry little Christmas.
And then the second half of the album is original tunes that have to deal with none of the religiosity of Christmas but the spirit of Christmas and the talk of peace on earth and really trying to drive home that that is the greatest thing that we should to aspire to nowadays is actually peace on earth.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is the biggest challenge for you, writing the lyrics or writing the music?
ETHERIDGE: Well, the lyrics are probably the thing I work most on. Music you kind of have a few basic choices, and the kind of musician I am, I am pretty limited in the musical range. But lyrically, that is where I can draw the pictures. I can write the songs that go past the mind and into the heart, and that is what I am after
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you ever write a lyric and then two years later think you should have written this way?
ETHERIDGE: That happens all the time. But you have to let it go. It's like a painting. You have to let it go.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is your favorite song on this new CD?
ETHERIDGE: My personal favorite?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes.
ETHERIDGE: It's actually the last song. It's called "Oh, Night Divine." You know how Jimi Hendrix did "The Star Spangled Banner"? It's sort of my version of "Oh, Holy Night." It is kind of turned upside down.
VAN SUSTEREN: Are there some songs that are more fun to play when you perform?
ETHERIDGE: Yes. I have favorite songs that I do live that you have a certain version on an album, and then when you do it live, the audience is what it's all about. They bring their own energy to it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Your best concert memory?
ETHERIDGE: Amsterdam, 1994, I think it was.
VAN SUSTEREN: Why?
ETHERIDGE: Because the whole audience--European audiences are pretty amazing. I do not know whether it's the socialism or what, but they get together and they do things all at once. And to one of my songs, they brought out these lighters, and they all started flicking their lighters in time with the beat.
It was really the most amazing thing I had ever seen, and I was blown away.
VAN SUSTEREN: I once heard Elton John talk about his worst experience, which was in Australia. But do you have a nightmare concert experience?
ETHERIDGE: I tell people that anything that could ever happen to you on stage has happened to me. My clothes have fallen off. I've fallen off the stage. I've gotten sick-anything. And you find audiences are actually will go with you anywhere. They are pretty forgiving.
VAN SUSTEREN: In terms of this new CD, is it fun to release it and say this is it?
ETHERIDGE: Yes. I love my work because there is the creative part of it. I get to create and write music and spend the time in that process, which is just a heavenly process.
And then I get to create it in the studio, and then I get to put it out. And then I get response from it. And then I get to go play it live and have an interaction with an audience. It is sort of the gift that keeps on giving.
VAN SUSTEREN: When did this one start, and when did you close it?
ETHERIDGE: I have not closed it. This started last year at this time. I really started thinking about it at Christmas time last year.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is the fastest that you have ever done a CD in?
ETHERIDGE: This one probably.
VAN SUSTEREN: Really?
ETHERIDGE: We recorded this in about five days.
VAN SUSTEREN: Those of us who are just fans, we never have any understanding, so it's interesting is how it works. We have no idea if this takes years or months, or whether there are horror stories.
ETHERIDGE: Just like everybody is different, each artist certainly has a different process. Mine, I, fortunately, get to write my own music. I sing it. I am in charge of it. The whole creative control is mine. So I get to be with it all the way through.
There are many different ways to make albums. There are many different types of artists.
VAN SUSTEREN: Everyone wants to be you.
ETHERIDGE: I don't know if you want to be me.
VAN SUSTEREN: Everyone wants to be able to play like you and sing like you. I play the radio. Everybody wants to be able to perform and play and instrument and sing and do CDs and be a rock star.
ETHERIDGE: You know, it is a pretty awesome thing. And I would suggest that people, that you do not have to have fame and fortune to enjoy the feeling of channeling music, or channeling a feeling in creating a song. It is something--I wish we taught to children. I think it's a great process. I'm very fortunate.
VAN SUSTEREN: The new CD is "A New Thought for Christmas." It's exciting, and it's always nice to see you, and I hope you'll come back soon.
ETHERIDGE: Thank you very much, Greta.
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