Melanie, Beloved ‘Brand New Key’ Singer, Dies at 76

Melanie, the pop singer behind tracks “Brand New Key” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” who performed at Woodstock, has died. She was 76 years old.

The singer’s three children — Leilah, Jeordie, and Beau Jarred — shared a message on Facebook this week, writing: “We are heartbroken, but want to thank each and every one of you for the affection you have for our Mother, and to tell you that she loved all of you so much! She was one of the most talented, strong and passionate women of the era and every word she wrote, every note she sang reflected that. Our world is much dimmer, the colors of a dreary, rainy Tennessee pale with her absence today, but we know that she is still here, smiling down on all of us, on all of you, from the stars.”

No cause of death was given in the post, but the siblings made a request for fans, that on Wednesday (Jan. 24), at 10 p.m. CT, “each of you lights a candle in honor of Melanie. Raise, raise them high, high up again. Illuminate the darkness, and let us all be connected in remembrance of the extraordinary woman who was wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to so very many people.”

Melanie — full name Melanie Safka — was born in Astoria, New York, and had two top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart throughout her career, “Brand New Key” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain).” According to Variety, she was in the studio earlier this month working on her 32nd album, which was a project of cover songs.

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