The song is featured on her Stax Records tribute album, 'Memphis Rock and Soul'
Melissa Etheridge mixed things up for her latest release. After nearly three decades of releasing highly personal material, the rocker culled inspiration elsewhere for her 14th studio LP: Legendary label Stax Records. She covered 12 songs from their catalog — from Sam and Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Coming” to William Bell’s “Any Other Way” to Otis Redding’s “I’ve Got Dreams to Remember.” A particular highlight comes with Etheridge’s reworking of the Staple Singers’ 1971 classic “Respect Yourself.” EW is excited to premiere the video for the call-to-action tune below.
“I have such deep appreciation for the work of Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers,” the 55-year-old tells EW via email, explaining why she was drawn to the tune. “[Singer] Pricilla Rene helped me re-imagine the lyrics of ‘Respect Yourself’ for a more contemporary take on the racist issues that start with a lack of respect for one’s own self.”
The video, which features both archival news footage as well as updated images, brings the original context of the song — Mavis Staples and Co. reference the KKK during the tune’s first outing — into the divides that currently plague the U.S.
“Respect Yourself” is streaming below. Etheridge is currently on tour, a full list of live dates can be found on the singer’s website.