4. Melissa Etheridge
In 2004, when she was 43 years old, Melissa Etheridge found a lump in her left breast. The two-time Grammy Award winner was in the middle of a summer concert tour but she went back home and had a biopsy. The physicians confirmed she had breast cancer. During a lumpectomy, surgeons removed a four-centimeter tumor and 15 lymph nodes. Melissa also went through five rounds of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
As she was being treated, the singer was invited to sing at the 2005 Grammys and her song "Breathe" was nominated for an award. The image of a bald rock star singing "Piece of My Heart" was very powerful and she became an inspiration and sign of empowerment and resilience for women everywhere. Melissa said, "every day someone comes up to me and says something about that performance." She also wrote a song called "I Run for Life" that was dedicated to breast cancer survivors.