French/West/Vaughan Chairman & CEO Rick French Recognized as Ambassador of Rock

by | Aug 16, 2023

Rockers On Broadway Charity Concert Will Honor Melissa Etheridge; Concert at Sony Hall in New York Set for October 16

NEW YORK (Aug. 16, 2023) – Rockers On Broadway, an annual music event raising money for charities that include pre-professional training and scholarships in the performing arts, will celebrate its 30th Anniversary on Monday, October 16, 2023, at 8 pm at Sony Hall. The concert will honor the critically acclaimed, multi-platinum artist Melissa Etheridge, and Rick French, chairman of The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation.

Ms. Etheridge is a two-time Grammy Award-winning artist and Hollywood Walk of Fame recipient who will receive Rockers On Broadway’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. French is a longtime member of the Board of Trustees of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum and is this year’s Ambassador of Rock honoree.

The Rockers On Broadway: 30th Anniversary Concert is presented by The Schoch Foundation and The PATH Fund, a leading nonprofit dedicated to performing arts education. The event is sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. J. Barry Howell. Proceeds will benefit a consortium of charities, including Broadway Bound Kids, Broadway Cares Equity Fights Aids, The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, The Felix Organization, Teen Cancer America, and The PATH Fund.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished with the Rockers On Broadway concerts over the past three decades, said Donnie Kehr, PATH Fund founder and one of Broadway’s leading voices. Every year the Broadway community comes together on this special night to honor individuals who uplift and contribute to the performing arts, and having Melissa and Rick as this year’s honorees is something I’m very excited about.”

Melissa Etheridge will make her Broadway debut in September with Melissa Etheridge: My Window.

In addition to his work with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, French is also a board member of Teen Cancer America, an organization founded by Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend of The Who. He helps to produce an annual star-studded concert event in L.A. each Fall that raises millions of dollars for cancer research and critical care for adolescents and young adults.

“This is one of our most exciting years ever,” says Cori Gardner, co-founder and executive producer of the PATH Fund. “In addition to honoring Melissa and Rick, we’ve got some pretty incredible performances lined up.”

This year’s Rockers On Broadway concert will feature two-time Tony Award winner Michael Cerveris, (The Who’s Tommy, Assassins, Sweeney Todd, Fun Home); Tony Award nominee Will Chase (Rent, The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, Kiss Me Kate); Ryann Redmond (Bring It On, Frozen, Once Upon A One More Time); Apollo Levine (MJ The Musical); and Morgan James (The Addams Family, Godspell, Motown The Musical); singer/songwriter Alexa Ray Joel; two-time Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis (Rock & Roll Man, Jekyll & Hyde, Rock Of Ages: American Idol); and special guest Simon Kirke (Bad Company, Free).

The PATH Fund, Inc.® is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting arts education. PATH, which stands for “Performing Artists That Help,” is made up of artists, writers, musicians, designers, producers, directors, and fans coming together to aid some of the most important causes to the industry and the public at large.

PATH’s mission statement emphasizes, “Our guiding premise is that as artists, we have a responsibility to nurture our community and empower the next generation in performing arts. We aim to support and inspire artists in finding their artistic path. We are committed to making a positive impact through music and theater and strive to bring people together and create a sense of belonging and connection within our community.”

The concert will be held at Sony Hall, 235 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036. Tickets are available at www.rockersonbroadway.com and will range from $30-$500. Additional performers to be announced soon. To learn more, connect with Rockers On Broadway on their website and on social media at facebook.com/rockersonbroadway, instagram.com/rockersonbroadway and twitter.com/PATHandRockers.


Melissa Etheridge stormed onto the American rock scene in 1988 with the release of her critically acclaimed self-titled debut album, which led to an appearance on the 1989 Grammy Awards show. For several years, her popularity grew around such memorable classics as “Bring Me Some Water,” “No Souvenirs,” and “Ain’t It Heavy,” for which she won a Grammy® in 1992. Etheridge hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album, Yes I Am (1993). The collection featured the massive hits “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” a searing song of longing that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance. In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest-charting album, Your Little Secret, which was distinguished by the hit single “I Want to Come Over.” Her astounding success that year led to Etheridge receiving the Songwriter of the Year honor at the ASCAP Pop Awards in 1996.

Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy, smoky vocals, Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades. In February 2007, Melissa Etheridge celebrated a career milestone with a victory in the “Best Song” category at the Academy® Awards for “I Need to Wake Up,” written for the Al Gore documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth. As a performer and songwriter, Etheridge has shown herself to be an artist who has never allowed “inconvenient truths” to keep her down. Earlier in her recording career, Etheridge acknowledged her sexual orientation when it was considered less than prudent to do so. In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer, a health battle that, with her typical tenacity, she won. Despite losing her hair from chemotherapy, Etheridge appeared on the 2005 Grammy® telecast to sing “Piece of My Heart” in tribute to Janis Joplin. By doing so, she gave hope to many women afflicted with the disease.

In 2016, Melissa Etheridge released Memphis Rock & Soul, her first album since 2014’s critically lauded This Is M.E., recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis. The album received stellar reviews from the likes of Entertainment Weekly, Parade, Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, and more. She followed that up with the release of The Medicine Show in April 2019. For The Medicine Show, Melissa reunited with celebrated producer John Shanks and sounds as rousing as ever, bringing a new level of artistry to her 15th studio recording. The Medicine Show deals with universal themes of renewal, reconciliation, reckoning, compassion, and, most profoundly, healing.

In 2020, Etheridge successfully launched her own live-streaming subscription and single-ticket concert platform, Etheridge TV and in 2021, Melissa released a new album called One Way Out. The 9-track album is a collection of songs Etheridge wrote in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

October 2022 saw Melissa’s return to the theatre with her one-woman show, My Window – A Journey Through Life. The critically acclaimed, sold-out run premiered at New World Stages and is coming to Broadway next month.


Rick French is chairman and chief executive officer of French/West/Vaughan (FWV), a public relations, public affairs, advertising, and digital media agency with offices in Raleigh, New York City, Boston, Detroit, Tampa, and L.A. FWV is a 30x National Agency of the Year recipient that was also named the 2022, 2019 and 2017 Global PR Agency of the Year by a selection committee representing some of the world’s leading media outlets. Three times Rick has been named one of the “World’s 300 Most Influential Communicators” and he is an inductee of the prestigious NC Media & Journalism Hall of Fame.

In addition to chairing the board of directors of the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, Rick is a longtime member of the board of trustees of the internationally renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum in Cleveland, Ohio; and he serves on the board of directors and leads the national advisory council of Teen Cancer America. He is also a member of the board of advisors of the Texas Heritage Songwriters Association.

His film and television production company, Prix Productions, recently produced the survival drama NOT WITHOUT HOPE starring Zachary Levi and Josh Duhamel, which will be in theatres in 2024; and he and Dwayne Johnson are producing the documentary FOUR DOWN in partnership with Oscar-nominated director Steven Cantor. He is executive producer of a documentary on the late 1950s rocker Eddie Cochran, which is currently in production; and his much-anticipated feature film, CLEAR LAKE, about the early days of rock ‘n’ roll and the untimely death of Buddy Holly, will begin filming later this year.

Rick is also co-owner of the Daytona Tortugas, a minor affiliate of Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds. He holds private equity stakes in three NBA franchises.

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