Rett Madison on ‘One for Jackie’: Sharing a Tribute Album with a Message of Solace

Credit: Mikayla Miller

Queer artist Rett Madison released her second studio album One for Jackie, a touching tribute to her late mother, who passed by suicide in 2019.

“Because songwriting really started as something that was almost like a diary entry for myself, and it was a very therapeutic process for me to express my emotions in that way. I feel like I was really writing the songs from a place in which I needed to heal myself first, and then I figured, you know what if this has helped me just to express what I’m going through, why not share it with more people?”

Madison Talks Love and Grief

Madison released One for Jackie on October 27, following her first album, Pin-Up Daddy in 2021. While the previous album delved into themes such as queerness, religious trauma, and shame, this project weaves a singular, cohesive narrative.

“There’s a few other songs that I have in there that are about meeting my partner that I’m still with currently and falling in love in the midst of grief,” she told Gayety. “But there’s definitely that through line, through every song of just that chapter of mourning my mom and reconciling with her no longer being here.”

Madison said her mother struggled with PTSD, depression and alcoholism all her life. Crafting and unveiling this album became a powerful catalyst for her healing journey, and she aspires to ignite a beacon of hope for those also grappling with grief.

“I remember while I was really in the midst of this early phases of grieving my mom, how much I clung to the discographies and songs of other artists that were candidly speaking about grief. And even though I was in so much pain and I was so sad, just to hear another artist speak to that experience that I was having at the time really carried me through. Especially those first six months with my mom no longer being here.

“So I’m just hoping to add this record to kind of offered up to other folks that are mourning their loved ones, and I hope it can be a soundtrack for them to know that they’re not alone in this.”

Being Vulnerable

Taking musical inspiration from Stevie Nicks, Cheryl Crow, and Dolly Parton, One for Jackie has twelve tracks with soft psychedelic rhythms and openhearted lyrics.

“I’ve found that being vulnerable and being open tended to connect with people and comfort other people, and it felt more like an active service in that way,” Madison said.

Madison fearlessly embraces candor and vulnerability in her songwriting, which includes sharing stories and experiences from her life as a queer person.

“It’s been very rewarding to go play shows and sing so openly about my own queerness and my own experiences and meet people afterwards that resonate with those topics and messages, especially younger people. I think the older I get, I feel like there’s this sense within myself that I want to continue to speak openly about my queerness and about my formative experiences as a queer person through my art, because I wanted to reach younger queer people that are grappling with their identities or coming out or being queer within their communities. I remember what it was like when I was a younger person going through that myself. So I just want to be a voice… Obviously I’m putting my own voice out there, but if it resonates with other people and younger people, I don’t know. That’s the most rewarding part of it.”

You can listen to Rett Madison’s One for Jackie here! And be sure to snag tickets to one of Madison’s upcoming tour dates happening this year.

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Rett Madison on ‘One for Jackie’: Sharing a Tribute Album with a Message of Solace
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