Etheridge, Melissa

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Etheridge, Melissa Gender: F
Melissa Lou Etheridge
born on 29 May 1961 at 13:15 (= 1:15 PM )
Place Leavenworth, Kansas, 39n19, 94w55
Timezone CST h6w (is standard time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_gemcol.18.gif 08°09' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 02°59 Asc.s_vircol.18.gif 22°41'

Melissa Etheridge
photo: Craig ONeal, license cc-by-sa-2.0


American singer-songwriter, guitarist, activist and rock superstar, known for her mixture of "confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, smoky vocals." Etheridge has been a gay and lesbian activist since her public coming out in January 1993. She has received fifteen Grammy Award nominations throughout her career, winning two, in 1993 and 1995. In 2007, she won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I Need to Wake Up" from the film An Inconvenient Truth. In September 2011, Etheridge received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Melissa Etheridge began playing the guitar and writing her own songs as a kid but did not leave Kansas until she was 21. By then she had a little more awareness of who she was and wanted to be, and her first gigs in California were in lesbian bars. In 1986 she was discovered by Island Records and cut her first album. At age 17, Etheridge had her first romantic relationship with a woman and life changed forever.

Her self-titled debut album Melissa Etheridge was released in 1988 and became an underground success. The album peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200, and its lead single, "Bring Me Some Water", garnered Etheridge her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. In 1993, Etheridge won her first Grammy award for her single "Ain't It Heavy" from her third album, Never Enough. Later that year, she released what would become her mainstream breakthrough album, Yes I Am. Its tracks "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window" both reached the top 30 in the United States, and the latter earned Etheridge her second Grammy award.

In 1988, Etheridge met 22-year old video and film director Julie Cypher, who divorced Lou Diamond Philips the following year. Her record company asked that she not go public with their relationship for the sake of her career, and it was not until January 1993 at Clinton's inauguration ball that she and Cypher came out publicly as a couple and she openly acknowledged her homosexuality.

In February 1997, they had a baby girl, Bailey Jean. The couple refused for several years to make any comment on the father until March 2000 when they revealed that their good friend, musician David Crosby, had fathered both Bailey and recently born Beckett, their son. Cypher is the natural mother of both children and Etheridge has adopted them.

In 1999 Etheridge put out Breakdown, a heartfelt collection of songs that includes "Scarecrow," a tribute to gay-bashing victim Matthew Shepard.

After a ten-year relationship, Etheridge announced on 19 September 2000, that she and Cypher were parting. The couple said in a joint statement, "Though elements of our lives will change, our family will always remain intact." Giving it more than lip-service, they took homes that were next-door to each other so that their kids could share time with both moms. Their friend, David Crosby, acknowledges his paternal role and dropped around to visit the kids periodically.

For her 40th birthday bash in 2001, she introduced her new girlfriend, 14-year-younger actress Tammy Lynn Michaels. Her autobiography, The Truth Is.... arrived in stores in June 2001, a pull-no-punches book that includes an account of childhood sexual abuse between the ages of seven and ten by her older sister, Jennifer. In the book Etheridge says that she realized that she was lesbian as an adolescent and began seeing a therapist at 22.

On 20 September 2003 the 42-year-old musician united with 28-year-old Michaels in a commitment ceremony with both brides reciting their vows in front of 150 guests in Malibu, California. In his officiating role, Reverend Charles Hall declared them "beloved wives."

On 7 October 2004, the singer’s publicist revealed that Etheridge had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Two days later, on 9 October, she had a lumpectomy in Los Angeles. She cancelled the remainder of her North America tour in order to undergo treatment.

The singer and her partner Tammy Lynn Michaels had twins on 17 October 2006 in Los Angeles, a boy named Miller Steven and a girl named Johnnie Rose. Michaels conceived the children via an anonymous sperm donor.

Etheridge won a 2007 Academy Award for her song "I Need to Wake Up," written for the documentary film An Inconvenient Truth.

On 15 April 2010 Etheridge and Michaels announced they had separated. In May 2012, it was announced that their two-year child support battle had been settled.

Etheridge married her partner, Linda Wallem, on 31 May 2014 at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California, two days after they both turned 53.

On 13 May 2020, Etheridge announced on her Twitter that her son Beckett had died of causes related to opioid addiction at the age of 21.

Link to Wikipedia biography


  • friend relationship with Crosby, David (born 14 August 1941). Notes: Fathered her kids
  • friend relationship with Dern, Laura (born 10 February 1967)


  • Work : Contracts, agreements 1986 (Signed with Island Records)
  • Work : Gain social status 1988 (Staying on charts, notoriety)
  • Relationship : Begin significant relationship 1988 (With Julie Cypher)
  • Social : Secrets revealed 1993 (Revealed homosexuality)
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities February 1997 (Daughter Bailey Jean was born)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1999 (Release of album, "Breakdown")
  • Work : Gain social status 2000 (Nominated for Grammy)
  • Social : Secrets revealed March 2000 (Announced David Crosby as father of two kids)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : End significant relationship 19 September 2000 (With Julie Cypher, 10 years)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released June 2001 (Autobiography published)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 20 September 2003 (commitment ceremony with Tammy Michaels)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Health : Medical procedure 9 October 2004 (Lumpectomy)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Family : Change in family responsibilities 17 October 2006 (Twins delivered by her partner impregnated by a sperm donor)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Prize 25 February 2007 (Oscar for her song in "An Inconvenient Truth")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Child 13 May 2020 (Son, Beckett, opioid addiction, age 21)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes Joyce Luck, "Melissa Etheridge: Our Little Secret," 1997, p.9.


  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Cancer (Breast)
  • Family : Relationship : Cohabitation more than 3 yrs (Ten years with Cypher)
  • Family : Relationship : Mate - Same sex (Julie Cypher, Tammy Lynn Michaels, Linda Wallem)
  • Family : Parenting : Foster, Step, or Adopted Kids (One girl and one boy, adopted)
  • Passions : Sexuality : Lesbian
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Instrumentalist (Guitar)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Song writer
  • Vocation : Entertain/Music : Vocalist/ Pop, Rock, etc. (Pop, rock and jazz, lead singer)
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ political
  • Vocation : Politics : Activist/ social
  • Notable : Awards : Grammy (Two)
  • Notable : Awards : Oscar