Who are Melissa Etheridge’s ex partners?
Melissa Etheridge has sparked her fair share of headlines over the years, not only because of her award-winning music, but also due to her famous friendships (Remember when she defended Brad Pitt and slammed Angelina Jolie?) and her drug use (She was arrested for marijuana possession in 2017). Beyond all of that, fans tend to be curious about her love life.
The singer came out in the ’90s, soon after the release of her album Yes I Am, and she’s been open about her same-sex relationships ever since, including her longtime partnership with one woman, her commitment ceremony with a second, and her marriage to another. While Etheridge has seemingly experienced both ups and downs when it comes to the romantic side of her life, let’s take a closer look at the three ladies who have been on that roller coaster with the star.
Melissa Etheridge & Julie Cypher were partners & parents
Melissa Etheridge and her partner, Julie Cypher, became red-carpet staples at music industry events in the ’90s. Cypher is a University of Texas at Austin alum, music video director, and screenwriter who spent more than a decade with Etheridge. While they were together, the couple became parents to two children (with the help of fellow musician David Crosby). Their daughter, Bailey Jean, was born in 1997, and their son, Beckett, was born in 1998, but tragically passed away in May 2020 at the age of 21.
Etheridge opened up about parenting with Cypher following the birth of their second child. “We do sit there at the end of the day and go, ‘What did we do with all our spare time before we had kids?'” the singer told The Advocate. “We must have just piddled it away because we never knew how much spare time we had… There’s a real strong partner vibe there. You know, maybe the wild sex all day long, all around the house, is not happening as much.”
After being partners and then parents together over the course of their relationship, Etheridge and Cypher announced their split in September 2000. According to E! News, Etheridge later “claimed Cypher was unfaithful.”
However, the singer didn’t give up on love and was soon dating a “popular” actress.
Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels split on a sour note
Not long after her split from Julie Cypher, Melissa Etheridge started dating Popular actress Tammy Lynn Michaels in 2001. By April 2003, they had announced their engagement, and in September of that year, they “swap[ped] vows in a commitment ceremony in Malibu that [was] later featured on the ABC special InStyle Celebrity Weddings,” according to E! News.
Things seemed to be going well for the couple. In 2008, Etheridge revealed that she planned to legally marry Michaels when a “California court overturned the state’s ban on gay marriage.” In October 2016, Michaels gave birth to twins — a daughter, Johnnie Rose, and a son, Miller Steven — “conceived via an anonymous sperm donor,” per E! News.
However, by 2010, the pair had broken up and things reportedly got “nasty.” Michaels claimed she found out that her relationship with Etheridge was over in the press. “Her broken promises told to me by headlines….could you stop blind sighting me?/ Have a good concert.” Michaels wrote on her blog (via E! News). A subsequent fight over custody and child support was still ongoing when Etheridge became involved with the next woman who would become her wife.
Melissa Etheridge and Linda Wallem go way back
Melissa Etheridge and her actress Tammy Lynn Michaels were still battling over the details of their breakup when the singer became involved with actress and producer Linda Wallem. Etheridge’s new love interest had produced That ’70s Show and Nurse Jackie and appeared in Sleepless in Seattle. According to E! News, Etheridge confirmed in 2011 that they were in a “committed relationship.”
A source told People that Wallem and Etheridge had been friends for many years and even share the same birthday. Wallem was supposedly even a part of Etheridge and Michaels’ 2003 commitment ceremony, “They got together three months after Melissa and Tammy broke up.” the insider claimed.
In her blog, Michaels fumed that she had no idea “there was someone moving in as I was moving out.”
Despite the turmoil, Etheridge and Wallem wed in May 2014 at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, Calif., “[t]wo days after they both turned 53,” reported People. The pair appears to still be going today. On May 31, 2018, Etheridge posted a special message to her wife on Instagram: “Happy Anniversary to the love of my life!”
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