Melissa EtheridgeSinger / Songwriter
Born: 29 May 1961
Birthplace: Leavenworth, Kansas
Best known as: Singer of "Come to My Window"
Melissa Etheridge is known for her high-energy music, craggy vocals, and for being one of the first rock stars to be openly gay. She "came out" publicly at a 1993 inaugural ball for President Clinton, making her an icon of gay pride. Etheridge had her first hit tune with "Bring Me Some Water" in 1998, and she won Grammy Awards for best female rock vocal performance for "Ain't It Heavy" (1992) and "Come To My Window" (1994). Her albums include Melissa Etheridge (1988), Never Enough (1992), Yes I Am (1993), Breakdown (1999) and Lucky (2004). Etheridge also won an Oscar in 2007 for her song "I Need To Wake Up," an original song for the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth (2006). Her longtime companion, filmmaker Julie Cypher, gave birth to a daughter, Bailey Jean, in February 1997 and a son, Beckett, in November 1998. Etheridge and Cypher separated in September of 2000, and Etheridge began dating actress Tammy Lynn Michaels in 2001. Etheridge and Michaels held a wedding ceremony in Malibu in September of 2003 (although California did not legally recognize the same-sex marriage). Michaels gave birth to twins, a son Miller Steven and a daughter Johnnie Rose, on 17 October 2006.
Extra credit: Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, but returned to performing in 2005... Etheridge and Cypher told Rolling Stone magazine early in 2000 that the biological father of their children was musician David Crosby. Etheridge and Michaels announced that they used an anonymous donor from a sperm bank to father their twins.
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