Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge


5/29/1961, Leavenworth, Kansas (USA)

Birth Name

Melissa Lou Etheridge


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User Rating
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Melissa Etheridge's raw, straight-from-the-heart vocals and blues-based guitar riffs have led many critics to dub her the Janis Joplin of the '90s.
Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, in 1961, Etheridge got her first guitar at the age of 8, wrote her first song at age 10 and by 12…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Melissa performed on the "A Home of the Holidays" Christmas special on December 23, 2008 on CBS.

    • Melissa released an autobiography titled "The Truth Is... My Life in Love and Music" in 2001, it was co-written by Laura Morton.

    • In 2002 Melissa released a 2 disc CD/DVD set of her "Live… and Alone" tour.

    • Melissa has twice won the Stephen F. Kolzak Award given by GLAAD Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), in 1999 & 2006. The first one is shared with former partner Julie Cypher.

    • Melissa took part in the celebrity event "Just Stand Up", a televised cancer benefit which aired on September 5th 2008. During the benefit she sang a special version of her song "I Run For Life" with many other performers changing the wording to "I Stand For Life".

    • Melissa is 5'3" (1.60m) tall.

    • Melissa has two nicknames 'Missy Lou' and 'Lucky'.

    • In November 2008 Melissa donated autographed items to support two charities. A signed copy of her self-titled album along with a guitar pick for the Rock for Kids Charity Auction and a Jodi Head guitar strap with the proceeds going to help place feral cats.

    • Melissa and her wife Tammy Lynn appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on November 14, 2008, as part of the discussion about California's Prop 8 passing, which ban's Gay marriage in the state.

    • The first record that Melissa ever bought was Carole King's Tapestry.

    • In 2007, Melissa won 4 Awards for her song I Need to Wake Up from An Inconvenient Truth: and Academy Award for Best Original Song; a Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media; a World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song Written for Film and a Critics Choice Award for Best Song.

    • On October 17 2006, Melissa's partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, gave birth to twins, son Miller Steven and daughter Johnnie Rose. The father of the twins with is an anonymous donor from a bank.

    • Melissa Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels were wed September 22, 2003 in Los Angeles to celebrate California's historic domestic partnership ruling. On September 20, 2008 they wed again, at a private ceremony in Malibu, after Gay Marriage was made legal in California.

    • Melissa appeared with David Crosby (the father of her two children with then partner Julie Cypher) and family on a Rolling Stone magazine cover.

    • She was the first pick to portray '60s rock legend Janis Joplin in a biographical movie.

    • She performed at the opening of the Democratic National Convention in the year 2000. She also performed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

    • Melissa has been active in several humanitarian causes and, in 1998, she and her former partner Julie Cypher received the National Family Civil Rights Award, the first award of its kind.

    • In 1996, she won the ASCAP Award for Songwriter of the Year.

    • In 1995, she sang duet with Bruce Springsteen, performing his song "Thunder Road."

    • In 1990, she won the Juno Award (Canada's Grammy equivalent) for Best International Artist.

    • Melissa separated from her partner Julie Cypher in Sep. 2000 after spending 12 years together. They have two children, who Julie gave birth to; daughter Bailey Jean, born February 10, 1997 and son Beckett, born November 18, 1998. The Biological father of both is singer is David Crosby by artificial insemination.

    • The male figure mentioned most in Melissa's music is the Devil.

    • Melissa dedicated the album "Never Enough" "to (her) father with all (her) love".

    • In the song "Watching You", Melissa refers to old-time movie actor Humphrey Bogart.

    • Melissa wrote the song "I Run For Life" about her battle with breast cancer; she was diagnosed in 2004. As of 2005 she is cancer-free.

    • She is a Bruce Springsteen fan and she has performed his song "Thunder Road" during live shows.

    • Melissa appeared at the 2005 Grammy Awards to perform a cover of Janis Joplin's "Piece Of My Heart." She had lost her hair as a result of chemotherapy, but her voice was as strong as ever.

  • Quotes

    • Melissa Etheridge: [My wife] and I are not allowed the same right under the state constitution as any other citizen. Okay, so I am taking that to mean I do not have to pay my state taxes because I am not a full citizen… sounds sort of like that taxation without representation thing from the history books.

    • Melissa Etheridge: I believe in our democracy. I believe in our constitution. I believe we live in the greatest country in the world. I believe that we are as strong as our weakest link and if we deny any of our citizens the right to "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" then we deny it to all of us.

    • Melissa Etheridge: (answering What is something you would like people to know about you?) That you don't have to be gay to like my music.

    • Melissa Etheridge: (about her album "The Awakening") It's an awakening. I composed this album and put it together in a way that I hope would take the listener from my beginnings and just tell them my story. Of desiring the fame and fortune, love, and everything. And what happens when you get it. Sort of the illusions of what life would be like out here and then what life really is like and finding myself.

    • Melissa Etheridge: (about her and Tammy Lynn's twins) Twins are very different in that they have each other they have this relationship from day one from in utero they have this relationship. And it's really cool. They love each other so much and yet they compete with each other and it's this constant, constant energy.

    • Melissa Etheridge: (about Gay Marriage being overturned in California) I know when I grew up gay was a bad word. Homo, lezzie, faggot, dyke. Ignorance and fear ruled the day. There were so many "thems" back then. The blacks, the poor ... you know, "them". Then there was the immigrants. "Them." Now the them is me.

    • Melissa: (on her first concert) I saw the Eagles in Kansas City when I was about 15. My dad drove me and a friend, and he waited while we watched the concert. It was awesome. 'Take It To The Limit' brought the show to a halt.

    • Melissa Etheridge: (on the song during her first kiss) "Just My Imagination" by the Temptations. But if you want my real first kiss, my first kiss [with a girl], that was "How Deep Is Your Love" by the Bee Gees.

    • Melissa: (about her Oscar statue) This is the only naked man that will ever be in my bedroom.

    • Melissa (on her partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels): The love and support of someone like that is worth all the money in the world.

    • Melissa: When [the cancer] was over, I came home to a bouquet that said 'In sickness and in health,' and [Tammy] means it.

    • Melissa: The songs are inspired by my experiences. Sometimes they are more than my real life, and, conversely, my life is more than just my songs.

    • Melissa: I grew up thinking you could do anything, and be anything, because that was the American dream, but because I'm gay... I'm denied that.

    • Melissa: As a mother, I have dreamed of a world of pure, simple equality.

    • Melissa: I must admit that I have never been so concerned, frightened even, for the future of our community, our nation, and our planet.