Melissa Etheridge is right to give thanks; thanks to medical science, good fortune, and a legion of well-wishers, the cancer she was diagnosed with in October 2004 is gone. Two years later her partner Tammy Lynn Michaels gave birth to Etheridge's third and fourth children, a boy and a girl; Etheridge, of course, already had two children with her longtime partner Julie Cypher. Etheridge and Cypher separated in September 2000 while Etheridge and Michaels parted ways in April 2010.
Etheridge's eleven studio albums run a fairly narrow gamut - bluesy rockers, heartfelt ballads - but do so in a way that is so uniquely her own, so sincere (without the overarching earnestness of, say, the Indigo Girls) that each new one feels like an old friend even before it's out of the plastic. With a smoky voice that is all her own, Melissa Etheridge gets her fans the old-fashioned way: she earns them.
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