Singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge and her partner Linda Wallem got married Saturday night at the San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. Etheridge and Wallem met 10 years ago and had always been friends prior to dating in 2010. In 2013, they became engaged after the California supreme court gay rights ruling.
The ceremony took place outdoors with Etheridge singing her new spouse a song that she wrote expressly for the occasion. Etheridge wore a grey suit and Wallem donned a white dress.
Etheridge’s four children took part in the wedding ceremony. She has two 7 year old twins; Miller Steven and Johnnie Rose. Her other children are Bailey Jean Cypher age 17, and Beckett Cypher age 15. Invited celebrity guests included Jane Lynch, Peter Facinelli, Sia, Chelsea Handler, Rosie O’Donnell, and Whitney Cummings. The ceremony took place two days after the couple both celebrated the same birthday together. They are both 53. Wallem, whom Linda has dubbed as her true love, is the creator of the television series Nurse Jackie and producer of That 70’s Show.
Sunday morning the newlyweds headed off to their enjoy their honeymoon. After utilizing a personal vacation adviser, Etheridge laid out plans to surprise Wallem with a secret honeymoon destination.
Etheridge has a new album coming out on Sept. 30 and tweeted before the wedding that she might be singing an unheard song at an intimate gathering for someone special on Saturday. Fans, of course, now recognize this was in reference to Etheridge’s marriage to Linda Wallem.
Etheridge officially came out as a gay in 1993 at the inaugural festivities for former President Clinton when she took the microphone and shared that she had been proud of being a lesbian all of her life. However, her sexuality had came under the microscope years earlier in 1988, when the wife of actor Lou Diamond Phillips; Julie Cypher, left Phillips to enter into a romantic union with Etheridge. It was Cypher who gave birth to their children Bailey Jean (in 1997) and Beckett (in 1998). Later in 2000, Cypher and Melissa revealed, via a Rolling Stone article, that David Crosby was the biological father of Bailey Jean and Beckett. Not long after, Cypher and Etheridge split. While Etheridge described the split as painful, she later found love with a woman named Lynn Michaels who was 14 years her junior. Michaels starred in the television show Popular and then later in The L Word. In September 2003, Etheride and Michaels had a commitment ceremony and Michaels gave birth to their twin son and daughter; Miller and Johnny Rose – in 2003. Etheridge and Michaels split in 2010.
Etheridge got her big break in the music industry in 1984 when A&M records took her own as a song writer. In 1986, Chris Blackwell of Island Records saw her perform and signed her only a mere few days later. Her first 1988 album; Melissa Etheridge, garnered her a Grammy nomination for the song Bring Me Some Water. In 1989 she released Brave and Crazy, which failed to travel up the charts. Her third album Never Enough, was released in 1992, but it was her 1993 fourth album: Yes I Am, that transitioned Etheridge into superstardom via her Grammy winning hit song Come To My Window.
Etheridge’s marriage to Linda Wallem tallies up to being her third publicly recognized union. This however is her first legal marriage.
By Janet Walters Levite