Melissa Etheridge on Son's Death: 'You Can't Die and Give Up'

Singer talks to 'Rolling Stone' about 21-year-old Beckett Cypher succumbing to opioid addiction
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2020 2:00 PM CDT
Melissa Etheridge on Son's Death: 'You Can't Die and Give Up'
In this April 12, 2016, file photo, Melissa Etheridge poses for a portrait in Hidden Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File)

Melissa Etheridge continues to mourn the loss of her 21-year-son, Beckett Cypher, who died in May due to an opioid addiction, and in a new Rolling Stone video interview, the 59-year-old singer reveals it's still "a struggle." "You want to help your child," she tells interviewer Brian Hiatt of what it was like to be the mom of someone with a drug addiction. "You want to make them all better." But, she adds, Cypher—the biological son of singer David Crosby, and one of two children Etheridge had with ex Julie Cypher—was an adult, and "there came a time that I needed to really sit down with myself and say, 'I can't save him. I can't give up my life and go try to live his life for him.' She notes that although she knew "he might die ... I had to be able to go on living."

Etheridge says music has helped her heal, especially after she and her wife, Linda Wallem, built a garage studio for Etheridge to play in, notes USA Today. "It gives us something to do every day to get us through this time, and it's just really saved us," Etheridge says. She also notes that her son wouldn't want her second-guessing herself on what she could have done to save him. "You can't lay down," she says. "You can't be shattered. You can't die and give up. ... I still struggle with it, but that's what I can say." See more of her interview with Rolling Stone, where she talks about her early years, what inspired her to write some of her hit songs, and what happened when she once took a "heroic" portion of pot edibles. (More Melissa Etheridge stories.)

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