Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher’s son Beckett Cypher has passed away at age 21. In a statement, Etheridge explained that Beckett died of “opioid addiction.”
“Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction,” Etheridge wrote on Twitter. “My son Beckett, who was just 21, struggled to overcome his addiction and finally succumbed to it today. He will be missed by those who loved him, his family and friends.”
She added, “My heart is broken. I am grateful for those who have reached out with condolences and I feel their love and sincere grief. We struggle with what else we could have done to save him, and in the end we know he is out of the pain now.”
Etheridge had to cancel her weekly livestreamed “Concert From Home” show on Thursday due to the death. She began putting on the performances after lockdown and stay-at-home orders were put in place in mid-March.
But, she said, she plans to return to singing eventually.
“I will sing again, soon,” she said. “It has always healed me.”
Beckett was born via artificial insemination in 1998; two years later, his biological dad was revealed to be David Crosby, of the 1970s rock group Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Crosby also struggled with substance abuse for many years, though he has recovered from “hard drugs,” per a 2017 tweet.
Soon after Beckett was born, Etheridge reflected on how motherhood changed her approach to life. “The whole idea of having a child has made me much more of an activist, more concerned about the world,” she told The Advocate in 1999. “I mean, I used to be concerned, but it was sort of finite. Now I want the world to be better — perfect — because my children are going to be here after me. Things mean more. Things matter.”
Etheridge and Cypher also share another child, daughter Bailey Cypheridge. The couple split up in 2000, but they continued to live close to one another to co-parent their young children. Additionally, Etheridge has 13-year-old twins, Miller and Johnnie, from her relationship with actress Tammy Lynn Michaels.