Lesbian icon Melissa Etheridge announced late Wednesday that her son, 21-year-old Beckett Cypher, has died following a struggle with opioid addiction.
“Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction,” the singer-songwriter wrote in a statement posted 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.
“My heart is broken,” she added. “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 pain now. I will sing again, soon. I has always healed me.”
Beckett Cypher was the second of two children born to Etheridge and her former partner, filmmaker Julie Cypher, who were pioneers among celebrity same-sex parents. The couple later revealed that the children’s biological father was singer-songwriter David Crosby, who appeared with their family and his wife on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Julie Cypher gave birth to two children during her and Melissa Etheridge’s relationship: a daughter, Bailey Jean, and a son, Beckett.
— Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) May 13, 2020
Etheridge and Cypher have co-parented Beckett and his sister, Bailey Jean Cypheridge, since separating in 2000. Etheridge, who also has 13-year-old twins born to ex-partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, is now married to TV executive Linda Wallem.
“I don’t know what to say,” Bailey Jean Cypheridge wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. “Today we lost my brother. Too heartbroken and overwhelmed to be eloquent but appreciate all those who have reached out. I love you, Beckett. Fly high and watch over us.”
Etheridge’s post followed an earlier announcement that her Concerts at Home series would not take place on Wednesday night due to Beckett’s passing. The series, which now includes 57 days worth of concerts, has been broadcast nightly on Facebook Live during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Condolences poured in from celebrities and others on social media.