Melissa Etheridge opens up about losing son Beckett Cypher to opioid addiction

Beckett died aged 21 in May

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Friday 07 August 2020 16:39 BST
Melissa Etheridge with her son Beckett during her Walk of Fame ceremony on 27 September 2011 in Hollywood.
Melissa Etheridge with her son Beckett during her Walk of Fame ceremony on 27 September 2011 in Hollywood. (CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Melissa Etheridge has opened up about grieving for her son Beckett Cypher after losing him to opioid addiction.

Beckett died aged 21 in May. Etheridge announced the death on social media, writing at the time in part: “Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction.”

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, the singer discussed the grieving process she has experienced following Beckett’s death, telling the publication: “There will always be that that place in my heart and my soul that that has a little bit of, ‘Oh, what could I have done? And is it my fault he ended this way?’ and all that sort of thing.

“And it just gets smaller and smaller, because it doesn’t serve me anymore, and where he is now, he certainly doesn’t want me to take that on. So, you know, if that can help any parents who might be torturing themselves with that… I believe life is meant to be lived with as much joy as we can.”

She acknowledged that “life is also up and down”, but stressed that it’s meant “to be lived”.

Back in May, in her message announcing Cypher’s death, Etheridge wrote: “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 love him, his family and friends. My heart is broken. I am grateful for those who have reached out and I feel their love and sincere grief.”

Beckett was one of two children Etheridge had with her former partner Julie Cypher.

The singer had two more children with Tammy Lynn Michaels and is now married to actor, writer, and producer Linda Wallem.

To find out about support services for drug-related issues, visit

For support with mental health issues, visit or

In the US, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)'s free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or TTY 1-800-487-4889 (free of charge even without insurance)

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