Veteran folk-rock star David Crosby died Thursday aged 81, his representative and family confirmed. The co-founder of The Byrds, and Crosby, Stills and Nash was the biological father of  Melissa Etheridge and Julie Cypher’s two children via sperm donation.

“I am grieving the loss of my friend and Bailey’s biological father, David. He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan. His music and legacy will inspire many generations to come. A true treasure,” Etheridge wrote on her Twitter account.

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Who is Melissa Etheridge?

Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, Melissa Etheridge is the younger of two daughters of Elizabeth (Williamson), a computer consultant, and John Etheridge, an American Constitution teacher at her alma mater, Leavenworth High School.

Etheridge began guitar lessons aged eight. She started to play in local country music groups in her teenage years. While attending college at Berklee College of Music, Etheridge played the club circuit around Boston. She moved to Los Angeles to attempt a career in music.

Her eponymous debut album was released in 1988 and became an underground success. It peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 and its lead single, “Bring Me Some Water”, received her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female in 1989.

Her second album, Brave and Crazy, appeared that same year and earned Etheridge two more Grammy nominations. In 1992, she released her third album, Never Enough, and its lead single, “Ain’t It Heavy”, won Etheridge her first Grammy Award.

Etheridge achieved further success with her albums Breakdown (1999), Skin (2001), and Lucky (2004).

Also Read | Who was Beckett Cypher, David Crosby’s son with Melissa Etheridge who died at 21 of addiction?

She came out publicly as a lesbian in January 1993 at the Triangle Ball. She had a long-term partnership with Julie Cypher, who gave birth to two children, Bailey Jean and Beckett, via artificial insemination using sperm donated by Crosby. In 2000, Etheridge and Cypher announced they were separating.

Beckett died of an addiction-related issue at the age of 21.

In 2002, Etheridge began dating actress Tammy Lynn Michaels, who gave birth to fraternal twins, Johnnie Rose and Miller Steven, who were conceived via an anonymous sperm donor.

In October 2004, Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer.