Melissa Etheridge knows all about labels. First there was the “rock goddess” with the classic hit, “Come to My Window.” Then there was “lesbian singer.” Then came “cancer survivor.” Now there’s “Oscar nominee.”
Etheridge, 45, competes in the best-song category for the anthem “I Need to Wake Up” from the global-warming documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
“That was part of my dream, being a rock star and all that stuff,” she recently told AP Television. “And, ‘Oooo, someday, I want to have Oscar: best song.’ Of course that’s out there. Never, when I was presented with this — this was a slide show. I had no idea it was going to be a film and it was going to be that sort of thing.”
“Inconvenient Truth” is director Davis Guggenheim’s Oscar-nominated portrait of former vice president Al Gore’s personal history and lifelong commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change.
Gore asked Etheridge to write a song for the film, she said. It proved no easy task — even for the Grammy-winning songstress.
“Because, what do I write? Help! What do we do? ‘Give a hoot, don’t pollute’ or something?”’ she recalled. “And that got to be overwhelming to a point until, actually, (to) my partner, my wife, Tammy, I said, ‘Help me. I am trying to find my way to write a song.’ She says, ‘Just do what you do. You write about what you feel. Tell people how you feel.”’
The result could add one more label to her resume.
Etheridge and Tammy Lynn Michaels held a commitment ceremony in 2003. They are parents to twins: daughter Johnnie Rose, and son, Miller Steven, born in October 2006. Etheridge has two children with former girlfriend Julie Cypher, fathered by rocker David Crosby through artificial insemination.
The 79th Annual Academy Awards are set for Feb. 25 in Los Angeles.