Raspy and real, Melissa Etheridge is a woman who rocks. Adored by her fans, this multiplatinum artist has sold more than 25 million records. Just a year ago, Melissa was in her prime, joyfully surrounded by her two children and the love of her life, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels.
Then suddenly at age 43, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Melissa says her journey brought her closer to hell than she's ever been. But Melissa proved she is a survivor: Just weeks after undergoing grueling chemotherapy, she emerged truly triumphant. Bald and beautiful, Melissa returned to the spotlight and performed at the 2005 Grammy Awards ceremony.
For Melissa, it was a defining moment not only in her career. "It was big for me but in a very personal way," says Melissa. "I wasn't thinking about the world. I was thinking about how I wanted to get back and do what I do." Despite being weakened by the cancer treatment, Melissa rocked the stage that evening. "It was important for me to get back up, get up on the horse and ride," she says.