Melissa Etheridge paid tribute to David Crosby following news of his death Thursday at the age of 81, thanking him for ‘the gift of family’ he gave her and her former partner Julie Cypher as a sperm donor for their two children, daughter Bailey and late son Beckett.
‘I am grieving the loss of my friend, and Bailey’s and Beckett’s biological father, David,’ the singer-songwriter, 61, said on Instagram. ‘He gave me the gift of family. I will forever be grateful to him, Django, and Jan.’
Etheridge is also mother to twins Johnnie and Miller, who she welcomed with former partner Tammy Lynn Michaels using an anonymous sperm donor.
The Leavenworth, Kansas native said that Crosby’s ‘music and legacy will inspire many generations to come,’ and that he was ‘a true treasure.’
The latest: Melissa Etheridge, 61, paid memorial to David Crosby following news of his death Thursday at the age of 81, thanking him for ‘the gift of family’ he gave her and her former partner Julie Cypher as a sperm donor for their two children
Beckett tragically died at the age of 21 of a drug overdose in May of 2020.
Etheridge said in a statement on Twitter at the time: ‘Today I joined the hundreds of thousands of families who have lost loved ones to opioid addiction. 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.’
Following Beckett’s passing, Crosby responded to a fan tweet that read, ‘I respectfully point out, David was their donor… They did not have a son “with” him. He was Melissa and Julie’s child. They raised him. Like most donors, he played no other part.’
Crosby said in a response, ‘Not true.’
The Come to My Window singer – pictured playing in Georgia in 2018 – lost her son Beckett, father by Crosby, to a drugs overdose in 2020
Etheridge announced her son Beckett’s death in 2020 following an opioid overdose
Etheridge and her late son Bailey were seen in LA in September of 2011
Etheridge told Australia’s Studio 10 in 2016 that she and Cypher had also considered using a sperm donation from her friend Brad Pitt, but circumstances prevented it, as Pitt was hoping to have a child at the time, and the then-couple were not interested in a third party parenting their kids.
‘I looked and I saw how badly he wanted children and I thought, “I don’t want to share this with someone who really, badly wants children because my children don’t need another parent – they have two,”‘ the Grammy-winning artist said. ‘It’s one of the reasons why David Crosby and his wife are so perfect – because they already had children. They were looking to do this as a gift.’
Crosby denied that he played no part in Beckett’s upbringing following his tragic 2020 death
Etheridge said in 2016 that she and her ex had also considered using a sperm donation from her friend Brad Pitt, but circumstances prevented it, as Pitt was hoping to have a child at the time, and the then-couple were not interested in a third party parenting their kids. Pitt was pictured last week in Paris
Crosby died Thursday ‘after a long illness,’ his wife Jan Dance told Variety.
‘It is with great sadness after a long illness, that our beloved David (Croz) Crosby has passed away,’ she said in the statement. ‘He was lovingly surrounded by his wife and soulmate Jan and son Django. Although he is no longer here with us, his humanity and kind soul will continue to guide and inspire us.’
She continued: ‘His legacy will continue to live on through his legendary music. Peace, love, and harmony to all who knew David and those he touched. We will miss him dearly.
‘At this time, we respectfully and kindly ask for privacy as we grieve and try to deal with our profound loss. Thank you for the love and prayers.’
Crosby died at the age of 81, as his wife Jan Dance told Variety that he passed away after a ‘long illness’ Thursday. Pictured in 2020 in LA
The beloved entertainer was pictured in concert in Los Angeles in October of 2012
The influential musical artist was pictured at the Grammys in LA in February of 2016
The I’m the Only One artist was among the notable names to take to social media with memorial messages for Crosby, sharing a picture of them together.
Crobsy’s longtime musical collaborator Graham Nash took to Facebook with a comprehensive statement reflecting on their music and friendship.
‘It is with a deep and profound sadness that I learned that my friend David Crosby has passed,’ Nash said. ‘I know people tend to focus on how volatile our relationship has been at times, but what has always mattered to David and me more than anything was the pure joy of the music we created together, the sound we discovered with one another, and the deep friendship we shared over all these many long years.’
Nash said that Crosby ‘was fearless in life and in music’ and ‘leaves behind a tremendous void as far as sheer personality and talent in this world.
‘He spoke his mind, his heart, and his passion through his beautiful music and leaves an incredible legacy. These are the things that matter most. My heart is truly with his wife, Jan, his son, Django, and all of the people he has touched in this world.’
Crosby’s longtime musical collaborator Graham Nash called him ‘fearless in life and music’
Crosby was lauded by luminaries such as the Beach Boys Brian Wilson, the E Street Band’s Steven Van Zandt and Roseanne Cash, as well as the official accounts for the late Tom Petty and The Doors
Also chiming in was Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson, who wrote, ‘I don’t know what to say other than I’m heartbroken to hear about David Crosby. David was an unbelievable talent – such a great singer and songwriter. And a wonderful person. I just am at a loss for words. Love & Mercy to David’s family and friends. Love, Brian.’
Said Rosanne Cash: ‘I can’t begin to say how influential Crosby, Stills and Nash were for me. I’m grateful David Crosby lived, and so very sad he’s gone.’
Steven Van Zandt said, ‘RIP David Crosby. As a member of The Byrds, 1 of the historically essential Artists that created the Artform of Rock.
‘The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who, Beach Boys & Yardbirds, showed future generations like us what was possible. We owe him, and them, everything.’
The official account for the late Tom Petty issued a statement that said ‘Tom counted David Crosby as a friend and a hero.
‘He visited often at his house in the valley. He was funny, provocative and electric with talent. His contribution to music will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and love to his family, bandmates and fans.’
Other notable memorials came from entertainers such as Billy Corgan, the group Hanson, comic Richard Lewis and actress Christina Applegate
The official account for The Doors called Crosby ‘another ethereal fixture of the ‘60s peace and love movement; a legend within his own right, and every group he was a part of.
‘Coming up in the same era as The Doors, David Crosby had the voice and song writing abilities that made him completely unique…’
Other notable memorials came from entertainers such as Billy Corgan, the group Hanson, comic Richard Lewis and actress Christina Applegate.
‘Tonight at 7pm PST my friends and neighborhood will howl and then blast CSN to honor this beautiful soul and legend,’ said Applegate. ‘If you do this, please send me videos RIP David Crosby!! We love you.’
Comedian Richard Lewis wrote, ‘RIP David. It feels lately that death is becoming tragically predictable.’