When the baby that Melissa Etheridge and partner Julie Cypher have been expecting comes in January, Etheridge plans to take some time off. Actually, a lot of time off.
"I've put out five albums in seven years and I'm ready to take a break," Etheridge says. "I don't think you'll see another studio album from me until the end of '98."
But fans needn't worry. Etheridge isn't planning to fall off the face of the Earth.
"You'll probably hear from me before then, but not in a studio album," she said. "Maybe I'll do a live album, or a film soundtrack."
Etheridge and her pregnant partner of eight years were on the cover of the Nov. 4 issue of Newsweek magazine as part of a package of articles on gay families.
Etheridge quipped that she and Cypher have become the poster children for gay families.
"When we made the press announcement last summer that Julie was pregnant, [Newsweek] came to us and said they wanted to do a story on us," she said. "And we agreed to do one story in the press and one TV show. So we did Newsweek and '20/20.' "
According to Newsweek, 57 percent of adults surveyed for the package of articles thought gay couples could be just as good at parenthood as straight couples.
"I think it's very encouraging," Etheridge said of the poll. "What it comes down to is a fear of the unknown. There's still a lot of fear. In 1980, what would the response have been?"
Etheridge and Cypher haven't picked a name for the child, which expected to be a girl. Nor has the couple decided on a surname the three will use.
"When it's time for me to adopt the child, we're going to do all the legal stuff and come up with one name for all of us," Etheridge said.
And what will the child call her two moms? "It's interesting. We're in new territory. People do different things. There's no tradition, so that's good and bad. We're going to deal with that as it comes. She'll have two mothers, but what she chooses to call us, we'll work on that."
Etheridge and Cypher, who plan to have at least three children, haven't revealed the father. But they're still having fun with the Brad Pitt rumor that popped up in the tabloids.
"We just make jokes about it," Etheridge said.
Etheridge thinks her career is on solid ground. She isn't worried about not recording another studio album until 1998.
"I've been allowed a luxury that's a bit uncommon nowadays, which is to have a career grow and to have each album kind of build and build," she said. "I'm not worried that it's all going to go away."
Pub Date: 12/14/96