Q&A: Melissa Etheridge on ‘I’m Not Broken’ Docuseries – The Cut


Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Elizabeth Miranda, Walt Disney Studios, Getty Images, Bravo Media LLC, Retailers

In 2020, Grammy-winning rock legend and activist Melissa Etheridge lost her 21-year-old son, Beckett, to an opioid overdose. “We struggle with what else we could have done to save him, and in the end we know he is out of the pain now,” the singer said in a statement to People at the time, adding that she would “sing again, soon. It has always healed me.”

Four years later, Etheridge is singing (and songwriting) again, this time for those also struggling with addiction and its aftershocks. In the new docuseries Melissa Etheridge: I’m Not Broken, available July 9 on Paramount+, Etheridge, who also started a research foundation into opioid addiction, returns to her home state of Kansas to connect with five incarcerated women serving drug-related sentences at the Topeka Correctional Facility. The women wrote letters to Etheridge detailing their lives and struggles; in return, she set out to write a song for them, a small act of compassion. To Etheridge, those small acts constitute real help. “I’m not going to ‘save’ these people,” Etheridge tells the Cut. “Everyone has their own

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