[artist id="6836"]Melissa Etheridge[/artist] and her partner Tammy have split after almost nine years, according to People.com.
"Melissa and Tammy Etheridge are saddened to announce that they are now separated," a representative for the duo told the Web site. In a separate statement to the magazine, the two said, "We ask for consideration and respect for our family as we go through this difficult period."
Etheridge married Tammy (formerly Tammy Lynn Michaels), an actress who has appeared on television shows such as the WB's "Popular" and Showtime's "The L Word," in Malibu in 2003. Following the birth of their children, Michaels took time off to focus on parenting. She has a role in the upcoming romantic comedy "Nicest Thing." Michaels gave birth to their twins (via an anonymous sperm donor), Miller Steven and Johnnie Rose, in 2006.
Etheridge has two other children with her former partner, film director Julie Cypher, named Bailey Jean and Beckett. Both are the result of a sperm donation from folk rocker David Crosby, a member of the famed rock group Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Etheridge was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. She is reportedly part of the upcoming docu-drama on breast cancer "1 a Minute," which is directed by Bollywood actress Namrata Singh Gujral and also stars Olivia Newton-John, Jaclyn Smith and Kelly McGillis. Etheridge's new album, Fearless Love, is set to be released April 27 on Island Records.