(NEW YORK) — Melissa Etheridge recently uncovered some scandalous truths about her family’s distant past.
On Sunday’s season finale of TLC’s genealogy series, Who Do You Think You Are? the singer discovers that an ancestor in French Canada seduced and impregnated a woman, a scandal that resulted in a trial.
“I was shocked, yes, and delighted, too,” she told Billboard. “I didn’t take anything personally — although when you start realizing there were these people in the 1600s going to court to clear their daughter’s name, and, of course, it’s so salacious and about sexuality, I’m like, ‘Duh — welcome to my line of making our sexuality public,’ and that sort of makes me laugh at those parallels.”
Etheridge, 53, told the magazine she agreed to be on the show partly because her wife, Linda Wallem, is friends with one of the executive producers, but also because she wanted to fill some gaps in her ancestral history.
“I knew stories from my mother’s family,” she said, “but with my father I didn’t know anything past his parents, so it was a delight to all of a sudden open a door to all these stories and be like, ‘Oh, that’s where my father came from?'”
She acknowledged that the newfound branches in her family tree might spark some song ideas one day, but, first, she has a busy summer of touring ahead.
“I actually haven’t sat down to write much now,” she says. “I’m more in the touring mode. It hasn’t inspired me yet, but once I do sit down to write again, maybe I’ll go there.”
On June 9, Melissa will release A Little Bit of Me: Live in L.A. on CD, DVD and Blu-ray, and the next day she’ll kick off a solo summer tour. A mixture of solo dates and co-headlining shows with Blondie will take her through the end of summer.
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