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    Etheridge Clear of Cancer

    Melissa Etheridge has beaten breast cancer.

    In an interview that aired Wednesday night on the syndicated TV show Extra, the "Lucky" crooner announced that she has made a full recovery since undergoing a successful lumpectomy last October after being diagnosed with the disease and being forced to scrap a concert tour.

    "I stand before you a totally healthy person," Etheridge said.

    The singer, who also had a few lymph nodes removed and sports close-cropped hair these days thanks to chemotherapy treatment, told Extra that she plans on getting back into the recording studio and has scheduled publicity appearances in support of the October release of her greatest-hits collection, The Road Less Traveled.

    Etheridge, 44, also revealed that she and gal-pal Tammy Lynn Michaels, 30, were hoping to have a baby via artificial insemination and was quoted as saying: "It's already in the works."

    The two time Grammy winner, who made it official with Michaels in a commitment ceremony in September 2003, already has two children, a boy and a girl, both carried by her former partner of 12 years, Julie Cypher, as a result of a sperm donation by fellow musician David Crosby.

    However, Etheridge ruled out asking Crosby to be the biological father this time around.

    "We won't be using my friend," she added. "David has been there and done that."

    On Oct. 7, Etheridge announced that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer after discovering a lump on her breast during a self-examination. Her doctors said the cancer had been caught in the early stages and predicted a "complete recovery."

    The raspy-voiced rocker didn't let the cancer get her down, triumphantly turning up with a bald head at February's Grammy Awards ceremony to perform the Janis Joplin classic "Piece of My Heart" with Joss Stone.

    Etheridge ultimately credited Michaels--an actress best known for her role as high-maintenance princess Nicole Julian on the defunct WB series Popular--as the person most responsible for helping her through her ordeal.

    "At the end of the whole thing when it was over, I came home to a bouquet that said 'in sickness and in health,' and she means it," she said. "And the love and support of someone like that is worth all the money in the world."

    Etheridge's greatest-hits set, due out on Island Records, features another rendition of "Piece of My Heart." There's also a scorching cover of the Tom Petty hit "Refugee," a song she was especially drawn to when confronted by her own mortality.

    "I decided to cover 'Refugee' because I wanted a song that spoke to my heart, my mind and my soul about where I was at," the performer wrote on her official Website. "And a song I could share with an audience that I knew they could relate to, a song that was recognizable but that I could make my own. And considering what I'd been through, and what I seem to be representing now in my life, I think 'Refugee' speaks to it perfectly."

    "Refugee" has been released to radio stations as a single and is also available for download via Apple's iTunes music store.

    In the meantime, after recently issuing a concert CD and DVD titled Lucky Live, Etheridge is also writing songs for Disney's straight-to-DVD release Brother Bear 2 and may take a stab at the small screen as she's been developing a sitcom based on her own life.

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