Melissa Etheridge Reconsiders Remark on Angelina Jolie's Mastectomy: 'I Felt Bad'
After describing Jolie's decision as "the most fearful choice," the Grammy-winning singer and cancer survivor hopes a phone call with old friend Brad Pitt will clear the air.
She played at his wedding to Jennifer Aniston in 2000, but more recently, it seemed Melissa Etheridge might have stung her old friend Brad Pitt with comments she made relating to Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy.
To recap: speaking with the Washington Blade on June 13, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and breast cancer survivor called the preventative surgery, "the most fearful choice you [could] make when confronting anything with cancer.”
Days later at the World War Z premiere in New York City, reporters asked Pitt about Etheridge's remarks, to which he answered: "Melissa's an old friend of mine. I'm sure we'll talk on the phone. I don't know what it is. I think it's an individual decision, and I found it empowering instead of scary. We experienced the exact opposite [of fear]."
As it turns out, Etheridge is still waiting for the call. "I reached out to his people, but I have not heard from him," she told The Hollywood Reporter at the Recording Academy Honors event in New York City on Tuesday night. “I felt bad ... I felt he was ambushed, and I didn’t ever mean for it to end up being like that. It wasn’t part of my point in the answer."
Clarifying the comment further, the 52-year old added, "Your own personal health is your own personal choice, all the way down the line. ... When there is fear of sickness, you have different choices to make in that fear. It’s something that is affecting all of us now. Half of us have it, and it’s something that starts inside of us. It demands a deeper understanding of our own bodies.”
Etheridge was an honoree at the Recording Academy event, where she received praise from Joan Osborne and Sugarland’s Kristian Bush. "Both of them have opened for me before,” said Etheridge. “Kristian when he was in Billy Pilgrim and Joan back in 1994 we did a tour together, so these people are very close to my heart."
Fellow honoree Trey Songz, who, at 28, was the youngest artist in the room, stood in awe of Etheridge's accomplishments. "I only knew a few songs, but I didn't know all of that," he said after hearing a list of the star's achievements, including winning an Oscar for the song "I Need to Wake Up," from Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.
As for what's next, Etheridge said she's working on a box set, much like Bruce Springsteen’s Tracks collection, with rare recordings, outtakes, and re-recordings of older material.
“I’m putting together all these old tapes and CDs and DATS and cassettes and crazy stuff," she said. "I had 286 pieces of music that I listened to and culminated down to about eight CDs of unreleased solo stuff. I have a whole one of just the ‘80s."
No word yet on when the collection might be released, but it's safe to say, it may be a minute.