‘Generosity based in love and respect’: David Crosby discusses fathering Melissa Etheridge’s children

David Crosby had been there for the birth of two Hall of Fame supergroups in the Byrds and Crosby Stills and Nash. For a period of time, however, he was more famous for a pair of much more surprising births — that of Melissa Etheridge’s children Bailey and Beckett in the late 1990s.

Etheridge, who is openly gay, used Crosby as a sperm donor so that her then-partner Julie Cypher could conceive: “It was a pure thought,” Crosby tells the Hudson Union Society. “It was a generosity based in love and respect for good human beings. What we did was, we made it possible for them to have two incredible kids.”

Of course, Crosby has been in a relationship with Jan Dance more than 35 years, one that’s produced a son of their own, named Django. That only upped the turn-of-the-century headline fonts following a 2000 story in Rolling Stone that broke the news of Crosby’s role with the Etheridge family.

Crosby explains what happened: “She came to see us,” Crosby says, during a vacation at bandmate Graham Nash’s house. “She and her significant other Julie Cypher looked at Django, and they said: ‘How do you get one of those?’ I resisted the obvious answer and said: ‘Well, we’re very fortunate. We’re very lucky. He’s a wonderful kid.’ And they said: ‘We’ve have a lot of problems, and we would like to have children … but people won’t let us adopt. Jan pointed at me, and Melissa looked at Julie and they looked at me, and I looked at them — and then we all looked at Jan. [Laughs.]”

Unfortunately, Etheridge and Cypher’s relationship didn’t last. Still, Crosby’s admiration for and friendship with Etheridge remains. Crosby just released his first solo album in more than a decade, while Etheridge — who more recently fought off cancer — has issued a new single called “Uprising of Love.”

“I like her because, a): She’s a rocker, and b): She’s very brave,” Crosby says. “Because of that generosity, we put two more good human beings on the planet, and I’m really happy about that.”

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