Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge Talk Breast Cancer, Sex After 50

"That was a really, really emotional time for me," Crow says of being diagnosed with the disease

Photo: Courtesy AARP The Magazine

As Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches, two of music’s most high-profile survivors are speaking out about winning their battles with the disease.

Sheryl Crow and Melissa Etheridge team up for the cover of AARP The Magazine‘s October/November issue, opening up about being in the spotlight while sick.

“That was a really, really emotional time for me,” Crow, 52, tells the magazine of being diagnosed in 2006. “My world was falling apart. I felt like the bottom had just dropped out.”

It was a struggle made even worse by her split from former fiancé Lance Armstrong just weeks earlier.

“He was probably the most widely known cancer survivor, right?” she says of the cyclist and Livestrong founder. “It was kind of a cruel joke.”

Etheridge, 53, has been cancer-free for about a decade after learning of her own diagnosis in 2003. And like Crow, her personal life has been a subject of fascination: She broke up with longtime partner Tammy Lynn Michaels in 2010 and fought for custody of their twins.

“If I could have, I would have chosen not to go through cancer or my divorces in public,” Etheridge tells AARP. “Yet you can’t say, ‘I’m only going to let the public see the good stuff.’ Whenever I sit down with someone, I need to know that I’m not hiding anything.”

But life has only gotten better for both rockers. Crow is happily raising her sons, Wyatt, 7, and Levi, 4, and released a new album, Feels Like Home, earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Etheridge’s album This is M.E. comes out Tuesday, and she married Linda Wallem in May.

“The sex is better!” she says of being older than 50. “Seriously, I’m healthier and in loving myself I attract a different kind of person now.”

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