has much to celebrate
The 53-year-old singer-songwriter married her partner Linda Wallem
earlier this year and on Tuesday, she released her first-ever independent album, This Is M.E.
"I've never been happier or healthier," Etheridge tells Entertainment Tonight
's Nancy O'Dell
and special guest co-host LL Cool J
of her newlywed bliss.
The singer also reacts to the Supreme Court's recent refusal to hear cases from five states seeking to keep same-sex marriage bans in place. As of Monday, same-sex marriage is now legal in Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin and Indiana.
"It's natural," she says of the decision. "We have been in a process in the last 20 years of trying to take the 'ew' out of it. Of normalizing something that -- I know when I was a kid, it was criminal. You were mentally ill or something.
"It takes time," she adds. "And it's about love. We’re not hurting anybody."
At her own May wedding in Montecito, Calif., Etheridge performed
a brand-new song for her wife as they exchanged vows. The track, "Who Are You Waiting For?," is now featured on her new album.
"I had never sung a song looking in to someone's eyes that close," Etheridge says, recalling the tears rolling down her face. "It was a beautiful moment. I was very happy for it."
Another song on This Is M.E. is "A Little Bit of Me," which Etheridge performed live on our stage! See the complete performance below.