The kids, on the other hand, now wonder about what might have been.

"Of course, my teenagers now are like, 'I could have had Brad Pitt [as my dad]! MORE: Singer Melissa Etheridge gets married, shares wedding photo Ultimately Etheridge went with someone who had his own family before helping her make hers — and who happened to be a fellow singer-songwriter.

Etheridge jumped onstage with him at a New Jersey show. "We'd see them every now and then at a party, stuff like that," says Etheridge. "For one, he's musical, which means a lot to me, you know, and I admire his work," says Etheridge.

"Melissa and Tammy Etheridge are saddened to announce that they are now separated," Melissa`s rep tells PEOPLE exclusively.

But that's just what Melissa Etheridge did when she and former partner Julie Cypher decided to start a family in the '90s.

Etheridge dropped the bombshell on Australia’s & Melissa Etheridge is promoting her new album, This is M.

E., which is due for release at the end of the month.

t was beginning to get ridiculous: The speculation ... "Now, I'm no geneticist, but in some regard there must have been Daddy somewhere," he said, leaning forward. " "Well, you were on the short list for a minute," Etheridge hedged. "All right," she said, "it's Dan Quayle." Rumors flew on the Internet. "It was artificial insemination, done privately," says Cypher. "No kitchen implements were involved," says Cypher.

For three long years, Melissa Etheridge and her partner, filmmaker Julie Cypher, were asked the same question over and over: Who is the biological father of your two children? Then, with the release of Etheridge's album appearance, David Letterman had a go. " Etheridge threw up her hands in mock exasperation. As the group chatted, the subject of children came up, and Etheridge and Cypher mentioned their dilemma: Eggs they had. "And he has his own life, has his own family." A few questions: What do the kids call you? Not to put too fine a point on it, but how did the fertilization occur?

MORE: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie open up on marriage, health in rare interview "I looked and I saw how badly he wanted children and I thought, 'I don't want to share this with someone who really, badly wants children because my children don't need another parent — they have two,'" Etheridge explained.

She and Cypher went on to have two children together — a daughter, Bailey, and son, Beckett — and no regrets.

She returned to school to study psychotherapy and now runs a yoga therapy program in Los Angeles.