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Melissa Etheridge Brings an Original Song to Incarcerated Women in New Doc Trailer

I’m Not Broken chronicles the musician’s relationship with five inmates at the Topeka Correctional Facility and her special concert there

Melissa Etheridge prepares for one of the most emotional and powerful shows of her life in the new trailer for her upcoming two-part docuseries, I’m Not Broken, airing July 9 and 10 on Paramount+.

The film is centered around a show Etheridge played at the Topeka Correctional Facility in Kansas, as well as the bond she formed with five incarcerated women there. The women had all sent Etheridge letters, and the musician used them as inspiration for a song that also drew on the death of her own son from opioid addiction.

The trailer navigates these themes of incarceration and addiction, with the clip noting that about half of the incarcerated women in the United States struggle with substance abuse issues. In the trailer, Etheridge discusses her 21-year-old son Beckett Cypher’s 2020 death but also remembers growing up in the shadow of the famous prison in nearby Leavenworth, Kansas. 


Elsewhere, the women who wrote to Etheridge share snippets of their stories and chat with the musician about her show and original song. “I know your experiences,” Etheridge says at one point. “My whole intention with the concert is to lift people up. I’ve been working on this for weeks and weeks, so know that when you hear the song tomorrow, that you all are in that song.” 

Prior to its arrival on Paramount+, I’m Not Broken — which was directed by Brian Morrow and Amy Scott — will premiere June 14 at the Beacon Theatre as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. Tickets are still available, and Etheridge will be on-hand to deliver a special acoustic performance, too. 

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