Melissa Etheridge and her partner Tammy Lynn Michaels

Melissa and Tammy Etheridge have separated after nearly nine years together, has confirmed.

"We ask for consideration and respect for our family as we go through this difficult period," the pair said in a statement through the rocker's rep.

Melissa Etheridge refuses to pay taxes over gay-marriage ban

Etheridge, 48, married the 35-year-old Popular and L Word actress in a commitment ceremony in September 2003.

Tammy Etheridge (formerly Tammy Lynn Michaels) gave birth to twins, daughter Johnnie Rose and son Miller, three years later.

Check out photos of Tammy and Melissa

Melissa Etheridge is also mother to daughter Bailey, 13, and son Beckett, 11, her children with former partner Julie Cypher. The children were fathered by David Crosby.