NINE MONTHS after her public breakup with Julie Cypher, rocker Melissa Etheridge has found love with a new galpal — who’s nearly half her age!

For several weeks, 40-year-old

Melissa has been smitten with Tammy Lynn Michaels, 23, who stars on WB’s “Popular.”

The beautiful blonde sitcom star has successfully mended Melissa’s broken heart — and the couple have taken trips to Florida, Las Vegas and New York City.

“Melissa and Tammy Lynn are definitely an item,” an insider told The ENQUIRER.

The May-December romance started in April when the women were introduced at the West Hollywood bar, Felt.

“Tammy Lynn noticed Melissa kept checking her out, but both were too shy to approach each other. So a mutual friend made the introductions,” a source close to the couple told The ENQUIRER.

Tammy Lynn Michaels grew up poor on a farm in Indiana.

“Since then, they have been nearly inseparable. Tammy recently accompanied Melissa to West Palm Beach, where Melissa performed at the Florida city’s annual SunFest.”

Then, they flew to Las Vegas on Friday, May 11, where they stayed in the Bellagio hotel. They painted the town red all weekend and partied at the hip rumjungle nightclub in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

Divulged the source: “When they’re not flying around the country, Melissa and Tammy split their time between Tammy’s Studio City apartment and Melissa’s Santa Monica home. Often, Tammy picks Melissa up from the Burbank studio where she hosts the Lifetime series ‘Beyond Chance.’

“It’s a real romance — and they’re both incredibly happy with each other.”