After a bitter breakup with her longtime lesbian partner, MELISSA ETHERIDGE has found love again, The ENQUIRER has learned exclusively.

The openly gay rock star is "hot and heavy" with Hollywood producer/writer Linda Wallem, the creative force behind the hit cable TV series Nurse Jackie, according to an insider.

"Linda has been talking constantly on the set about how she and Melissa are in love and how they’re in a committed relationship," the insider said.

Melissa and Linda – who are both 49 and were born on the same day, May 29, 1961 – have known each other for years. Linda was the best friend of the singer’s ex-partner, Tammy Lynn Michaels, according to one of Tammy’s friends.

When Tammy and Melissa exchanged wedding vows in 2003 in a lavish ceremony at Dick Clark’s Malibu estate, Linda was in the wedding party.

"In lesbian terms, Linda was the ‘best lady,’" the friend said.

"Now she’s taken Tammy’s place."

All the details are in the new ENQUIRER – on sale now!