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Couples That Rock

From Kurt and Courtney to Justin and Selena, 30 musician duos who got together – for better and for worse

Deadmau5 and Kat Von D

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Deadmau5 and Kat Von D pose backstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on September 22nd, 2012.

john lennon and yoko ono


John Lennon and Yoko Ono

John Lennon's life forever changed when he met Yoko Ono at a London art gallery in 1966. Their magnetic attraction to each other caused John to divorce his wife Cynthia and spend as much time with Yoko as was humanly possible. Though this did strain relationships with his bandmates, reports that she "broke up the Beatles" have been hurled at her for years. This is ludicrous: The band started to fall to pieces after Brian Epstein died in late 1967, and a break-up was inevitable. John and Yoko briefly separated between 1973 and 1975 – but after they got back together she gave birth to their son Sean. Over the next five years, John abandoned his music career to raise the child. He returned to the scene with Double Fantasy in 1980, which was released weeks before he was killed. 

Paul McCartney, Linda

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Paul McCartney and Linda

Paul McCartney and his wife Linda (1941 – 1998) in a New York recording studio putting finishing touches to Paul's single "Another Day" and "Oh Woman, Oh Why?" 

Bob Dylan, Joan Baez

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Bob Dylan and Joan Baez

American electric folk hero Bob Dylan and singer, songwriter Joan Baez together for a portrait in Embankment Gardens, London. 

Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull

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Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull

Let's get one thing out of the way here: the Mars Bar story is an absolute myth. For those who haven't heard it, a nasty urban legend was spread that Mick Jagger was eating a Mars Bar out of Marianne Faithful's, um, body when the police stormed into the house and arrested them for drug possession in 1967. What is true is that she had just gotten out of the bath and she threw a fur rug over herself when she heard the commotion. Anyway, Marianne and Mick broke up in 1970. 

Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious


Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious

Lots of rock relationships end badly, but none quite as badly as Sid and Nancy. People will forever debate what exactly happened at the Chelsea Hotel on the evening of October 12th, 1978 – but what's known for sure is that Nancy was found stabbed to death and Sid was charged with her murder. It was the end of a toxic relationship, though many people feel that the former Sex Pistols bassist didn't actually do it. He died of a heroin overdose before the case went to trial. 

debbie harry and chris stein


Chris Stein and Debbie Harry

Without any close competitor, Debbie Harry was the hottest woman on the late 1970s CBGB scene. As a result, she got hit on constantly by the artists. But she always had a good excuse for turning them down: she was in a serious relationship with Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. They eventually broke up, but Chris and Debbie remain bandmates and extremely close friends. 

Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks


Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks

When Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac in 1975 they were a happy couple who had recently released a collaborative LP. Fleetwood Mac turned into superstars, though the success tore their relationship apart. The destruction of their love affair is chronicled in painful detail on Fleetwood Mac's 1977 LP Rumours. Despite the turmoil, they continue to be friends and bandmates. 

june carter and johnny cash


June Carter and Johnny Cash

June Carter and Johnny Cash were the perfect couple, but it took them about a decade to figure that out. They met in the late 1950s while they were both on tour, but at the time Johnny was married. June soon got married herself, but they reconnected in 1968 and formed a loving partnership that lasted four decades. They died months apart from each other in 2003. 

courtney love and kurt cobain


Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain

For a very brief time in the early 1990s, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love were the first couple of grunge. They started dating in 1991 (right as Nevermind was taking off) and were married the following year. In a notorious Vanity Fair article from 1992 Love admitted to doing heroin while pregnant with her daughter Frances Bean Cobain; this caused an absolute uproar. Cobain battled with a serious drug problem during the marriage, and in April of 1994 he committed suicide at the age of 27. 

Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson


Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson

Nick Ashford and Valerie Simpson had one of the longest lasting songwriting partnerships in the history of R&B. They met at a Harlem church in 1964 and quickly formed a musical partnership, writing classics like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing." They married in the early 1970s and began recording as a musical duo, charting with classics like "Solid." Ashford died in August of 2011.  

Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore


Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore

For three decades, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore proved to the world that two members of a popular band can remain married without endless tension or band implosions. The couple lived together in Northampton, Massauchesetts with their 17-year-old daughter Coco Hayley Gordon Moore until, the couple announced their split, shocking fans in October, 2011. 

Adam Horovitz and Kathleen Hanna


Adam Horovitz and Kathleen Hanna

It seemed like no woman could ever tame a Beastie Boy, but in 1997 Adam Horovitz met Bikini Kill frontwoman Kathleen Hanna and fell madly in love. They dated for nearly a decade before they finally got married in 2006. Bikini Kill broke up a long time ago, but Hanna went on to form Le Tigre. 

lisa marie presley and michael jackson


Lisa Marie Presley and Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson's motivation for marrying Lisa Marie Presley was pretty clear – accusations that he had molested young boys had severely damaged his career. Her motivation was less clear, even though she's attempted to explain herself numerous times over the years. They got divorced in 1996, though Lisa Marie has said that they remained close and almost reconciled a few times. Maybe he was the only person who could understand the crushing fame that killed her father – or maybe she just really, really wanted to anger her mother. 

pj harvey and nick cave


PJ Harvey and Nick Cave

When Nick Cave broke up with PJ Harvey in the mid-1990s, he funneled all of his emotion onto his LP The Boatman's Call. Like Bob Dylan's Blood On The Tracks or Bruce Springsteen's Tunnel of Love, many fans related to the heartache and it became one of the most acclaimed albums of his career. Two years ago, the former couple reunited onstage at London's Palace Theater to perform Cave's love song "Henry Lee." 

Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez

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Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez

Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez arrive at the The 28th Annual MTV Video Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on August 28th, 2011

justin timberlake and britney spears

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Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears

Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake met as cast members on the Mickey Mouse Club in 1993 and were dating by the time they became pop sensations in 2000, but after a couple years in the paparazzi spotlight they both moved on. In his 2002 video for Cry Me A River, Justin cast a Britney look-alike and clearly alleged that she had been unfaithful. 

beyonce and jay-z


Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Jay-Z and Beyoncé were incredibly famous before they started dating in 2002, but their union brought so much tabloid attention that even your mom knows their names these days. They married in 2008 and Beyonce gave birth to her first child, Blue Ivy Carter on January 7th, 2012. Look for the kid's album to drop sometime around the third quarter of 2029. 

Jack White and Karen Elson


Jack White and Karen Elson

Jack White used to lie and say that White Stripes drummer Meg White was his sister, but it eventually came out that the two were actually a divorced couple – and that Jack had taken the unusual step of taking her last name. They divorced in 2000, around the time their band was taking off. Pretty weird, huh? He married British model Karen Elson in 2005. They had two kids, but split in 2011. In typical wacky Jack fashion, they threw a divorce party soon after the announcement and vowed to remain close. 

nas and kelis


Nas and Kelis

In 2005, Kelis' milkshake brought in Nas from the yard and the couple got married. Four years later –while seven months pregnant – Kelis filed for divorce. It was a rough battle, with both parties fighting for custody of the child. 

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

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Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

Faith Hill was engaged to her producer Scott Hendricks when she launched a tour with Tim McGraw in 1996. Unfortunately for Hendricks, the two country superstars fell in love and Hill called off the engagement. Hill and McGraw married later that year, and they remain country's ultimate power couple. Their 2006 co-headlining tour made more money than any tour in the history of country music. In recent years, Hill has devoted much of her time to raising the couple's children. 

Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale

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Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale

Remember how bummed Gwen Stefani was when she broke up with No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal? It inspired the group's breakthrough hit "Don't Speak," but she quickly got over the heartache when No Doubt opened up for Bush in 1996. On that tour, she met the band's frontman Gavin Rossdale. They married in 2002 and have two young sons. 

Regine Chassagne and Win Butler


Regine Chassagne and Win Butler

Arcade Fire's Regine Chassagne and Win Butler co-founded Arcade Fire in 2003, the same year the couple got married. The marriage and band both seem to be going extremely well, but fans can't help but worry about might happen to Arcade Fire should Regine and Win ever break up. Sonny and Cher tried to keep working together after their split, but the chemistry was gone. Let's all hope that Regine and Win break the curse of the celebrity romance, and have a long and fruitful marriage. 

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz

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Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz

Fall Out Boy's army of fans winced in horror when the news hit that Pete Wentz was dating Ashlee Simpson. To them, she was the lip-syncing little sister of Jessica Simpson and lacked any musical credibility whatsoever. Wentz brushed aside their outrage and married her, and in 2008 she gave birth to their unfortunately named son Bronx Mowgli Wentz. To the surprise of nobody, they divorced in 2011. 

Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon

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Charlotte Kemp Muhl and Sean Lennon

Sean Lennon apparently finds that he has much in common with the children of famous rock stars – he had a long, tumultuous relationship with Bijou Phillips and also dated Elizabeth Jagger. His current girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl doesn't have a famous rock star dad, but she is absolutely beautiful. The two of them formed the folk music duo the Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger in 2008. 

Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean


Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean

Lots of celebrity relationships go bad – but this one really, really, really turned to shit. It also broke up one of the most promising hip-hop groups of all time. Wyclef Jean dated Lauryn Hill all through the early days of the Fugees, but by 1996 Lauryn had met Bob Marley's son Rohan Marley. They had five children together, but she said that Marley isn't the father of her sixth child. The Fugees reformed for a new single and European tour in 2004, but old tensions soon returned and they split for good. In 2007, Jean spoke to Rolling Stone about Lauryn. "I feel sorry for her," he said. "I think she needs psychiatric help . . . She wasn't always like this – but if someone has the ego and you keep feeding the ego, it's going to turn monstrous."

Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore


Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore

Ryan Adams and Mandy Moore both released their first album around the turn of the millennium. Mandy was a second-rate Britney Spears knock-off, while Ryan's debut Heartbreaker was an alt-country masterpiece. It was nearly impossible to imagine the two of them ever meeting, let alone getting married – but in 2009 they tied the knot, and seem very happy together.

katy perry and russell brand

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Katy Perry and Russell Brand

Katy Perry and Russell Brand are both huge, bawdy personalities that have little regard for societal norms, so it's no surprise that it was love at first sight when they met at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards. The couple married in India in 2010 but unfortunately split up in January 2012.

Kim Schifino and Matt Johnson


Kim Schifino and Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson met Kim Schifino at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute in 2004. Despite their height difference, the couple began dating, and in 2005 formed the dance punk duo Matt & Kim. They have slowly gained a mainstream following, and their 2010 LP Sidewalks reached the top 30. They spent the summer on the road with Blink-182 and My Chemical Romance. 

Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert

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Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert

Blake Shelton kisses his fiance, Miranda Lambert backstage at the 46th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on April 3rd, 2011.

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