In this week’s NME we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s album ‘Milk And Honey’. Released posthumously in 1984, it was the last album John recorded before his death in 1980. In honour of the iconic lovebirds, here are 23 more music power couples…
Jay Z and Beyoncé first met when they collaborated on track ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ in 2002. They recorded ‘Crazy In Love’ together in 2003, got married in 2008 and had baby Blue in 2012. The pair worked together again on Beyoncé track ‘Drunk On Love’ in 2013, with Jay controversially mentioning another iconic musical couple – Tina and Ike Turner – in his verse.
Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan met in 1980 while filming movie One From The Heart. Tom was working on the soundtrack while Kathleen was script-writing. The pair collaborated on projects including The Outsiders and The Cotton Club and Tom wrote 1983 track ‘Johnsburg, Illinois’ about her.
June Carter and her family had performed with Johnny Cash for a number of years when Cash proposed to her during a live performance at the London Ice House in 1968. They married on March 1 in Kentucky and remained married until her death in May 2003. A posthumous album of their work together – ‘June Carter and Johnny Cash: Duets’ – was released in 2006.
Gwen Stefani and No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal had to relive the pain of their break-up everytime they performed ‘Don’t Speak’ on their 28-month ‘Tragic Kingdom’ tour. Gwen wrote the track after their seven-year relationship came to an end in the ’90s. “In every interview we were talking about it so we were opening this wound on an hourly basis,” says Tony.
White Stripes’ Jack Gillis and Meg White got married in 1996, telling the press they were brother and sister. They divorced in 2000, with Jack keeping Meg’s last name even after marrying model Karen Elson.
Sharon Osbourne met Ozzy aged 17, when her dad Don was managing Black Sabbath. After Don fired Ozzy from the band, Sharon became both the rock star’s manager and his girlfriend. Their relationship’s been a wild one. Ozzy battled addiction and was arrested for her attempted murder in 1989. They have four kids.
Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna married Ad-Rock from the Beastie Boys in 2006. The riot grrrl punk-rocker met the rapper in Australia while on tour. “When we first started going out, there was the whole joke, like ‘Oh, we should start a TV show called The Feminist and the Rapper,” she says. “And it would be him always saying fucked-up shit and me always correcting him.”
Madonna and Vanilla Ice dated for a strange eight months in 1992. “Like, we would go to movies,” said Vanilla. “We had disguises. I had a moustache and a hat.” They split in 2002 when Madonna released book Sex. Ice Ice Baby was none-to-impressed to find a snap of himself in a sexually suggestive position in the book, alongside a fully nude Madge.
Tina and Ike Turner married in 1958, before having hits like ‘River Deep’, ‘Mountain High’, ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Nutbush City’ and winning a Grammy in 1972. Despite their successful working career, the pair had a tumultuous relationship. Tina wrote about Ike abusing her in autobiography What’s Love Got To Do With It?.
Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth began dating in 1981, before getting married in 1984. They split in 2011, with Kim blaming the break-up on her bandmate’s ‘midlife crisis’ affair with ‘starstruck woman.
Drake and Rihanna have been linked together since 2011 – much to Ri’s ex Chris Brown’s distaste. “At one point in life the woman that he loves fell into my lap. I did what a real n—a would do and treated her with respect,” said Drake last April. Apparently, the pair enjoyed spending romantic evenings at… strip clubs. They teamed up for Ri’s ‘What’s My Name’ and Drizzy’s ‘Take Care’ in 2011.
Meeting at a Portland nightclub in 1990, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love didn’t immediately strike up a relationship, despite her having a crush on him. Fast-forward two years and Courtney was pregnant with Kurt’s child. The pair got married on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. Sadly, Kurt died on April 5, 1994.
After attending a Rolling Stones party in 1964, Marianne Faithfull ended up getting to know the band and eventually beginning a relationship with Mick Jagger. She co-wrote “Sister Morphine”, which is featured on the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sticky Fingers album’. Mick also wrote songs “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, “Wild Horses” and “I Got the Blues” about Marianne.
A$AP Rocky and Iggy Azalea revealed they were dating in January 2012 when Iggy got ‘Live Love A$AP’ tattooed on her fingers. Meeting to work together on a song, they ditched the project because of the chemistry. “I think it would be kinda corny right now,” said Iggy at the time. “Like, ‘Rocky and Iggy do a love duet!'” The pair broke up later in the year.
Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks met as teenagers in San Fransisco in 1965. He was a high school swimming pro and killer guitarist, she was the new girl from Arizona. They became bandmates then stared going out before joining Fleetwood Mac in 1974. Their relationship ended during the making of ‘Rumours’ but they worked through it, channelling their heartache into the music.
Win Butler persuaded Regine Chassagne to his band when he saw her singing jazz at an art opening at Concordia in 2000. After a number of line-up changes, only the two of them were left. They started Arcade Fire, got married in 2003 and had their first child, a son, on April 21, 2013.
Bruce Springsteen asked Patti Scialfa to join the E Street Band for his 1984 tour, after her seeing her singing in a bar. They almost became a couple, but Springsteen married Julianne Philips in 1985. When Patti toured with Bruce again in 1988 the pair fell in love. Springsteen divorced Julianne in 1989 and now lives in New Jersey with Patti. They have two children.
Known for their raw harmonies, married couple Excene Cervenka and John Doe shared lead vocals and songwriting credits in early punk band X. The band broke up in 1988 but the couple remained married.
Starting out as backing singers for Phil Spector, Sonny and Cher were a husband-and-wife vocal team. Most famous for hit ‘I Got You Babe’, they also had their own TV comedy shows before divorcing in 1975.
Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed met at John Zorn’s Kristallnacht festival in Germany in 1992. She says they met up for a coffee a few months later in New York before that turned to a movie, dinner and eventually a relationship. “Lou and I played music together,” said Laurie. “Became best friends and then soul mates, traveled, listened to and criticized each other’s work, studied things together.”
Beth Ditto married her assistant Kristin Ogata in 2013. The pair had been best friends since Beth was 18. “At long last, now that we have returned home and recovered from all the amazingness and had some time to bask in the afterglow,” they posted on Facebook.
When Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz hooked up in 2010 after ending up in the studio together, his ex-wife singer Mashonda Tifrere was less than happy. She wrote an open letter the press saying Alicia had “assisted in destroying a family”. Alicia and Swizz married in 2010 and have a son called Egypt.
And finally… the love story to end all love stories. Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake met while filming The Mickey Mouse Club as teenagers and went official in 1999 (stepping out in a significant number of matching denim looks). All did not end well. The pair split in 2002. Justin released ‘Cry Me A River’ with a video featuring a charactering spying on his ex-lover.