10 iconic musician couples throughout history
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13.02.2023

10 iconic musician couples throughout history

John Lennon and Yoko Ono musician couple
Words by Benjamin Lamb

Love is in the air - and in the studio, it would seem. In celebration of Valentine's day, we're revisiting some of the most iconic pairs of musically inclined lovebirds.

Music can be a lot of things, happy, lovey, sad, angry, and even sexy. The latter descriptor is often used when band members have chemistry on stage, a thing that’s often not clear unless you’re an expert on the band.

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As we move into this season of cupid, it’s time to dive into the oft joined worlds of love and music. Today, we’re looking at some of the most notable couples who bonded over their love of music, and got into relationships. Some are pretty well known, and others are mind blowing. There’s everything from fellow band members to front-people, and everything in between. 

Johnny Cash and June Carter 

To kick it off, we’re starting with perhaps the most raw and intense relationship to ever grace the world of music. The man in black first met June way back in 1953 at a concert, and 13 years later, Cash proposed to Carter while playing a live show. The pair worked closely for their remaining 30+ years, until Carter’s death in 2003, and Cash’s death a mere 4 months later, assumed to be because of a broken heart. 

Jack White and Meg White

No, they’re not brother and sister, rather a former couple. The iconic multi-instrumentalist married Meg back in 1996, when, in a classic Jack White move, he took her surname, which he’s obviously continued to use to this today. The pair worked together on what are arguably some of the best works of the 20th century, changing the landscape of rock music. Their relationship ended in 2000, yet they continued to play as The White Stripes until 2011. 

ABBA

Yes, the entire band were in relationships with one another. When they first got together, Björn Ulvaeus and Agnetha Fältskog were together, as were Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad. Both relationships expired in the early 1980’s, which is often considered the reason Abba disbanded around the same time. The foursome are on good terms, having gotten together on a number of occasions since the 80’s, including press for the popular Mamma Mia movies, and to work together on their reunion holograph tour and album, Voyage. 

Jay Z and Beyonce

Perhaps the most iconic relationship in r&b history, Jay Z and Beyonce are one of the most popular pairs in the genre. They first met back when Jay Z was recording his 2002 album The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse, and Queen B featured on the track ’03 Bonnie and Clyde’. Since then, their rocky relationship has weathered infidelity, children, collaborative albums, and much, much more. 

Yoko Ono and John Lennon

No matter your thoughts on Yoko, there’s no question that her relationship with the Beatles frontman is one of the most iconic partnerships in history. The duo first met way back in 1966, when Lennon visited Ono’s art show, wanted to create an art piece himself, but was quickly stopped by Ono, who had no idea who he was. The pair’s relationship began while he was still married to Cynthia Powell, and there was even a few months crossover.

Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain

Grunge music isn’t really known for its lovey-dovey tendencies, but Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love aren’t your average couple. There’re a few different stories about how they met, but it’s assumed Cobain and Love met in the early 1990’s at a gig, quickly became infatuated with one another, and married soon thereafter. They had one kid together in 1992, a couple of months before the frontman’s untimely death. 

Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney

Another interesting and iconic relationship comes to us from a former Beatle – Linda and Paul first met back in 1966, while taking photos of the group at Shea Stadium. They caught a glimpse of one another, and it could almost be said it was love at first sight. After the Beatles broke up, McCartney formed Wings, and assigned Linda to play keys in the group, even though she wasn’t a musician by trade. Paul taught her, and she quickly became one of the most integral members of the group.  

Sonny and Cher

If you were around in the 60s and 70s, you couldn’t go very long without seeing or hearing Sonny and Cher. They first hit the big time with their iconic tracks ‘Baby Don’t Go’, and ‘I Got You Babe’, alongside their hit shows in the 70’s, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny and Cher Show. They first met back in 1962, when Sonny was 28 and Cher was a mere 16 years old, getting married 2 years later. They quickly had their first child Chaz a few years later. 

Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean

Another iconic relationship in the world of hip-hop, two members of the Fugees were together for a number of years. They had a crazy relationship that had a lot of ups and downs, Jean and Hill being together while Jean was married, and Hill starting a relationship with someone while having this affair with Jean. 

Honourable Mention: Madonna and Tupac Shakur

It doesn’t seem like you could find two musicians on opposite ends of the genre spectrum. The pair dated from 1993 until 1995, until Tupac wrote Madonna a letter, ending their relationship due to their racial differences. Their relationship ended a year after Tupac’s death in 1996. 

Feel like reading more about musical unions? Be sure to check out our feature on the 10 corniest music duets of all time.