Music is full of toxic relationships. It seemed as though you can’t walk 20 paces without stumbling into some horrifying story about infidelity, abuse, or even murder. Well, in this list, we’re going to brighten your day and look at five of music’s most romantic partnerships.
Whilst it might not seem like fertile ground for romance, the world of rock ‘n’ roll has given birth to some of the most enduring relationships in the celebrity world, ones that were rooted in creativity and artistic expression and, as a result, were nurtured with care and patience.
That’s not to say that the couple on this list never went through marital difficulty. In fact, quite the opposite is the case. It is these couple’s ability to transcend all the negative influences of fame which makes their relationships so impressive. It’s hard enough to keep a romantic partnership afloat at the best of times, but when you throw drug abuse and pervasive media attention into the mix, it becomes a different challenge entirely.
Whilst the music industry is full of romances, the couples on this list aren’t your Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckinghams. Rather, they’re examples of couples who, despite the challenges thrown their way, managed to treat each other with respect and kindness. So take my hand as we look at five musical romances that restore our faith in humanity.
5 wonderful musical romances:
Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon
In 1981, Kim Gordon met Thurston Moore after a stint playing with the short-lived no-wave band CKM. Both musicians were part of the underground scene in New York and began dating before going on to form Sonic Youth in 1981. As well as leading a revolution in rock music, the couple went on to become one of the grunge scenes most prominent couples.
They married in 1984, and their relationship lasted the length of their joint career in Sonic Youth. When their relationship ended in 2004, so did their band. It’s as though their harmony as a couple formed the very bedrock of Sonic Youth’s dizzying success.
Johnny and June Carter Cash
The relationship between Johnny and June Cash is perhaps one of the most iconic musical romances of all time. It was a relationship that managed to transcend time, addiction and the destructive influence of fame. Having inspired two Hollywood films, their relationship is one of the most celebrated in music history. The couple worked together throughout their careers, touring and collaborating on tracks like ‘Jackson’.
The pair met when Johnny Cash made his debut on the Grand Ole Opry stage, where Carter was also performing. Apparently, Cash was a little star-struck, having grown up listening to Carter perform with her family. “I’ve always wanted to meet you,” he said, to which Carter replied: “I feel like I know you already.” When June died, she made Johnny promise that he would continue working, and, until his death just a few months later, that’s just what he did.
Sharon and Ozzy Osborne
Despite the Black Sabbath frontman’s wild antics (such as biting the head off a bat live on stage), Osborne’s relationship with his wife has outlasted every other on this list. The pair met when Sharon Levy was 18 and worked for her father, Black Sabbath’s manager Don Arden.
When they married in 1982, Sharon took over as Ozzy’s manager, and the couple went on to have three children together. Although undoubtedly dysfunctional, their relationship is still going strong today, despite all the addiction, infidelity, and a reality MTV show.
Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love
As the most prominent couple of the 1990s, Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s relationship was characterised by an intensity befitting both Nirvana and Hole. They began dating in the early years of the ’90s and, after just a few months of dating, Courtney fell pregnant. The couple married in 1992, using the ceremony as an opportunity to escape the impenetrable cloud of Seattle for a sunny beach in Hawaii.
Kurt and Courtney collaborated throughout their careers but didn’t make a big song and dance about it. Kurt provided uncredited backing vocals for several Hole records, whilst Courtney always maintained that ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ was written about her genitalia.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Yoko oh-no? Yoko oh-yes. Arguably, the most famous musical romance of all time, John and Yoko’s relationship continues to cast its shadow over the world of popular music. And no, she didn’t break up The Beatles. Rather, Yoko Ono allowed a man who had been struggling with heroin addiction and crippling self-doubt to find something resembling inner peace.
The couple cemented their status as one of the most iconic romantic partnerships when they allowed the media intimate access to their bedroom during their notorious “bed-in”, during which they promoted, amongst other things, world peace. When Lennon died in 1980, Ono continued the couple peace activism on her own, lighting the Imagine Peace Tower on Viðey Island, Iceland in 2007.