Ugliest Pop Music Marriage Battles

There’s currently a thread about the ugliest rock and roll legal battles, but current events with certain music acts got me thinking about what the ugliest marriage break-ups were in pop music.

Top billing probably goes to the band that got me thinking about this subject, Fleetwood Mac. There are two couples that decoupled there, and there’s STILL tension decades after the break-ups/divorce. Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, and John and Christine McVie both rather famously found FM a very tense experience and both Buckingham and Christine McVie either quit or were fired at various times (Buckingham is currently suing the band for firing him recently).

The Mamas and the Papas were also a massive interrelationship crapshow. Cass was crushing hard on Dennie and Dennie slept with Michelle. Michelle and John’s divorce pretty much ended the band, and John’s daughter Mackenzie Phillips wrote in her memoir that John basically molested her long-term.

And then there’s ABBA, another two-couple crap attack. The divorces were reportedly pretty bitter and some of the later songs seem kind of sadistic in the very personal relationship-end subject matter that Benny and Bjorn wrote for Ani-Frid and Agnetha to sing.

Can anyone think of any other bands that fit the theme?

I think people–no matter how famous–have a right to privacy when it involves issues such as this.

I agree, especially if children are involved.

The pop relationship battles don’t hold a candle to some of the heavily publicized splits in the country music world.

John and Yoko had a ballad.

Well, there was the time that Ed Sheeran wrote a dis track about a female pop star he broke up with.

And then Ellie Goulding, who totally swears that that song wasn’t about her, wrote an answer to it.

It wasn’t exactly a marriage battle, but Sid and Nancy has to be the most spectacular flame-out. So weird and ghastly that it almost feels like a modern fairy tale.


Richard and Linda Thompson. Go have a listen to the “Shoot Out The Lights” album.

Ike and Tina Turner.

An actual physical fight, among other things.

Angie Bowie did not go quietly.

Not precisely what the OP is asking, but the four-decades-long partnership between sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart turned very ugly two years ago, due to tension between the sisters and other family members.

Short version: Ann got married, a few years ago, to a man named Dean Wetter (things I’ve read in various sources suggest that Wetter is a bit of an odd duck). In 2016, during a concert, Nancy’s teenaged twin sons asked Wetter if they could tour Ann’s new tour bus. He allowed them to, but warned them to keep the door closed (to prevent dogs from getting out). The door was left open, and Wetter assaulted both of the boys. Nancy and her side of the family called the police, and Wetter was arrested (and later pleaded guilty).

In the aftermath, there were a lot of accusations going back and forth between the two camps. The band finished that tour with the sisters essentially not speaking with one another. Ann and Nancy are both now involved in other projects, and while they haven’t announced that Heart is done as a band, barring a reconciliation, it seems unlikely that they’ll play together again.

Details here:

The OP forgot to add that Mick Fleetwood’s wife had an affair with a former guitarist (Bob Weston) that got him kicked out of the band before Stevie and Lindsey joined.

Yes, but John and Yoko were pretty solid as a couple (except for the May Pang interlude)

Now, Paul and Heather, that’s another story…

Which, like Rumors, goes to show that personal pain can yield great music. I love that album. “Wall of Death” should be a lot more well-known than it is.

You forgot the Wilson sisters had relationships with original band members the Fisher brothers which resulted in Roger being fired Mike quitting.

Steve Fossen and Mike DesRosiers eventually quit due to tension in the band and their decline in commercial success.

Pattie Boyd Harrison’s marriage to George and Maureen Cox Stanley’s marriage to Ringo Starr both ended when George & Maureen were found in bed together. I image that was quite a set of breakups…

And Pattie Boyd’s second marriage to Eric Clapton ended when she found out he had fathered a child by another woman.

Linda Daniele went from dating Joey Ramone to dating (and eventually marrying) Johnny Ramone. There were other issues between the two and even though Joey and Johnny remained in the band until the Ramones split in 1996, they quit talking to each other. Both wrote songs for the band that were about or alluded to Linda and they were unable to make peace, even when Joey was dying of lymphoma.,28804,2021828_2021854_2021915,00.html

Not just a physical fight. He was beating her up on the regular, along with beating up on all of his girlfriends he had on the side. He gave a new meaning to “couldn’t keep his hands to himself”.

I’d forgotten about the Weston thing! Thanks!

Didn’t know Ann got married. That’s surprising to me, because I’ve always thought she was a lesbian. I do know that “Magic Man” was a tribute to her then-boyfriend.

Cass Elliott never publicly identified the father of the baby she had when the band was at the top of their game, but I’ve seen pictures of her daughter, and she is the spitting image of Denny.