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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 16 July 2018

The 10 biggest power couples in modern music history 

What happens when stars are an item on and off the stage? We take a look at the most harmonious musical relationships of our times

Beyonce and Jay-Z recently released a joint album together. 
Beyonce and Jay-Z recently released a joint album together. 

In 2003, American singer Beyoncé did what many singers in a group have done – she took a breather from her girl-group duties to explore her solo career. Sure, she’d written her way into the history books alongside bandmates Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, and they’d achieved a lot, but the star craved more and the time was right.

All the accolades from Destiny’s Child gave her the necessary foundations, but brand Beyoncé was set to become way bigger than even she could have imagined. When the single Crazy In Love dropped, the tabloids went to town with romance rumours and speculation about her relationship with rapper Jay-Z.

They looked pretty cosy in the video, too, but they kept their fans guessing and wondering how serious this was; a pattern that has remained in evidence for the couple. These two continue to pioneer as individuals and as a couple, always striking when people least expect them to.

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Last week, they released an album called Everything Is Love, a secret project that everybody was longing for, but weren’t prepared for when the notifications went out.

The album first streamed exclusively on Tidal, a platform Jay-Z (real name Shawn Carter) has a stake in. It is now available on services such as Spotify and Apple Music, giving their fans all over the globe access. Their new music video was also shot in the Louvre museum in Paris, too, making it an all-round masterpiece.

In celebration of this couple’s contribution to pop culture; hopefully, with fewer “sour lemons” and bashing of street-side water tanks, we’re taking a look at other powerful couples in the music industry who too have made strides in the business.

Yoko Ono and John Lennon

John Lennon and Yoko Ono. George Konig / REX / Shutterstock
John Lennon and Yoko Ono. George Konig / REX / Shutterstock

They met in London in the 1960s. Ono, an artist, singer-songwriter and filmmaker, is the second wife of, and often referred to, as the muse of The Beatles star John Lennon. In 1968, Lennon wrote the song Julia, a song about his mother, which included a reference to Ono in the lyrics “Ocean child calls me”. In the same year, Ono and Lennon also recorded what would become the Two Virgins album. A year later, they married. They were famous for many things, but images of their Bed-Ins For Peace in protest to the Vietnam War made headlines around the world, images which are still iconic to this day.

Sonny and Cher

Another couple who made considerable waves in the 1960s was Sonny Bono and Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian. Their first taste of fame came in 1965 with the release of the singles Baby Don’t Go, and I Got You, Babe. Not only were they big on the music scene, but their bubbly and entertaining personalities resonated with television viewers, too. As a duo, their time in the sun came to an end in the late 1970s. Cher went on to enjoy a hugely successful solo career, while Sonny delved into politics before his death in a skiing accident in 1998.

Ike and Tina Turner

Tina and Ike Turner. Kent / Mediapunch / REX / Shutterstock
Tina and Ike Turner. Kent / Mediapunch / REX / Shutterstock

From 1960 to 1976, the energetic, explosive personalities of Ike and Tina Turner made them one of the most influential duos in music. Giving fans hits like a Fool In Love, River Deep – Mountain High and many more, the two were credited for their significant contributions to soul music. Their passionate personalities sometimes got the better of them, as Tina claimed in her 1986 autobiography I, Tina, that Ike was violent on many occasions. They divorced in the late 1970s and that was supposedly the last time they spoke. Upon news of Ike’s death in 2007, Tina said there had been no communication between the two since their divorce. Despite this, their joint contribution to music lives on. They were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

The couple are known as country music royalty. Sparks flew between the two when Hill opened for McGraw on his Spontaneous Combustion Tour in 1996. Shortly after, he proposed to Hill on stage, and a few months later they were married. By May of 1997, the couple had welcomed two additions to their lives; a baby daughter and a single, It’s Your Love. In 2000, the stars hit the road for their first Soul2Soul tour. To say the tour was a success would be an understatement, 63 shows, almost a million fans and US$50 million (Dh183.6m) later. They’ve followed up with two more such tours and enjoyed a Vegas residency. They also have three daughters and, more recently, released their first album together The Rest Of Our Lives in celebration of their more than 20 years together.

Sarah Brightman and Andrew Lloyd Webber

Sarah Brightman and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Alan Davidson / Silverhub / REX / Shutterstock
Sarah Brightman and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Alan Davidson / Silverhub / REX / Shutterstock

Classical singer Brightman and composer and theatre superstar Lloyd Webber met in the 1980s. Brightman was cast as Jemima in the hit musical Cats in 1981. He grew fond of her, and by 1984 they were married. Despite their divorce, the two continued their professional relationship, sharing at least six album credits.

Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain

Songwriting credits between Love, of Hole fame, and Cobain (frontman of Nirvana) are few and far between, but speculation around Hole’s 1994 release, Live Through This was rife. After analysing lyrics, many were of the opinion that Cobain had ghostwritten several tracks on the album, something the band vehemently denied. They did not refute statements about Cobain being in the studio with them and that there were some drumming sessions and unofficial or non-credited backing vocals on a few songs in which he was involved. Publicly, Love and Cobain were in the news on a regular basis, but only appeared on stage at the 1993 Rock Against Rape benefit in Hollywood, where they performed tracks Pennyroyal Tea and Where Did You Sleep Last Night. Their time together, on stage and off, was cut short when Cobain committed suicide in 1994.

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

Lopez has dominated the acting and dance scenes, as well as the perfume industry. She’s made millions, been an ambassador for the biggest brands in the world, rocked some of the most memorable red carpet looks in history, and her music career has done just as well. A lot of Lopez’s relationships have become tabloid fodder, and that is to be expected given the industry and the famous men she has dated such as Sean Combs (P. Diddy). While that did not last long, fans did get the hit Feelin’ So Good. A few years later, she met Latin singer and producer Marc Anthony, to whom she was married for 10 years. In that time, the two appeared on stage, made cameo appearances in each other’s videos, and they released songs like, No Me Ames and Escapémonos. While they are no longer married, they have two children and so have always remained close. More recently, they have gone back into the studio together, as Lopez put the final touches to her Spanish album.

Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz

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Unlike their fellow stars, Grammy Award-winning artist Keys and her music-producer and rapper husband Swizz Beatz keep a low profile when it comes to details of their relationship and their children. It helps that the paparazzi don’t really have an interest in their private lives anymore. Before making their relationship official, they were the subject of many headlines. Musically, they have worked together on several songs, including Waiting for Your Love, International Party and Put It In A Love Song.

G-Eazy and Halsey

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G-Eazy, also known as Gerald Earl Gillum, and Halsey (Ashley Nicolette Frangipane) have been dating for nearly a year. The relative newcomers to the music scene might not have albums or years of experience, but their hit single Him and I has resonated with their fans. Admittedly in the courting stages, G-Eazy had his work cut out for him, as his then peer found him to be rather “Yuk”, but his “Smooth” ways eventually won her over. And now many are claiming them to be #CoupleGoals.