The 18 Most Epic Musical Romances, Ever

Living the life of a world-famous musician takes its toll. As college romances reveal, dating someone who makes music often leads to heartbreak, discarded guitar strings, and songs written about you in which your name isn't even pronounced correctly. (Everyone experiences this; 'tis a fact of life.)
But, despite the trashed hotel rooms, acrimonious splits, and the existence of John Mayer, some of the greatest, most epic relationships ever to cross our popular periphery have a musical backbone. Check out these 18 heartwarming couples, all of whom prove that, amid the onstage antics and tour dates, rock-'n'-roll romances are indeed the most epic. (When they don't end in divorce, that is.)
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Photo: REX USA/Richard Young.
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash

June Carter met Johnny Cash while they were both on tour with the Grand Ole Opry. And, while the Joaquin Phoenix film might have you thinking it was love at first sight, it took June and Johnny 13 years to get married. True, their great American love story was born out of infidelity, but their relationship is perhaps the most enduring, classic, and prolific in musical history. And, no matter how hard our hearts can be, the fact that Johnny died a mere four months after June kind of proves that he simply couldn't live without her. (That, and also diabetes.)
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Photo: REX USA/Everett Collection.
Paul & Linda McCartney

Paul McCartney was a world-traveling rock star. Linda was a simple (though gorgeously understated) photographer. They met at a club in London, and Paul was immediately hooked. Theirs is one of the most enduring love stories in popular culture, Paul stood by his wife when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and he continues to work tirelessly to support the causes dear to her heart, even though he remarried (twice) after her death. Hell, he even started Wings with her, which, if that isn't just a "Silly Love Song," nothing is.
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal.
Linda Perry & Sara Gilbert

The newest (in terms of anniversary date) couple on this list, Linda and Sara have been adorably outspoken about how much they love one another. Linda proposed by inviting Sara to a sun-drenched park, laying out a lovely picnic, and surprising her with an orchestral performance of The Cure's "Love Song" before popping the question. Sold.
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Photo: REX USA/Ray Stevenson.
Lux Interior & Poison Ivy, The Cramps

Lux met his wife, Poison Ivy Rorschach, while she was hitchhiking in 1972, and the rest is gritty, psychobilly, rock-'n'-roll history. Being married for 37 years in the punk/garage rock world is truly legendary.
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Photo: REX USA/Picture Perfect.
Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz

Sure, Bey and Jay get all the paps and drama, but Alicia and Swizz are the magical hook makers, the two individuals who get called in to set a track on fire. If Carter-Knowles are the First Couple of Hip-Hop, then these two are a funky, chilled-out Mr. & Dr. Biden in the role of veep.
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal.
Ice T & Coco Austin

Yes, they have that TV show, and the tabs love reporting on their reality romance, but the truth is Ice and Coco truly are the real deal, having been at it for almost 15 years. For anyone who has ever seen the couple in person — whether on the red carpet or out at a night club — Mr. T is the most attentive, adoring partner who is totally in awe that Coco is his wife. Which is completely fair, because she is awesome.
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Photo: REX USA/Chris McHugh/Rex.
John Lennon & Yoko Ono

There are some problematic allegations about John Lennon's treatment of women, which originally made us pause before including him on this list. Except he and Yoko, in all their poetic, New York-dwelling ways, are this list. They simply are. This doesn't negate his troubling history with his ex-wife, but we can't ignore the romantic Ono-Lennon iconography. Who can?
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Lou Reed & Laurie Anderson

Paul McCartney may have invented modern pop music, but Lou Reed was the inventor of inspiration for everything that came after, from punk to New Wave to alternative. His relationship with pioneering experimental musician Laurie Anderson lasted for 20 years — a lifetime in rock 'n’ roll. They were the ultimate couple of NYC’s art and music scene until Reed’s death last October.
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Photo: REX USA/Richard Young
Debbie Harry & Chris Stein

Singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein were Blondie, writing major hits "Heart of Glass" and "Rapture" together and dating from the band’s inception through the end of the ‘80s. While they’re no longer romantically linked, they’re still touring and recording together. So, that counts.
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Photo: BEImages/Gregory Pace.
Matt Johnson & Kim Schifino

Matt and Kim are so adorable that they've created entire albums based on the fact that they are really adorable. Can confirm, have seen them live, died of adorableness.

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Photo: LGI Stock/Corbis.
Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan

Want to melt into a puddle of percussion-drenched, jazz-infused emotion? This is what Waits has said about his collaborator and wife of 34 years after 24 years of marriage. Just read it.

"She's like a heavy equipment operator and a clairvoyant — it's rare you get that together...She's something else — tree surgeon and a ventriloquist, astronaut and private eye. You're always looking for those two things. A newspaperman and a bathing beauty. It's a combination that works for us, 'cause a lot of times, I'm in a stroller waiting to be pushed out into traffic. She's the one that'll do it."
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Photo: BEImages/Gregory Pace.
Sting & Trudie Styler

Trudie and Sting are another one of those couples who have wonderful longevity (and we do mean longevity). Instead of going the way of the average rocker with myriad affairs to match a trite bad-boy persona, Sting evolved his relationship with Styler by exploring yoga, engaging in activism, and being politically involved.
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Photo: Paul Bruinooge/PMC.
Kathleen Hanna & Adam Horovitz

Who would have ever guessed that feminist icon Kathleen Hanna would have married Beastie Boys rabble-rouser Ad-Rock. Oh, wait, that actually makes the most sense of anything that has ever existed.
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Photo: Steve Eichner/Getty Images.
Ira Kaplan & Georgia Hubley

When Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon divorced, everyone was like, "Wah-wah, the first couple of alt-rock has perished, how can love survive?" Love can — and will — survive because we should all remind ourselves that not only does Yo La Tengo exist, but its founders have been married for 26 years.
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Photo: BEImages/Jim Smeal.
Blake Shelton & Miranda Lambert

Proving that, indeed, all country-music marriages are made of love and light (you, too, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw), these two are the First Couple of Country. The only person who could ever break them up is Adam Levine, as a result of his incredible bromance.
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Photo: Courtesy of Epic Centre.
Genesis P-Orridge & Lady Jaye Breyer P-Orridge

Certainly the most interesting couple on this list, Throbbing Gristle/Psychic TV's Genesis P-Orridge's relationship with Lady Jaye has captivated underground music enthusiasts for so long that they became the subjects for the documentary The Ballad Of Genesis & Lady Jaye. Known for their experimental, genre-bending musical careers, Genesis engaged in pandrogyny with their wife, hoping to become a gender-neutral identity who look like one another.

"We started out, because we were so crazy in love, just wanting to eat each other up, to become each other and become one. And as we did that, we started to see that it was affecting us in ways that we didn't expect. Really, we were just two parts of one whole; the pandrogyne was the whole and we were each other's other half," explained Genesis in an interview. When Lady Jaye died in 2007, Genesis was naturally devastated but has continued their mission.
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Photo: REX USA/Brian Rasic/Rex.
Régine Chassagne & Win Butler

Ah, yes, the heart and soul of Arcade Fire. Though the husband-wife pair work hard not to make their marriage the forefront of the band's narrative, Régine's initial attraction to Win was one of the reasons she joined the group. The couple just gave birth to their first son last year. (Bet that kid's birthday parties will be pretty awesome.)
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Photo: BEImages/Matt Baron.
Gwen Stefani & Gavin Rossdale

Beautiful, multinational, and going strong, Gwen and Gavin are like all of our '90s dreams come true. But, unlike most things that are '90s throwbacks, these two still look super rad in 2014.

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