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Music lovers reap rewards of musicians’ love and heartbreak

For The Miami Student

Published: Monday, October 3, 2011

Updated: Monday, October 3, 2011 21:10

Famous musicians are just as susceptible to love and heartbreak as everyone else. The main differences between their relationships and ours are found in how their relationships or break-ups affect their lives.

Most people enjoy doing things that we love with our significant others, but if the relationship ends, we often dread awkward encounters or constant reminders of the relationship. Artists also frequently like to share music making with their significant others, but if they break up, there is often more at stake for them. Imagine having to perform every night singing songs of your past love.

Bands have been started because of relationships but they have also been ended because of them. How a band is affected by relationships changes from band to band, but the following are some examples of the ways musicians' romantic escapades have affected their bands.

Possibly one of the most confusing band relationships in recent history has to be that of Jack and Meg White a.k.a. The White Stripes. The two married while Jack White was playing in a few local Detroit bands. In his usual style, Jack White chose to defy the social norm and take his wife's last name. Meg White decided to learn to play the drums and The White Stripes were formed. For years, the duo claimed that they were brother and sister, which fans believed for the most part. By the time their true relation was revealed, the two were already divorced.

What is most shocking about The White Stripes is how their divorce didn't affect their band much because most fans were still under the impression that they were siblings. Fans were left wondering whether the Whites were married, siblings or possibly even both. When asked why the couple chose to portray themselves this way in a 2005 interview with Rolling Stone, Jack White said, "When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, ‘Oh, I see...' When they're brother and sister, you go, ‘Oh, that's interesting.' You care more about the music, not the relationship—whether they're trying to save their relationship by being in a band."

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros' founders Alexander Ebert and Jade Castrinos took a page out of The White Stripes' book. The band was formed after the couple met and started dating. They wrote songs together about life and their relationship; the band was practically formed from their blossoming love. This notion makes the fact that the two broke up without most fans knowing even more shocking. True fans still can't listen to their hit song "Home" without mourning a little for their lost relationship. It is unclear why they split but it seems that it has not significantly impacted the dynamic or effectiveness of the band. They are due to release their second album sometime this year.

As artists enter and exit romantic relationships, they can often weave intricate webs between bands. Noah & the Whale, Laura Marling and Mumford and Sons are all connected in this way. While it can't be said whether or not the outcomes of these love connections were positive or negative, it is definite that there were some big ramifications.

When Noah & the Whale released their first album, lead singer Charlie Fink and then-band member Laura Marling were a couple. Sometime after that album was released, the couple broke up and Fink wrote the band's second album called The First Days of Spring. The album brings listeners on a journey through Fink's heartbreak and eventual healing. One of the songs on the album, "Blue Skies," is possibly one of the most inspiring break-up songs ever written.

After Marling and Fink split, Marling began focusing on her solo career and also started dating Marcus Mumford of, that's right, Mumford and Sons. He played in her band for a short time before they broke up. After their relationship ended, Mumford started focusing more on his own band. While these breakups were undoubtedly difficult, their outcomes were positive for these musicians' music and careers.

Thankfully, not all of these musical love affairs have to end. Many artists both perform in a band together and have seemingly functional relationships. Take the band Grouplove, for example. Founding members Christian Zucconi and Hannah Hooper started dating before the band formed and their relationship has lasted through their recent rise to fame.

There are also some bands that fool listeners into thinking there are romantic feelings behind their music. The front-man and front-woman of The XX, Oliver Sim and Romy Croft, are often asked if they are dating. This would seem to be the case considering most of their songs are romantic duets. The two always quickly clarify that they have been best friends since preschool and dating is one of the last things on their minds.

Whatever their effect on a band might be, one can't argue that these relationships play a significant role in the music business. Thanks to love and heartbreak, new bands are formed and new break-up songs help listeners to cope.

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