Painful breakups are part of everyone’s life experiences – but when you’re a singer/songwriter, sharing that pain with the world might just be part of the healing process.
When Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin began singing songs off their new album Ghost Stories, hitting stores May 19, speculation grew about which songs might be about the end of his 10-year marriage to actress Gwyneth Paltrow after the two announced their decision to consciously uncouple.
He’s not the first – and definitely won’t be the last – musician to explore the pain of heartbreak in song. Below, see some other singers who famously released their pain through music.
1. Coldplay, "Magic" – Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow
With lyrics like “Call it magic/ Cut me into two/ And with all your magic/ I disappear from view/ And I can’t get over/ Can’t get over you,” it seems as if some of the struggles the couple were having before their official split were surfacing for the singer.
2. Katy Perry, "Ghost" – Katy Perry and Russell Brand
When Russell Brand filed for divorce from Katy Perry after one year of marriage, Perry put her pen to her pain, with lyrics like “You sent a text/ It’s like the wind changed your mind.” Brand dumped her via text message back in 2011.
3. Bruce Springsteen, "Brilliant Disguise" – Bruce Springsteen and Julianne Phillips
Bruce Springsteen married Julianne Phillips just six months after they met, but merely five months later, their union showed signs of stress. His lyrics in “Brilliant Disguise” – “So tell me what I see/ When I look in your eyes/ Is that you baby/ Or just a brilliant disguise?” may have been a harbinger of the honeymoon’s end. During Springsteen’s Tunnel of Love tour, the Boss and band mate Patti Scialfa got cozy; the pair later married in 1991. (His divorce from Phillips was finalized in 1988.)
4. Taylor Swift, "Back to December" – Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner
Swift has made millions writing about heartbreak and love, though she has not officially confirmed which of her songs are about which of her relationships. From “Dear John” (thought to be about a brief relationship with John Mayer) to “Better than Revenge” (purported to be about Joe Jonas), Swift has sung her heart out as fans try to guess which guy inspired the lyrics. Additional suspects include Jake Gyllenhaal, Harry Styles and Conor Kennedy. “Back to December” is thought to be about her relationship with Taylor Lautner, whom she was rumored to have dated back in December of 2009.
5. No Doubt, "Don’t Speak" – Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal
Before Stefani found true love with Gavin Rossdale and became a mom to sons Kingston, 7, Zuma, 5, and Apollo, 2 months, she had her heart broken by fellow No Doubt band mate Kanal – and sang about it on “Don’t Speak,” from the group’s 1995 smash album Tragic Kingdom. The exes remain friends.
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