The Shortest Marriages In Pop Music History

This article contains references to drug use, addiction, and domestic violence.

It may be a stereotype, but celebrity marriages can often be characterized by both their brevity and turbulence. That has been particularly true among performers in the music business, where a variety of forces including sexual temptation, long absences while touring, and in some instances, excessive use of alcohol and drugs can all contribute to the breakup of a marriage.

Of course, there have been plenty of successful marriages within the pop music milieu. Paul McCartney and his wife Linda, for example, were the epitome of a happy celebrity marriage until her tragic death in 1998. But, on the flip side, Sir Paul's second marriage to Heather Mills was far briefer and less happy, ending in a bitter divorce after four years of marriage. 

There has been a variety of contributing factors to what eventually ends a pop star's marriage. And honestly, the list goes on and on – extreme behavior, substance misuse, temperamental clashes of personalities, you name it. In these cases, the marriages can sometimes be ridiculously brief, sometimes even ending in a matter of days. Such was the case with many of the shortest marriages in pop music history.

Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson's frantic four months

One of Pamela Anderson's five marriages was to Kid Rock. The former "Baywatch" star and the musician born Bob Ritchie first met in 2001, and the following year he popped the question. By 2003, they'd called off the engagement and split. Three years later, their spark was rekindled when they wound up reuniting on the yacht of a mutual friend in the south of France — within weeks, they were married. "It was like, 'Let's just f***ing get married and get it over with," Rock told Rolling Stone. The couple subsequently had a second wedding in Beverly Hills, followed by a third ceremony two weeks later, onstage at legendary Nashville watering hole, Tootsie's.

In November of that same year, Anderson filed for divorce. The date of separation was listed as November 26 — slightly more than four months after the first wedding. As Anderson later revealed in her 2023 memoir "Love, Pamela" (via Rolling Stone), the breakup was apparently caused by her role in Sacha Baron Cohen's comedy "Borat," when a jealous Rock went ballistic after seeing her onscreen while attending the premiere. "I didn't tell Bob I was in the movie because I wanted to surprise him," Anderson wrote. "I forgot about the part in the film that referenced the 'sex tape.' Bob stormed out, calling me a wh*re and worse. He was embarrassed, and his reaction was not thought through." 

Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley's 'wild ride'

Lisa Marie Presley, who died in January 2023, followed in the footsteps of her father Elvis Presley by embarking on a career as a pop singer, recording three studio albums (two of which hit top-10 positions on Billboard's Top 200). In 2000, she met actor Nicolas Cage at a party. Inconveniently, each was in a relationship at the time — Cage was married to Patricia Arquette, and Presley was engaged to musician John Oszajca. However, they each ended their respective relationships and began dating. In August 2002, they wed in Hawaii. 

While their attraction was undeniable, so was their volatility. "We're both so dramatic and dynamic that when it was good, it was unbelievably good," Presley told Rolling Stone in 2003. "And when it was bad, it was just a f***ing bloody nightmare for everybody. It was just 'Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.'" That was the case when the couple had a blowout aboard a yacht prior to their wedding, resulting in her $65,000, six-carat diamond engagement ring being hurled into the ocean. 

Three months into their marriage, they had another vicious fight. While no jewelry was thrown into the sea, that particular spat ended the marriage. "You can't have a temper tantrum and then call me four days later and expect, you know, everything to be fine again," Presley explained in an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer. "We were both like two 12-year-olds in a sandbox, basically."

Renée Zellweger and Kenny Chesney's quick annulment

Country singer Kenny Chesney and movie star Renée Zellweger met in January 2005 while appearing on an NBC special raising money for tsunami victims. They began secretly dating, and after a whirlwind four-month courtship they got married that May. Per ABC News, "Entertainment Tonight" correspondent Mark Steins expressed the bombshell nature of the announcement, breaking the story by stating, "It's ... kind of a shocker for all of us here in Hollywood who did not see it coming."

By September, the relationship had crashed and burned, with Zellweger filing to have the marriage annulled, citing "fraud" as the reason, per People. Despite that loaded, provocative word, the actor added that they both desired to maintain absolute privacy regarding the nature of their decision. However, that secrecy led some to jump to conclusions, with rumors promptly circling that "fraud" was related to Chesney's sexuality. 

However, during a 2007 appearance on "60 Minutes," Chesney insisted he was not gay but had simply refused to respond to the rumors. "I didn't want to draw more attention to it," he added. Instead, he claimed that the commitment was simply too sudden and overwhelming. "She's a sweet soul, no doubt about it," he explained on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (via "Today"). "But I just wasn't ready." As for why she never shot down the rumors, Zellweger told The Advocate, "I'm an old-fashioned gal who doesn't feel it's appropriate to hang out your laundry on the lawn."

Cher divorced Gregg Allman after nine days

Not long after her bitter 1974 divorce from her husband and Sonny & Cher partner Sonny Bono, Cher leaped into a romance with Greg Allman, lead singer and keyboard player for legendary Southern rock jam band The Allman Brothers. Mere days after meeting — and of Cher's divorce being finalized – the pair impulsively decided to tie the knot. While he'd informed his future bride of his addiction to narcotics prior to their wedding, she maybe didn't fully comprehend the extent of his habit. 

After a mere nine days of matrimony, Cher decided she'd had enough and called Allman to tell him it was over. According to Mark Bego's biography, "Cher: If You Believe," the pop superstar wasn't even sure if the divorce announcement got through to him. "He was so high he didn't even understand me," she claimed. 

Despite the brevity of their nine-day marriage, their union resulted in a child, a son by the name of Elijah Blue Allman, now a successful musician in his own right. The union also resulted in an album. Credited to "Allman and Woman," "Two the Hard Way" was both a critical and commercial flop — and suffice it to say, it was equally as unfortunate as the marriage. Featuring a mishmash of forgettable songs, the album failed to please fans of either artist. As AllMusic's review put it, "[It is a] legendary, largely unheard disaster."

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Katy Perry and Russell Brand split over text

It was love at first kiss when Katy Perry first met Russel Brand during a later-deleted scene for the film, "Get Him to the Greek," in which the two made out with each other. A year later, they were reunited at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards and were spotted locking lips again at an after-party. Within a year, they were wed in India.

By December 2011, it was all over, with Brand citing the ever-popular "irreconcilable differences" in his court papers, with an amicable settlement reached two months later. "Sadly, Katy and I are ending our marriage," Brand said in a statement published by the Los Angeles Times. "I'll always adore her and I know we'll remain friends." The latter part of Brand's statement didn't actually come to pass. "Let's just say I haven't heard from him since he texted me saying he was divorcing me," Perry dryly noted to Vogue in 2013. When Brand hosted the MTV Movie Awards in 2012, he joked (via ET), "Tonight, I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled for my next wife."

As for why it didn't work out, Perry suggested the timing of the marriage was at odds with their ascending careers. It proved to be their undoing. "I was having great success at 23, 24, and 25 and then I met someone that was interesting and stimulating," she told "60 Minutes Australia." "It was just like a tornado, it was everything happening at once."

Janet Jackson's secret marriage to James DeBarge

Janet Jackson was just 18 years old when she and singer James DeBarge, of the R&B group DeBarge, eloped in 1984. As she explained during the 2022 A&E documentary series "Janet Jackson" (via Insider) marriage at such a young age was the only way she could see to escape the control of her domineering father Joe Jackson. 

It didn't take Janet long to realize what a huge mistake she'd made when, on their wedding night, he left her alone in their hotel room after he'd apparently told her he'd be right back. "And I'm sitting in a hotel room in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by myself, just 18," she said. "And for three hours, he never came back." That was apparently just a taste of things to come. "There are a lot of nights that I would go searching the streets looking for him — eight o'clock in the morning, four o'clock in the morning," Janet recalled in the documentary. "I remember times when I would find the pills and I would take them and try to flush them down the toilet, and we would be rolling around on the floor fighting for them, that's not a life for anyone." 

Neither her family nor her management team was thrilled about the marriage. After eight months of persuasion from John McClain, an executive at her record label, Janet finally relented and agreed to have the marriage annulled. 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Sinead O'Connor's 16-day marriage

Sinead O'Connor was thrice-divorced when she married addiction counselor Barry Herridge in 2011. The pair had been dating for about 10 weeks when they tied the knot in the back seat of a Vegas wedding chapel's pink Cadillac. "I had no intention of getting married again but Barry was extremely persuasive," O'Connor told the Independent, prior to flying out for their wedding. "He proposed to me on every single date we have had since August."

Just 18 days later, O'Connor posted a missive on her website (via People) to reveal the marriage was done. She revealed that problems set in within just three hours of the ceremony. For starters, Herridge's loved ones didn't exactly respond positively to the news of his wedding. The singer then noted that she'd also taken herself and her new husband on something of an unexpected tour of Vegas to find some marijuana since she doesn't drink alcohol. "My husband was enormously wounded and very badly [affected] by that experience and also by the attitude of those close to him toward our marriage," she wrote. "It became apparent to me that if he were to stay with me he would be losing too much to bear." She added that rushing to the altar was probably not their wisest move. However, it was nonetheless a painful mistake for her to acknowledge.

Britney Spears' 55 hour marriage

Back in 2004, Britney Spears shocked the world when she impulsively married her childhood friend, Jason Alexander, at a Las Vegas wedding chapel. The ridiculously brief marriage ended a mere 55 hours later when the whole thing was annulled. 

In 2012, Alexander looked back on the experience in an interview with ABC News. He claimed that he and Spears had long been friends with benefits — even while she was famously dating Justin Timberlake. She invited him to join her in Vegas and flew him there in a private jet. While they enjoyed the sights of Sin City and partied it up, Spears suggested they tie the knot. "She just came out and asked me," Alexander said. "She was like, 'Well, let's get married.' And I was like, 'Sure. You know, let's do this.'" 

It wasn't until the next day when they shared the news of the nuptials with Spears' mother and her management team, that all hell broke loose. "Everyone went crazy because there was no prenup," Alexander claimed. For her part, Spears told E! News that the wedding had simply been a rebellious misstep, influenced by too much partying. According to the annulment he and Spears signed, the singer "lacked understanding of her actions, to the extent that she was incapable of agreeing to the marriage." Alexander dismissed the claim. He also made headlines again in 2022, when he was arrested while purportedly attempting to crash Spears' wedding to Sam Asghari, per Us Weekly.

Christina Milian's brief marriage was far from dreamy

Singer-actor Christina Milian had dated Nick Cannon for more than two years before breaking it off in 2006 because of his alleged infidelity. In spring 2009, reports emerged that Milian was dating music producer Terius "The Dream" Nash. A couple of weeks later, the couple threw a bash in Las Vegas to celebrate their engagement. In September, TMZ reported that the couple eloped, tying the knot in a Las Vegas wedding chapel — and not just any chapel, but the same one in which Britney Spears wed Jason Alexander a few years earlier.

From the outside looking in, the marriage appeared to be a happy one. In February 2010, the couple expanded their family with the arrival of a daughter, Violet. However, just five months later, the spouses were confirmed to have separated. The announcement came shortly after photos were published of Milian's husband and his female assistant, Melissa Santiago, cavorting together in the Caribbean. 

Following the messy split, Milian told Latina magazine (via Rolling Stone) that she'd come through it. "I've been to hell and back, but I survived," she declared. As for her husband's alleged cheating, she said she wasn't aware of it until those photos emerged. "But looking back, my gut was telling me something was off," she shared. "But I thought I could fix it."

Axl Rose tried to end his first marriage after 48 hours

Guns 'N Roses frontman Axl Rose began dating 19-year-old Erin Everly, daughter of The Everly Brothers' Don Everly, in 1986. The model went on to appear in the band's videos for "Sweet Child O' Mine" and "It's So Easy." And in April 1990, the couple wed in a Las Vegas wedding chapel — but just 48 hours later, Rose allegedly wanted to have the marriage annulled.

They officially split up 10 months later, but their relationship continued in the courtroom thanks to Erin's 1994 lawsuit, alleging all manner of physical abuse at the hands of her ex (it was ultimately settled out of court). Speaking with Rolling Stone, Rose didn't exactly deny Everly's accusations but insisted he wasn't the only one at fault. "Erin and I treated each other like s***," he claimed. "Sometimes we treated each other great because the children in us were best friends. But then there were other times when we just f***ed up each other's lives completely."

Speaking to Yahoo! Music, Riki Rachtman, owner of LA rock club The Cathouse, recalled an incident in which rock icon David Bowie had been caught flirting with Erin at the club. "That p***ed off Axl," Rachtman claimed. "That was when David Bowie was in the band Tin Machine. So Axl was running, yelling, 'I'm gonna kill you, Tin Man!'" Rose and Bowie reportedly made amends, and even enjoyed a night on the town afterward.

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Jennifer Lopez had a couple of short marriages

When Jennifer Lopez married Ben Affleck in 2022, it marked the fourth time at the altar for the "Jenny from the Block" singer. In September 2001, she wed for the second time, marrying Cris Judd, whom she met when he was one of her backup dancers. But, less than a year later, in July 2022, the couple announced they were divorcing. Their lawyers issued a statement indicating the split had been resolved amicably, per People.

During a subsequent interview with Diane Sawyer for ABC's "Primetime," Lopez admitted her track record on marriage wasn't great, given that her first marriage, to chef Ojani Noa, likewise cratered after less than a year. "I've been married twice but I haven't had a marriage yet," the "Hustlers" star told Sawyer. "This is not to take anything away from Cris or Ojani, who are wonderful people and who I loved very much, but I think it more had to do with me."

In 2019, while she was in the midst of a high-profile romance with former New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, Lopez reflected on her adventures with matrimony and dismissed her first two marriages. "I've been married three times. And once was nine months, and once was 11 months. So I don't really count those," she said in a video tour diary.

Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts split within two years

Lyle Lovett was an up-and-coming country-pop singer when he and "Pretty Woman" star Julia Roberts began dating in 1993. They'd only known each other for a few weeks when they spontaneously wed in Georgia, during a brief break in production while she filmed "The Pelican Brief." After performing at the wedding, Lovett told guests, "Thank you very much. And welcome to the happiest day of my life."

That happiness lasted a mere 21 months. "We remain close and in great support of each other," the two said in a joint statement regarding their divorce in 1995, per AP News. No reason for the split was offered.

A few months later, Roberts carefully discussed her brief marriage during an interview with the Los Angeles Times. Sharing that she didn't see divorce as a show of weakness, she mused that it's worse to remain in a marriage that isn't working. "I feel like I was sincerely lucky with the situation I found myself in, the joy I felt within [the marriage]," she said. "It's actually ridiculously amicable. You'd think people who could be that nice to each other would probably be a couple, but it just sort of wasn't the way it was intended to be."

Michelle Phillips and Dennis Hopper lasted just eight days

Michelle Phillips, of the vocal group the Mamas and the Papas, made her acting debut in the 1970 film, "The Last Movie." Dennis Hopper was both director and star, during a period when his outrageous behavior and rampant drug use had become notorious. Phillips fell in love with him during filming in Peru, and later admitted to Vanity Fair, "I was so overloaded emotionally by this point in my life, I didn't know what I was doing."

Phillips and Hopper got married after filming were completed, with screenwriter Stewart Stern telling Uncut that the "Blue Velvet" actor read "The Gospel of St. Thomas" aloud to his new bride during the nuptials. "He decorated the whole place with candles stuck in paper bags. It was a whole mixed mystical thing ... and it was just craziness," he shared. The Daily Mail claimed that Hopper was so wasted during the ceremony that the next morning he didn't recognize the woman he'd just married.

While Phillips didn't go into detail, she described the days after the wedding as being agonizing. When she returned to LA, she received help. "My father dragged me into his attorney's office and said, 'Men like that never change. File for divorce now. It'll be embarrassing for a few weeks, then it will be over,'" she told Vanity Fair. "It was embarrassing for more than a few weeks. Everybody had the same question. 'A divorce after eight days? What kind of tart are you?' " 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth lasted nine months

From the start, Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth's relationship epitomized the concept of on again, off again. The couple's first split arrived in 2010 when the former "Hannah Montana" star was just 17. They reconciled a few weeks later, only to break up again, and then subsequently get back together. In May 2012, they revealed they were now engaged. Within sixteen months, they announced they'd ended the engagement and were going their separate ways.

But, that apparently didn't take. Not only were they back together by May 2018, but they were also planning a wedding. A source told ET, "She hasn't announced anything because she is being very secretive so only their friends will know and at the very last minute." They were married in December – only to promptly split up eight months later. "Liam and Miley have agreed to separate at this time," a rep for the two told People. Days after that announcement, Hemsworth filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences — it was finalized in January 2020. 

Rumors that cheating and drug use contributed to their split followed — however, it was Cyrus who appeared to shoulder much of the blame in the press. On a 2020 episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience," she revealed that she felt the tabloids had unfairly depicted her as the villain in the breakup. Three years later, Cyrus released her new single "Flowers," along with an accompanying music video, which has widely been interpreted as a diss track targeting Hemsworth.