The Most Scandalous Affairs In Music History

A number of celebrity couples have managed to make their marriages work, despite the pressure that comes with living in the public eye. We've seen it happen with stars like Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and Denzel and Pauletta Washington. Fans love to hear about these fairytale romances and they've become couple goals. We have to give them props for finding the secret to a long-lasting relationship, especially since there have been a lot of A-lister marriages that have been destroyed by cheating scandals. 

However, we must admit that when a scandalous affair hits the tabloids, whether it involves movie stars or even a U.S. president, we're going to keep on reading. Even if you're not a fan of "Vanderpump Rules," for example, there's a good chance you've not only heard about the affair drama involving Tom Sandoval, Raquel Leviss, and Ariana Madix, but can't look away. 

Stories of extramarital relationships are no different in the music world. But, hey, they might use their experiences to write a hit song, and some of the artists below have done just that. Whether they were the cheater or the one who was cheated on, these musicians have been through some very scandalous affairs. 

Shania Twain's husband's affair led her to true love

Shania Twain has been happily married to her second husband, Frédéric Thiébaud, for over a decade. However, the pair's relationship began under very unexpected circumstances. 

In December 1993, Twain married her first husband, music producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, who helped the songstress launch an incredibly successful career. Unfortunately, their collaborating days were over by 2008 when Lange was accused of having an affair with Twain's close friend Marie-Ann Thiébaud, who happened to be married to Frédéric Thiébaud. The "You're Still The One" singer and her husband split, and their divorce was finalized in 2010. Frédéric also divorced his wife, and he struck up a very close bond with Twain after both had gone through a terrible heartbreak. In 2011, she told Redbook, "I got to observe Fred going through the same thing I was and I admired how he handled it. That is where I fell in love with him because he was exemplary in every way." 

Twain and Frédéric wed on New Year's Day 2011. They have been going strong ever since, with the country star telling People in 2020, "When you have great loss, you lose faith; you get very discouraged. I'm sure a lot of people say, 'I'm never going to love again. I never want to fall in love again.' Songs have been written about that. I'm really glad that that got turned around for me, and that's what this relationship is.'"

Eric Clapton fell in love with George Harrison's wife

British model Pattie Boyd was married to Beatles star George Harrison from 1966 to 1977. Several factors caused the end of their marriage, including Harrison's drug use and infidelities, with the rocker having an affair with bandmate Ringo Starr's wife, Maureen Starkey. However, Harrison was not entirely at fault for the demise of their marriage. Before the couple split, Boyd fell in love with Harrison's close friend, creating one of music history's most talked about love affairs.

Boyd had an affair with musician Eric Clapton, who didn't hide his fascination with the model. He wrote one of his most famous songs, "Layla," about Boyd. (He would later write "Wonderful Tonight" for Boyd, too). Decades later, she recalled to People, "I knew it was about me. And I was rather nervous because I thought, 'If George hears this, I'm sure he'll guess it's for me, as well.' George and I hadn't split up, and I was trying to hang onto him, but Eric was trying to steer me away. I was torn.'" Boyd ended her marriage to Harrison in 1977 and wed Clapton in 1979. 

However, Boyd and the singer split in 1988 after Clapton was caught having an affair of his own. In an interview with The New York Times, Clapton later stated that his relationship with Harrison had not been strained after he married his good friend's wife. The late Beatle was once quoted as saying, "I'd rather she be with him than some dope."

Frank Sinatra had an affair with Ava Gardner

Legendary singer Frank Sinatra married Nancy Barbato in 1939, but began an affair with actor Ava Gardner that was made public in 1950. Sinatra had already been known for his extramarital affairs, including one with Hollywood starlet Lana Turner, but his liaison with Gardner caught a lot of flak. As author J. Randy Taraborrelli wrote in "Sinatra: Behind the Legend," the singer was labeled a cheater while Gardner was criticized for getting involved with a married man.

Around that time, Ol' Blue Eyes' professional life was just as messy. In the early 1950s, MGM ended his contract and Columbia Records dropped him. Two years would pass before Capitol Records scooped him up.

Sinatra and Barbato divorced in 1951, and he married Gardner that same year. According to Daily Mail, Sinatra and his new wife faced many obstacles in their marriage. It became a turbulent relationship early on, and they fought in public constantly. Both stars were consumed by jealousy, they were unfaithful to one another, and Gardner had two abortions because she reportedly feared their relationship wasn't stable enough for children. Sinatra and Gardner called off their marriage in 1953, and their divorce wouldn't be finalized until 1957. 

Johnny Cash was married when he met June Carter Cash

Although Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash's marriage lasted almost four decades, their relationship began as an affair. The "Ring of Fire" singer's first wife was Vivian Liberto, who he married in 1954 and welcomed four daughters with. However, their family life wasn't easy, with the couple's daughter Rosanne Cash sharing in the documentary "My Darling Vivian" (via Rolling Stone) that the kids had to grapple with their father's addiction to drugs and their mother's mental health struggles. Nevertheless, Johnny dedicated his first #1 hit, "Walk the Line," to his wife. The song, which was released in 1956, was a promise that the singer would remain faithful to Vivian as he toured on the road. However, that all came crashing down when Johnny started his affair with singer June Carter, prompting Vivian to file for divorce from her husband in 1966.

Johnny and June married two years later. In a 2019 interview with People, Rosanne noted that the circumstances were hard on her mother, but she didn't resent June for how things played out. "It seemed inevitable, though it was so painful for my mom. I had two really good examples from women in my life. My mom gave me this powerful sense of discipline, family, mothering, and detail orientation. And June gave me this sense of expansiveness and how to live life as a performer," Rosanne shared.

The couple remained married until June died in May 2003. Johnny would die just four months later, in September 2003. 

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Blake Shelton fell in love with Miranda Lambert while married to his first wife

Country singer Blake Shelton has said he had romantic feelings when he and Miranda Lambert hit the stage together to perform at the CMT 100 Greatest Duets Concert in 2005. The only problem was that Shelton was married to his first wife, Kaynette Williams, and Lambert was dating Jeff Allen McManus. Shelton and Lambert denied having an affair, but the "God Gave Me You" singer divorced his wife in 2006, and he began dating Lambert soon after. The pair wed in 2011. Throughout Shelton and Lambert's relationship, there were a lot of cheating rumors, and by 2015, their marriage was over. 

In 2018, word got out that Lambert had struck up a romance with fellow musician Evan Felker, who was apparently still married at the time. After this story broke, Shelton offered up a vague tweet about "karma" but was quick to suggest to ET that it wasn't actually about his ex. Regardless, McManus took a swipe at Shelton in a since-deleted tweet. "You know, I've always given you the benefit of the doubt and chalked it up to just being human, but you must be one arrogant SOB to pop off something like this, when I know damn good and well you were cheating on your wife and Miranda was cheating on me when you two started up," he wrote. 

Shelton married his third wife, Gwen Stefani, in 2021. Lambert married an NYPD cop named Brendan McLoughlin in 2019.

Shakira turned her husband's infidelity into a hit song

In June 2022, Shakira shocked fans when she and her partner of 11 years, soccer star Gerard Piqué, announced that they were calling it quits. The pair never married but share two children, Milan and Sasha. 

Some months after their split, Shakira suggested things ended on a sour note. In January 2023, she teamed up with Bizarrap for "Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53," a song that sure seems to take aim at Piqué and his alleged affair. The single was an instant smash and broke a number of records.

Piqué made his relationship with Clara Chia Marti official on Instagram in January 2023, but it looks like their romance had been going on for some time. As Page Six pointed out, Marti was spotted in the background of one Piqué's Zoom calls all the way back in 2021. Oh, but the story only gets stickier from there. According to Show News, the "Hips Don't Lie" singer evidently suspected something was amiss after she realized someone had eaten some of her strawberry jam while she was away; Piqué apparently isn't a fan of the stuff, so Shakira reportedly deduced that another woman must've been staying there. And, of course, there's the witch doll that Shakira put on her balcony, directed at Piqué's mother's home. Rumor has it that this was in response to Piqué's mother and new girlfriend supposedly calling her a witch. Yikes.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé worked through his infidelities

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know Solange hit Jay-Z in an elevator at the Met Gala in 2014. After TMZ shared the security camera footage to the world, Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Solange released a statement apologizing for the incident. Though they did not say why Solange attacked her brother-in-law, many believed she was upset over Jay-Z's reported infidelity. A few months later, Bey alluded to the Met Gala fracas on "Flawless (Remix)": "Of course, sometime s*** goes down when it's a billion dollars on the elevator."

And since then, Beyoncé and Jay-Z haven't shied away from touching on their marital issues. On 2016's "Lemonade," the songstress hinted at infidelity on Jay-Z's part with songs like "Don't Hurt Yourself" and "Pray You Catch Me." On the "4:44" track "Kill Jay Z," Jay-Z raps, "You egged Solange on / Knowin' all along, all you had to say you was wrong / You almost went Eric Benét / Let the baddest girl in the world get away."

In a 2017 interview with The New York Times Style Magazine, Jay-Z opened up about working through his infidelities and mending things with Beyoncé. "The hardest thing is seeing pain on someone's face that you caused and then have to deal with yourself," the rapper said. "Most people don't want to do that. You don't want to look inside yourself. And so you walk away." 

Jason Aldean's affair was talked about for years

Country singer Jason Aldean and his wife, Brittany Aldean, may have found marital bliss, but their relationship started as an affair that made country news headlines. In 2012, the "Dirt Road Anthem" singer was caught cheating on his wife of 12 years, Jessica Ussery, with Brittany, a former "American Idol" contestant and NBA cheerleader. Instead of denying the affair, Jason came forward and apologized. "The truth is that I screwed up. I had too much to drink, let the party get out of hand and acted inappropriately at a bar," Jason wrote on his Facebook. After trying to fix his marriage, the couple ultimately filed for divorce in April 2013. They also share two daughters.

In 2014, E! News reported that Jason was officially dating Brittany. The two attended the 2014 CMT Awards, marking their first public outing together. That same year, the country star told Billboard he was tired of people continuing to discuss his affair. "Get over it, already!" Aldean declared. "I'm not blaming anybody. Obviously, a lot of that stuff is my own deal. But I could go on posting something on my page right now that says, 'Hey, we just donated $5 million to a children's cancer research center,' and somebody would get on there and go, 'You're an a**hole cheater.'"

Aldean and Brittany wed in 2015 and welcomed two children.

Alicia Keys made amends with Swizz Beatz's ex-wife

Grammy winner Alicia Keys and her husband, music producer Swizz Beatz, did not have a fairytale start to their romance. The "Girl on Fire" singer was accused of having an affair with Beatz, who was married to his first wife, Mashonda Tifrere, around 2008. Though Beatz stated that he and Tifrere were no longer together when he connected with Keys, Tifrere had a differing opinion. 

In 2009, Tifrere alleged on Twitter that Keys was the reason for her marriage ending, stating that the singer "assisted in destroying a family," adding, "I feel that after [one] and a half years of you hiding this affair and acting like it [doesn't] exist, that now is the time to confront it, since you talk so openly about it now... You have no idea how much pain I was caused because of this affair." In May 2010, Beatz and Tifrere's divorce was finalized, and that same month, Keys and Beatz announced their engagement and that they were expecting. The couple wed two months later and welcomed their son named Egypt that October. Beatz also shares a son with his ex-wife.

The couple and Tifrere are now on good terms. Keys said in People in 2018, "Mashonda and Swizz and I worked and prayed together and allowed the space for everyone to be heard. It's one of the things I'm most proud of."

Jana Kramer's husband had a sex addiction

Jana Kramer's marriage with former NFL player Mike Caussin was filled with ups and downs. The pair got married in 2015, and the following year, they welcomed their first child, a daughter named Jolie. However, that August, the couple announced they were separating with Caussin seeking treatment for sex addiction. Revealing that Caussin was unfaithful, Kramer told People, "Mike was the biggest of the betrayals because it was the first time in a relationship where I truly loved the version of me. I didn't feel l had to prove that I was good enough, I was vulnerable and finally at peace with myself."

The couple worked through their issues, renewing their vows in 2017, and welcomed a second child, a son named Jace, in 2018. However, they faced other obstacles in their marriage. In 2019, the couple revealed in their then-joint podcast "Whine Down with Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin" that Caussin had a relapse in his sex addiction but did not cheat on Kramer with another woman in a physical way. That same year, Kramer revealed on their podcast that she had found inappropriate photos in her husband's phone.

Though they managed to work through their difficult times, it was too much for Kramer, and the couple split for good in April 2021. Caussin had allegedly cheated on Kramer with multiple women. Their divorce was finalized in July 2021, with the pair sharing custody of their two children. 

LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian's affair caused an uproar

The affair between country star LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian was like something out of a soap opera. After working together on the set of their 2008 film "Northern Lights," reports alleged that the two were romantically linked. At the time, Rimes was still very married to Dean Sheremet, whereas, Cibrian was still hitched to his first wife, Brandi Glanville.

When the rumors of an affair made headlines, both Rimes and Cibrian denied them. However, in 2009, both stars left their respective spouses. Cibrian filed for divorce from Glanville in August, while Rimes and Sheremet announced their plans for divorce in September. By March 2010, a year after the affair tittle-tattle first made headlines, the singer and Cibrian were spotted vacationing in Mexico. The "How Do I Live" singer even owned up to the cheating, telling People, "I did one of the most selfish things that I possibly could do, in hurting someone else. I take responsibility for everything I've done. I hate that people got hurt. But I don't regret the outcome." In April 2011, Rimes and Cibrian tied the knot.

In 2018, after years of tension, Rimes and Cibrian's ex-wife put their differences aside with the "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star sharing a smiling selfie with the singer on Instagram. The two were celebrating Glanville and Cibrian's son Jake's birthday. Glanville and Cibrian are also the parents of a second son named Mason.

Adam Levine got a little too flirty on Instagram

In September 2022, Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine found himself in hot water when Instagram model Sumner Stroh came forward and accused the artist of cheating on his wife, Victoria's Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Not only did Stroh claim that she and Levine had a year-long affair, but she even shared screenshots that allegedly showed the "Payphone" singer asking Stroh if he could name his third child after her. Meanwhile, multiple women also came forward to claim that Levine had also inappropriately messaged them on Instagram.

Levine denied cheating on his wife but confirmed he went too far when speaking to women online. "I did not have an affair, nevertheless, I crossed the line during a regrettable period in my life," Levine shared on Instagram. Meanwhile, Prinsloo had stayed silent and did not publicly comment on the allegations. She even supported her husband when he performed at an October charity event.

The couple appeared to have weathered the storm, and the affair allegations died down by the New Year. In January 2023, Prinsloo gave birth to the couple's third child, but there's no word on what they named their baby. In March, the couple made a rare appearance together when attending Vanity Fair's Oscars after party. Photos showed the couple smiling, with Levine even giving his wife a sweet kiss on the cheek.