Musicians In Relationships With Uncomfortable Age Gaps

Simon & Garfunkel's 1968 classic "Mrs. Robinson" heralded a new era of free love, highlighting May-December romances. By the 1970s, artists were extolling their encounters with significantly older or younger partners, including Rod Stewart, who was just 16 when he experienced his first time. "I [lost] my by then not remotely prized virginity to an older (and larger) woman who [had] come on to me very strongly in the beer tent," he wrote in his memoir, "Rod: The Autobiography." When he released "Maggie May" a decade later, he confirmed that the 1971 song "was more or less a true story about the first woman I had sex with" in an interview with Q magazine (via Smooth Radio).

Similarly, the  New York Post reports that 34-year-old Marvin Gaye had just met his future wife, 17-year-old Janis Hunter, before recording the 1973 hit "Let's Get It On." The luxe edition liner notes (via UCR) explain, "The presence of this young girl compelled him to perform the song to her, and in so doing, it was transformed into the masterpiece of raw emotion we know so well."

Then in May 1994, Aaliyah claimed that "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number." Just three months later, per The New York Times, the 15-year-old wed 27-year-old R. Kelly, although their controversial marriage was short-lived. However, many musicians agree with Aaliyah's sentiments and Gaye's iconic lyrics that claim, "Giving yourself to me can never be wrong if the love is true." So, let's explore some relationships with uncomfortable age gaps.

Tom Kaulitz and Heidi Klum share common interests

Heidi Klum married her husband, Tokio Hotel guitarist Tom Kaulitz, in 2019, and they still goof off. In an Instagram video shared in January 2022, Heidi had her man in hysterics during "Chai Tea With Heidi Rehearsals." Klum is 17 years older than Kaulitz and told Us Weekly that becoming a stepdad has been a big adjustment for him. "I'm sure it's not easy to step into an immediate family, having all of a sudden four kids and teenagers," she said. However, Kaulitz has stepped up in his new role. Not only was he teaching her son Henry (16) to drive at the time of the interview, but he previously taught her daughter Leni (17) as well. 

In 2018, Klum addressed their age gap. "My boyfriend is many years younger than me, and lots of people are questioning that and asking about it," she said, per InStyle. "That's really the only time when age seems to be shoved in my face and I have to give an answer for it. I don't really think about it that much otherwise." Now, Klum has priorities other than discussing the difference in their ages. She divulged that marriage involves sharing interests and told Fox News, "So you have to be invested in [his likes] because otherwise, he will just always do that on his own. And I feel like that's what a good wife is ... when you take part in the interests of your husband and vice versa."

KISS icon Ace Frehley dates teacher Lara Cove

While Lara Cove may not be "Christine Sixteen," as the jail-baiting KISS song goes, Ace Frehley "can't live without her." The lead guitarist and co-founder of the legendary rock band waxed lyrical about his girlfriend, who's 19 years younger than him, when he appeared on AXS TV's "At Home and Social With." He revealed that he switched coasts and moved from California after meeting Cove. He explained, " I'm a native New Yorker. About a year ago, I hooked up with an elementary school teacher in New Jersey, moved in with her, her two kids, and a dog, and now I'm a New Jerseyite."

Frehley dished, "I met her December 7th [2019] at a KISS convention in New Jersey that I was actually performing [at]." He elaborated about former bodybuilder Cove and said, "She had a booth with these mugs. She painted one of me, Paul [Stanley], Gene [Simmons], and Peter [Criss]. She gave me this one." Frehley, who was 69 at the time of the 2020 interview, gushed, "She's a very beautiful woman. We got to talking. And then she came to one of my shows subsequently, several months later. And one thing led to another. I don't think I need to go any further ..."

The two are still happily together and often feature on each other's social media pages. In November 2021, Cove took to Instagram and raved about Frehley. "You make me glow spaceman," she wrote.

Marques Houston wed Miya Dickey after dating five months

"Sister Sister" alum Marques Houston first impressed viewers with his silky-smooth voice while starring on the show. Later, the singer joined the group Immature and launched a solo music career. In 2020, per The U.S. Sun, then-39-year-old Houston married Miya Dickey, who was 19 years old at the time.

The Houstons' relationship has been the source of some controversy. Page Six reported that some fans believed that Dickey was a runaway reported as missing as a 15-year-old teenager. At the time, Houston confirmed that he did not begin dating Dickey while she was underage. He took to Instagram and wrote, "I met Miya in 2018 through a mutual friend. Never before then, did I even know she existed." He pointed out that even though Dickey was listed as an art director on one of his projects, it was a "misprint or someone being messy. Anyone can post on IMDB." He revealed that they met at a Jehovah's Witness convention and that there were "no twists, no turns, no scandals, just true love" in their story. 

And their story just keeps getting better. The couple welcomed daughter Zara in December 2021, and Houston posted a precious picture of "my heart." He told Us Weekly, "It still feels surreal, like, it hasn't set in yet that we are actually not just babysitting one of our friends' kids. But not getting any sleep definitely reminds us that we are now parents."

Tommy Lee loves Brittany Furlan's sense of humor

Brittany Furlan was not "too young to fall in love" (as the Mötley Crüe song goes) when she married badass drummer Tommy Lee in 2019. At the time of their nuptials, on Valentine's Day no less, Tommy Lee was 56 years old, while Furlan was 32. 

Just before tying the knot, per People, Furlan appeared in the Netflix documentary "The American Meme." After all, Time named Furlan one of "The 30 most influential people on the Internet" in 2015, and she had plenty to contribute as a social media influencer. On Twitter, she shared, "I can't believe I went from the most depressed, lonely girl, thinking I would die alone with my dogs to getting married in 4 days ... wow."

Lee shares two sons with former wife Pamela Anderson, and Furlan has revealed her own family plans. While talking to New Beauty about Janis Stone, the character she plays on Amazon Prime's "Paradise City," she shared, "She's trying to conceive, which is also something I'm not trying to do — ever. Dog mom for life." But Lee told GQ in September 2020 that they have "a full-on farm over here. Fish, turtles, dogs ..." He also gushed about Furlan, saying, "I have my beautiful wife and she is just incredible, man. My face often hurts from laughing so much from all the fun we have." He continued, "She has that wonderful gift of laughter and I think that's such an underrated quality in people." 

Rod Stewart kissed Penny Lancaster's toes

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster have been married since 2007. Interestingly, the two met shortly after Stewart's second wife left him. In 2021, he told People, "Rachel [Hunter] broke up with me on a Monday evening, and it was heartbreaking." He continued, "But that Saturday night, I met Penny at the Dorchester Hotel in London. The bass player in my band, Carmine, said, 'Listen, you've just come out of a long nine-year marriage. You're not ready yet.'" Famous last words because, as Stewart confirmed, "Six months later, he gave me her phone number and she came over. She has mended my heart in more ways than one." The couple went on to welcome sons Alastair in 2005 and Aiden in 2011, per the Mirror

Stewart, who is 26 years older than his wife, revealed the secret to his marriage to some band members, per People. "I told them, 'Intimacy is the most important thing in a relationship.' Don't take it for granted." He added, "I'm not talking about sex, but a kiss and a cuddle and a hold." Lancaster, however, revealed some raunchier details about her marriage when they appeared on "Loose Women" in January. She said at the start of their relationship, Stewart used to lick her toes. "There is that connection between the toes and other areas of your body, like the neck and your ears," she dished, per Express. In Stewart's own words, "Lucky geezer, aren't I?"

Sally Humphreys is not Ronnie Wood's daughter

Ronnie Wood is not only a member of the Rolling Stones, but he was also the lead guitarist for Rod Stewart's band Faces, per Smooth Radio. However, Wood gave up his hard-partying, rock 'n' roll lifestyle after he married Sally Humphreys in 2012. At the time, he was 65, and she was 34.

The couple is pragmatic about their three-decade age gap, with Woods revealing that his family with Humphreys was his inspiration in his fight against cancer, per USA Today. In an interview with Hello! (via Express), he said, "Once in a while, she gets mistaken for my daughter." Coincidentally, Humphreys and Leah Wood, Ronnie Wood's daughter, are the same age. He added, "But that is the age gap, so it isn't unreasonable for someone to think that." Wood pointed out, "It seems to bother other people more than it bothers us ... because the people who do know us don't flinch about it."

As for Humphreys, she told the Telegraph that the age gap bothers her. "I know it's there. And I wish it wasn't, but it is." She elaborated by explaining that she would prefer for Wood to be younger because "you can't go on forever so it's about the amount of time we'll have together." But the couple seems to be making the most of the time that they have with their twin daughters, born in 2016. The girls even traveled with Woods and Humphreys for the Rolling Stones' No Filter tour, per Hello!.

Bill Joel and Alexis Roderick's surprise wedding

"Uptown Girl" singer Billy Joel and equestrian Alexis Roderick surprised their guests when they arrived for a Fourth of July party in 2015. Instead of celebrating Independence Day with its usual fanfare, the couple wanted to celebrate their love, per People. So they tied the knot, with Joel's daughter, Alexa Ray, and actor Kevin James in attendance. At the time of their wedding, Roderick was eight months pregnant with their first daughter. Per Today, she gave birth to Della Rose in August 2015, and in 2017, the couple welcomed Remy Anne. In fact, per The Sun, Alexa Ray was with her dad and Roderick at the birth of Remy Anne. Talk about a tight-knit family!

Despite a 33-year age gap, Joel and Roderick have been together since 2009, which is when they met at a restaurant in Huntington. She told the Daily News, "He was going to dinner. I wasn't." She added that she and Joel "were friends for a while before we started dating."

In "Billy Joel: The Definitive Biography," Joel waxed lyrical about love. He said, "You just need one — one person out of millions — to know and accept and love you for being, well, just the way you are." It seems as if Joel has, after three previous marriages, finally found his person.

Katharine McPhee wanted to pass on David Foster's genes

Nobody writes a power ballad the way "Hit Man" David Foster can. And very few can belt them out like his wife Katharine McPhee. McPhee and Foster first met when she was a Season 5 "American Idol" contestant and he was her mentor. Katharine was performing Whitney Houston's majestic "I Have Nothing," written by Foster himself. Later on in the episode, Foster famously predicted, "I think Katharine has a great, great future." Little did he know, he would be in it.

According to Cosmopolitan, sparks first started flying around 2017 when they were seen having dinner together. McPhee admitted to Dr. Elliot Berlin on his "Informed Pregnancy" podcast that their 34-year age gap initially bothered her. "It took me a while to kind of come around to really want to have a real, serious relationship because I was very concerned with what people would think." She added, "So I totally get the judgment initially, but things are never as they appear ... I'm in love with our love story, and that's all that matters." 

In 2019, they got hitched in London, and they had a baby in 2021. Rennie David Foster is McPhee's first child and Foster's only son. Apparently, McPhee wanted kids with Foster for a long time. A source claimed to In Touch (via Closer Weekly) in 2017 that McPhee "would love for her kids to have his looks and confidence."  Oh, for the glory of love.

Madonna and Ahlamalik Williams worked together

Madonna has never shied away from May-December relationships. In a 2011 interview with News of the World (via Digital Spy), Vanilla Ice claimed that "she's still the oldest person" that he's been with. And when he appeared on "The Dan Patrick Show," the rapper said, "She's aggressive. She wanted me." 

But at the time of this writing, Madge only has eyes for her beau Ahlamalik Williams. The dancer and the Material Girl have worked together since 2015, per the Daily Mail, although it's not clear when they first started going out. The couple is regularly spotted out and about, with Madonna often posting clips of Williams and her kids on her Instagram feed. In 2017, she told Harper's Bazaar, "I have lovers who are three decades younger than me. This makes people very uncomfortable."

However, the "Like a Virgin" singer and Ahlamalik apparently have at least one person rooting for them. Navy veteran Drue Williams, Ahlamalik's dad, told TMZ that he and his wife have met Madonna, and it doesn't seem as if the 35-year age gap bothers him at all. In the 2019 interview, he claimed that Madonna and Ahlamalik had been dating "for a little over a year," which the couple hasn't confirmed. Drue appeared to approve of his son's relationship and told TMZ, "Love has no age." The vet continued, "My son is livin' la Vida Loca, and I'm just happy for him." That's right, "Papa don't preach," Madge is keeping her baby.

Sunny Ozell told Patrick Stewart he wasn't circumcised

Sir Patrick Stewart married singer Sunny Ozell in 2013 when she was 35 and he was 73. Per the Daily Mail, they met at a restaurant in 2008, and Stewart recalled, "It was an immediate attraction." The "Star Trek" star admits, "Music was part of this from the beginning. My musical knowledge has soared since I met Sunny." While on "Loose Women," he confessed that the first time he heard her "it was just simply a revelation to me hearing her sing." He told the Daily Mail, "Talent is very attractive. Never mind what anybody looks like. When you hear wonderful music, the appeal is almost irresistible."

Not only has she introduced him to good music, but Ozell also informed Stewart that he is uncircumcised. The star appeared on "The Graham Norton Show" and divulged the unthinkable while recounting how he casually brought up his circumcision during a conversation with Ozell. "She said, 'You're not circumcised,'" he recollected. "I said, 'What do you mean?' ... That's ridiculous, I should know." He even revealed that his mother told him "it was fashionable at the time." Only after the doctor confirmed his uncut status did he accept his wife's word.

As far as their 38-year age gap is concerned, Ozell admitted to the Daily Mail, "My dad was not thrilled, at first." Ozell's father is five years younger than her husband. She continued, "Now they are friends though." As Trekkies would say, "Make it so!"

Steven Tyler got loved up with Aimee Preston

Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Aimee Preston first stepped out as a couple in 2016, per People, and have been packing on the PDA ever since. Not only do they feature in each other's Instagram feeds, but they are often seen out and about together

Apparently, Preston used to work for Tyler, who is 39 years her senior. According to the Daily Mail, rumors about an alleged relationship started to circulate in 2014. However, the couple only confirmed their romance two years later. At that point, the "I Don't Want to Miss a  Thing" singer decided he needed something more permanent, and he moved in with his girlfriend, per Page Six.

Although Tyler and Preston haven't talked about their relationship formally, he did mention her in a 2019 Haute Living interview. According to his interviewer, Preston had "added some personal touches — scarves over lamps, hats hanging on sconces as you enter" to her beau's home, so it seems that she and Tyler have similar tastes and have settled into domestic life. While speaking about how he comes down after the high of a show, Tyler mused, "My lover right now and the guys — we talk to each other." Knowing you live with someone who loves you that you can always open up to? Now that's a "Sweet Emotion."

Susan Crow stands by Tony Bennett

Tony Bennett turned 95 on August 3, 2021, and his wife, Susan Crow Benedetto, was by his side. The special occasion was declared "Tony Bennett Day" by former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, and Bennett was honored for his lifetime contribution to music, per USA Today.

Bennett wrote in his autobiography, "Just Getting Started," that he met Crow's parents in 1966 when they asked him to pose for a photo with them. "As fate would have it, Marion was pregnant at the time with ... Susan! It's a photo we all laugh about," the legendary crooner revealed. History repeated itself 19 years later when Crow met Bennett backstage. He penned, "I not only agreed to say hello to her backstage, but asked her to be my date for the evening, and that's how it really all began." At the time, Bennett was single after separating from his wife Sandra Grant in 1979, per Page Six.

"The Lady Is A Tramp" singer was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2016. Crow, Bennett's main caregiver, counts her blessings. During a 2021 interview on "60 Minutes," she revealed, "He recognizes me, thank goodness, his children. You know, we are blessed in a lot of ways. He's very sweet." She added, "He doesn't know he has it." Crow also told Gayle King that despite the condition, "every night when we go to bed, he says, 'I love you, Susan.' And every morning when he wakes up he says, 'I love you.'"

Lionel Richie feels 'safe' with Lisa Parigi

Lionel Richie and his girlfriend Lisa Parigi know what works for them. Parigi, who speaks four languages, has charmed the "All Night Long" singer, and they're still going strong at the time of this writing after dating for several years. According to the Daily Mail, they began seeing each other in 2014, with Parigi accompanying Richie to red carpet events. 

Parigi is 40 years Richie's junior, but it seems as if the two have no plans to get hitched. At Lionel's Still exhibition in 2016, she told Alan Silfen (via Express), "I don't need a ring to validate my relationship with him. What we already have is enough." She added, "So many people need marriage to validate a relationship, but I'm not one of them. Lionel doesn't owe me anything." Interestingly, at that stage, Richie was considering having a child with Parigi. He told the Mirror, "I'm willing to become a father again. I might have just let a secret slip there, but so be it — Lisa and I are cool with the idea of children." But, he clarified, "Marriage, on the other hand, is a very different issue."

In 2019, Richie opened up about his feelings for his girlfriend. He told People, "She's  extremely beautiful, but most importantly she's smart and helps me deal with my crazy world." He continued, "At this time in my life when you can be so jaded about things, [my girlfriend] Lisa kind of makes everything feel a bit safe."

Mick Jagger 'settled down' with Melanie Hamrick

Mick Jagger appears to have found love again with Melanie Hamrick. In fact, the Rolling Stones legend and the ballerina have a son called Deveraux "Devi" Jagger. According to The Guardian, the boy was born in 2016 and is the youngest of the rock star's eight children.

While photos of the couple are rare to find, Hamrick sometimes posts pics of Jagger and their son or their family unit on her Instagram feed. According to People, the couple first became acquainted in 2014. At the time, Hamrick was on tour with the American Ballet Company, which is based in New York, but she left the American Ballet Theater in October 2019. In a social media post, she shared two photos and wrote, "Thank you American Ballet Theater. And Thank you to my family, friends and colleagues. You have made my final season with ABT so special." One of the people Hamrick tagged was Jagger himself. People reports that the ballerina retired and now choreographs and looks after their son.

At the end of 2020, Jagger bought Hamrick and their son a new home in Florida. A source told People, "The area is quiet and private and away from the bustle." Just how Jagger and Hamrick seem to prefer it.

Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Scarlett Sabet's epic romance

When Scarlett Sabet met Led Zeppelin icon Jimmy Page, she had no idea what was coming. She had "moved into the crowd," per Tatler, after reading some of her poetry at a library when Page approached her. He quietly said, "Your poems cut like a knife." She recalled, "I thought, 'Oh wow. He's who he is and he's just said that.'" She continued, "I remember walking home and, it sounds so cheesy, but I actually cried." Afterward, their friendship developed because she "kept bumping into him." Gradually, their romance blossomed.

However, she confessed, "I had such a sense of shame about the whole thing," in the beginning stages of their relationship. As newspaper outlets learned about their 46-year age gap, she admitted, "At the time it felt very uncomfortable. I felt like my life was going to be over." However, she now waxes lyrical about Page. "I'm in an amazing relationship. I think a lot of people make assumptions but Jimmy's an exceptional man, and beautiful." Sabet added, "And I feel lucky, he really is my best friend and the person who makes me laugh the most."

According to the Daily Mail, Sabet lives with Page and often accompanies him to red carpet events. A friend told The Sun (via Daily Mail), "Jimmy is leading a very conventional life ... not very rock'n'roll. His new girlfriend seems a very normal kind of girl." 

Don McLean is 'crazy for' Paris Dylan

Don McLean was all smiles when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in late 2021. According to the Daily Mail, he kissed his girlfriend Paris Dylan after receiving his award. McLean, who was 75 at the time, and Dylan, who was 27, were affectionate as they posed for photos. It seemed as if their relationship, which started in 2016, was still going strong.

McLean spoke to People in an exclusive interview and shared how he felt about his girlfriend, who is 49 years younger than him. The "American Pie" singer gushed, "She is the most wonderful person that I have ever known."  He revealed that when he sings his iconic ballad "And I Love You So," she is on his mind. He said, "I think of her when I sing a lot of my songs. But I especially think of her when I sing that song."

The crooner also told the outlet, "Love is the most important thing you can have." McLean felt that hate wasn't worth his time and shared, "I love my children and I love my girlfriend. I'm crazy for her." And for a man in his later years, the feeling that "life began again, the day you took my hand" is everything.