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When Relationships Ruin Bands

September 17, 2015

Let’s let the myth end here: Yoko Ono didn’t split up the Beatles—they were already falling apart when John Lennon met the eccentric artist. But here are some other bands who fell apart when romance got in the way.

ABBAABBA was the bestselling pop group of the 1970s, responsible for disco hits like “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia!” But it wasn’t the end of disco that ended ABBA—it was divorce. The group had hits into the early ‘80s, but split up for good in 1981, after the two married couples that comprised the band both divorced.

Lauryn Hill and Wyclef JeanThe Fugees were huge in the 1990s. The rap/soul trio had a big hit with a cover of Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly,” but after two albums, each member pursued a solo career, and it’s been nearly 20 years since the band recorded together. According to the Fugees’ Pras Mitchell, it’s because the other two band members, Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill, can’t stand to be around each other. During the band’s heyday, Jean and Hill were dating, but were not exclusive. Hill became pregnant by musician Rohan Marley (son of Bob Marley), and Jean was heartbroken.

City HighCity High was a pop/R&B trio who scored a gold record and a string of top 10 hits in the early 2000s, such as “What Would You Do.” The group only ever released one, self-titled album. Why? City High consisted of one woman, Claudette Ortiz, and two men, Robbie Pardlo and Ryan Toby. Things got a little tense when Ortiz and Pardlo’s relationship ended and Ortiz started dating Toby.

Uncle Tupelo pioneered the “alternative country” genre in the 1990s, notable for bands like Son Volt and Wilco. In fact, both of those bands were created by former members of Uncle Tupelo. Jay Farrar formed Son Volt when he found out that his bandmate Jeff Tweedy (later of Wilco) was obsessed with Farrar’s wife, and allegedly tried to seduce her.

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