It’s pretty much guaranteed that at one time or another, you’ve had a crush on a celebrity. You might have hung their poster on your wall, bought all their CDs, maybe even written some creepy fan fic in your diary about the house you’d have together and your three adorable green-eyed kids. But can you imagine if it actually came true? What if you met the rockstar of your dreams, they asked you out on a date, and you actually got married? For 3 superfans, that dream became a reality. Unfortunately, the conclusion of their fairytale wasn’t always happily ever after.
3 Singers Who Married Their Fans:
1. Reuben Studdard Married Surata Zuri McCants
Reuben Studdard, gospel singer and winner of Season 2 of American Idol, clapped eyes on Zuri McCants while signing her CD at Wal-Mart. Apparently the two had actually met twice before, but this time McCants made an impression. Studdard asked her out, and they quickly started dating. Two years later, they were married in Mountain Brook, Alabama.
The union was rocky. McCants already had a daughter from a previous relationship, and Studdard was heavily focused on his career. In November of 2011, after only 3 years of marriage, they filed for divorce.
For McCants, the roughest part of the experience was the divorce settlement. Though Studdard is well-heeled, she got virtually nothing. McCants contested the prenup, asserting that Studdard pressured her into signing days before the wedding. But the judge took no pity, denying all requests for spousal support or alimony. Studdard kept the house, all his belongings, and even the engagement ring. McCant got to keep her wedding dress, a 2006 BMW, and a measly $10,000. That’s about 3 grand per year of marriage. Ouch.
2. Elvis Presley Married Priscilla Wagner
Probably the creepiest entry on this list, 24 year-old Elvis Presley met 14-year old Priscilla Wagner in Germany through a mutual family friend. A huge fan of the singer (like every other girl of her era), Priscilla pushed for the introduction and was immediately star-struck. Priscilla’s parents agreed to allow her to visit the singer in America if he would provide a chaperone. The chaperone didn’t prevent Elvis from plying Priscilla with amphetamines and sleeping pills, and hopping into the sack with her. Priscilla’s parents responded by allowing their daughter to move to Graceland as long as she would attend an all-girls Catholic school and live in a separate house from Elvis on the estate.
Elvis left Priscilla at home most of the time as he continued with his busy touring and filming schedule, including a few dalliances with co-stars. Priscilla’s parents put up with this for about 4 years before calling Elvis to demand he keep his promise to marry their daughter. Priscilla’s father allegedly threatened to charge Elvis under the Mann act for “taking a minor across state lines for sexual purposes”. Leery of a scandal in the press, Elvis complied.
The couple married in an 8-minute ceremony on May 1st, 1967 at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas. Priscilla became pregnant almost immediately, a circumstance that dismayed both soon-to-be parents. Despite their trepidation they balked at an abortion, and exactly 9 months after the wedding Priscilla gave birth to their only child, Lisa Marie Presley (who has grown up to become a singer and songwriter herself.)
Elvis left Priscilla home alone much of the time while he continued to travel and sleep with celebrities. Priscilla retaliated through affairs with her dance and karate instructors.
The couple finally divorced in 1973. Priscilla received a generous settlement and remained somewhat close to Elvis until his death in 1977. She has since participated in various ventures including a clothing boutique, acting roles, and an appearance on Dancing With The Stars. Oh, and she’s an ardent Scientologist.
3. Ringo Starr Married Maureen Cox
Once again, a member of the Beatles shows up on my list. Is there anything these guys haven’t done? I actually could name two band members as fan-lovers, since Pattie Boyd was a lot less famous than George Harrison when they met, and certainly star-struck by the Beatles. However, today I’m focussing on Ringo Starr’s marriage to Maureen Cox, a hairstylist and huge fan of the band.
From the time she was 15 years old, Cox regularly attended the Beatles’ performances at the Cavern Club. She waited in line hours to get in, literally fighting her way through hundreds of screaming girls. As she puts it:
I never joined the queue until about two or three hours before it opened, because it frightened me. There were fights and rows amongst the girls, and when the doors opened the first ones would tear, knocking each other over.
Cox kissed both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on dares from other girls and got their autographs, but Starr didn’t even remember this, saying there were hundreds of other fans doing the same thing. Cox persisted, asking Starr to dance, and eventually they started dating. However, problems immediately arose. The other fans didn’t appreciate one of their number actually getting her hooks into a Beatle. Cox was regularly threatened and even assaulted by another girl as she waited in Starr’s car outside the Locarno ballroom in Liverpool. Cox said:
I had to be careful because of the fans. I might easily have been killed otherwise. Not being married was all part of [the Beatles’] image, and none of them were supposed to have steadies.
The couple’s relationship became serious when Starr collapsed from fever and tonsillitis and Cox helped nurse him back to help. When she became pregnant, they married in secret in January of 1965. Cox was 18 years old.
The marriage was a disaster from the start. Though they had three children together, Starr was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and unfaithful to boot. He was often violent towards Cox. Maureen eventually had an affair with George Harrison, leading to her divorce from Ringo Starr.
Cox remarried and enjoyed a happier union until she passed away from leukemia at 48 years old.