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Break up, break through

By - | January 18th 2013

In showbiz, it is evident that at times, few dents in celebrity’s love life would twirl into an acclaimed musical career, whether positively or negatively, writes AUSTINE OKANDE

In the recent past, break-ups among showbiz icons seem to be a blessing in disguise. A number of artistes have converted their bad experiences into musical fodders.

Such trend cuts across both local and international entertainment scenes with such artistes producing chart toppers.


Vocal powerhouse and a six times Grammy Award winner Adele Laurie, now relishes an exceptional high rating in the musical scene attributed to her soothing emotional songs, which was inspired by her earlier break-up with a bisexual boyfriend. Someone like You, Hometown Memories and Daydreamer are some of Adele’s hit songs about her sour relationship after her boyfriend dumped her, for a gay partner.

Her second album titled 21, composed in the aftermath of the singer’s separation from her partner, exhumes the themes of anger, revenge, heartbreak, self-examination, and forgiveness.

Someone like You, also a big hit, encapsulate the wrenching experience of having lost a great love.


In 2009, multi-talented singer, dancer and thespians Rihanna and Chris Brown were involved in a controversial fierce break-up.

This led to the two writing and producing emotional music based on their relationship experiences.

Rehab, one of Rihanna’s hit songs is about her regrets and difficulties in moving on after a relationship gone bad. In one of her opening lines Rihanna sings: “...It’s gonna take a miracle to bring me back.”

Chris Brown, on the other hand, recorded his single hit song Say Goodbye.


American actor and singer Justin Timberland also hit the airwaves all over the world with his hit single Cry me a River. The lyrics and theme of the song are believed to have been influenced by his abrupt break-up with fellow pop star Britney Spears.


Those from the 1990s will remember Kenneth ‘Baby face’ Edmond and model Tracy Edmond break-up. The split led to a breakthrough in Baby Face’s musical career that tagged him as the King of Rhythm and Blues.

With his emotional songs such as What If, Every time I close my Eyes, and Two Occasions, Baby Face is an inescapable presence in virtually every major facet of pop music.

Singing out his heart, he earned a track record as the more consistently successful and versatile artiste in the 1990s.


Jennifer Lopez and Marc Antony’s break-up also led to Lopez releasing blockbuster albums, with hits songs like Start Over, which talk about her relationship experience with now ex-husband Marc.


Taylor Swift has people talking as much about her litany of break-ups, as she does her newly released single and upcoming albums.

In her songs, Taylor Swift talks about her relationship encounters, which have accorded her a large fan base.

Her many relationships make great fodder for songs such as Never Getting Back Together.


Locally, melodious Tanzanian artiste Diamond’s break-up with former Miss Tanzania Sepetu Wema, led the Nataka Kulewa hit singer to release a hit songs titled Mbagala and Kamwambie.


Ogopa Deejays’ rapper Colonel Moustapha hit song (in collaboration with Alisha Popat) I Have Loved, is believed to be an expression of his break-up experience with songbird Marya, known for her famous club song Sishiki Simu regarded by many as a mock song on their break-up.


Ugandan singer Bebe Cool is also caught out in the mix when he separated with Zuena Kirema and composed the highly rated Agenze track.


Mombasa-based singer Nyota Ndogo’s separation with her husband is also believed to have contributed to the composition of the hit single Watu na Viatu and Namtafuta.

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