Hive Five: Musician Office Romances

Neil Diamond performs at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, Las Vegas, Nv., May 2011. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Congratulations are due to Neil Diamond, who at 70 is still finding new ladies to marry him. This time out, the man who wrote “Cracklin’ Rose” kept it within his office, popping the question to his manager, Katie McNeil. While there’s a thirty-odd year age difference between the two, we can learn from other musicians who’ve wedded the management and figure out how Diamond’s marriage might work out.

1. Chris Cornell

Cornell married Susan Silver, an important grunge-era figure in the Seattle music scene, and the former manager of Soundgarden, during the band’s heyday. They split in 2000, and the breakup wasn’t exactly amicable – Cornell finally won an extended custody battle with Silver over 15 of his guitars in 2008.

2. Ronnie James Dio

Like his predecessor in Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio also managed his manager. Unlike Ozzy, the relationship didn’t quite make it to the finish line — the couple split before Dio’s untimely death last year. She did, however, stay on as his manager — you gotta earn a living somehow.

3. Celine Dion

Sometimes these relationships do work out. Celine Dion first met her husband/manager René Angélil when she was 12 and he was 38, and they began their romantic relationship seven years later, eventually tying the knot in 1994. This creepy fairy tale has a happy ending: the couple is still together.

4. Randy Travis

One could argue that country star Randy Travis owes his whole career to his manager, Elizabeth “Lib” Hatcher. They met at the North Carolina nightclub she was running, where she gave him work as a singer and a cook. Travis and Hatcher eventually moved to Nashville to try and “make it,” and in the process, they fell hopelessly in love (and made it). But like Dio, Travis and Hatcher split after 19 years, remaining business associates after the divorce.

5. Lucinda Williams

The second coolest thing to ever happen on the stage of First Avenue in Minneapolis — behind the filming of Purple Rain, naturally — was Williams surprising the crowd at a 2009 show with the news that, hey, they were at her wedding, and she married manager Tom Overby right then and there. Her songs have had an optimistic charm ever since, and the couple is still going strong.

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