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Divorce Songs: 7 Tunes Inspired By Splits (LISTEN)

Huffington Post     First Posted: 02/16/11 03:56 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

There's nothing like divorce for a little musical inspiration. These seven artists translated their splits into songs, creating modern-day divorce anthems to cure their breakup blues (one even carted home a Grammy on Sunday for doing just that--talk about sweet revenge). Which #breakuptunes did you listen to post-split? Respond in the comments or tweet @HuffPostDivorce.

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  • Reba McEntire - "The Day She Got Divorced"

    Country music star Reba McEntire explicitly references her divorce from first husband Charlie Battles on her latest album,<em> All The Woman I Am</em>. In "The Day She Got Divorced," Reba sings, "Didn't feel any different than it ever had/She wasn't that sorry, wasn't that sad/Couldn't love him any less or hate him anymore/The day she got divorced." Reba, who married her second husband Narvel Blackstock in 1989, talked to <em><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/09/reba-mcentires-the-day-sh_n_781258.html" target="_hplink">Good Morning America</a></em>'s Robin Roberts about the autobiographical nature of the album. "It talks about going through a divorce, having children, helping your buddies out, finding the right guy in their life, and then telling the guy he's treated you bad," Reba said.

  • Marvin Gaye - "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You"

    Marvin Gaye's infamous 1978 "divorce album," <em>Here, My Dear</em>, chronicles his split from ex-wife Anna Gordy, who was awarded a share of the profits from the album before it was even recorded--hence, the title. Multiple tracks on the album speak to his divorce, including "Anger," "You Can Leave, But It's Going To Cost You," and "When Did You Stop Loving Me, When Did I Stop Loving You." Shortly after their 1975 split, he married Janis Hunter, who he divorced five years later.

  • Liz Phair - "Down"

    Though "Divorce Song" may seem like the obvious Liz Phair post-split anthem--with lyrics like "And the license said you had to stick around until I was dead/But if you're tired of looking at my face, I guess I already am"-- the song debuted before she was divorced herself. She married Jim Staskuaskas in 1995 and had one child with him before they divorced six years later. She recorded "Down" in response to the split. "I'm feeling the sting of surprise," she writes. "I make myself stand up and leave/And turn my back on your hollow pleas."

  • Tammy Wynette - "D-I-V-O-R-C-E"

    Tammy Wynette recorded her number one hit "D-I-V-O-R-C-E" in 1968, after she had divorced two of her eventual five husbands--Euple Byrd and Don Chapel. She later married George Jones, Michael Tomlin, and George Richey, whom she stayed married to until she passed away in 1998. In "D-I-V-O-R-C-E," she sings about spelling the words relating to her split out loud in order to keep the information from her young son. "Our D.I.V.O.R.C.E becomes final today/Me and little J.O.E will be goin' away/I love you both and it will be pure H.E double L for me/Oh, I wish that we could stop this D.I.V.O.R.C.E.," she sings.

  • Usher - "Papers"

    Usher <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/06/ushers-messy-divorce-is-f_n_348949.html" target="_hplink">filed for divorce</a> from Tameka Raymond in June 2009. Several months later he released "Papers," his personal ode to divorce. "I can't deny how much I loved you/I done gave up everything I had too/As hard as it is I'm afraid I've gotta say, I'm ready to sign them papers," he croons. His divorce proceedings were messy--his ex contested the date of separation, and Usher reportedly <a href=" http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2009/10/07/2009-10-07_usher_delays_divorce_from_tameka_raymond_by_not_signing_papers.html#ixzz1E4m1bGRl" target="_hplink">demanded a DNA test</a> to determine if he was the biological father of their son Naviyd.

  • Suzanne Vega - "Widow's Walk"

    Suzanne Vega's first album after her 1998 divorce from producer Mitchell Froom, <em>Songs in Red And Gray,</em> is chock full of songs lamenting the demise of their relationship, including "Widow's Walk," "If I Were A Weapon," and "Soup And Water," in which she somberly lets go of her wedding ring. In "Widow's Walk," she sings about her marriage as if it were a sunken, splintered ship. "Consider me a widow, boys and I will tell you why/It's not the man, but it's the marriage that was drowned/So I walk the walk and wait with watchful eye out to the sky/Looking for a kind of vessel I have never found." She remarried Paul Mills in 2006, five years after the album was released.

  • Bob Dylan - "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go"

    Bob Dylan's 1975 album <em>Blood on the Tracks </em>was recorded shortly after his separation from his first wife, Sara Lownds, and is viewed as his reaction to the split. In "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," Dylan sings "Been shooting in the dark too long/When somethin's not right it's wrong/Yer gonna make me lonesome when you go." He married his second wife Carol Dennis in 1986, though the couple split eight years later.

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