5 Artists Who Need To Have Their Heart Broken

November 7, 2012 7 comments

I love a good breakup album. I mean, I really love a good breakup album. If you had your heart broken prior to or during the production, I’m probably going to love that album. 21, Lungs, Back to Black, Life Is Good — I’ll take ‘em all. Of course, I’m not necessarily happy about the fact that whoever I’m listening most likely just had their entire world completely crash to pieces around them, but I can’t argue with the musical output.

There’s nothing like real, gut-punching heartbreak to spur creativity–whether it’s for catharsis, revenge, or reconciliation. I’m not talking whatever happens to Drake every other weekend. I’m talking some serious, “I would have taken a bullet for you and then you straight up left me and now how the hell am I ever going to get over this?” type of shit.

I remember listening to 21 and both loving and hating Adele’s ex-boyfriend. On one hand, screw him for hurting her. On the other, if he hadn’t been such a selfish jerk, we probably wouldn’t have that album. Although I’m in no position to say whether or not the pain is worth the subsequent music–it’s definitely worth it. So who is going to bring us the next great breakup album? I have a few ideas.

Let me say that I’m not actually wishing misfortune on any of these artists. I’m not actively hoping that their relationships fall apart. I’m just saying, if they did, the music would be damn good.

Justin Timberlake

Look, we’ve all waited patiently through his commendable attempts at acting and I’m the first to admit that he was always great on SNL, (the MySpace resurrection, however, ehhhh) but it’s time for Justin to get back to the music. I was hoping Jessica Biel would pull a runaway bride at the wedding, leaving a dejected Justin to go home and hit the studio hard. However, it seems as though they got married without any issues, so I have to hope they employ the Kim Kardashian recipe for a happy marriage. The last time Justin had his heart broken, we got “Cry Me A River.” Well, I’m selfish and now I want round two. All I want is to hear twelve to fourteen tracks of Justin’s beautifully pained falsetto over a dope Timbaland beat. I don’t think I’m asking a lot here.


Eminem brings an intensity and vulnerability to his music that’s impossible to fake. If you ignore the debauchery with Mariah Carey, (which, as a society, we all should) the only relationship we’ve really heard him rap about is his destructive and highly fucked-up marriage to Kim Scott, the mother of his daughter. If he’s had any serious relationships since then, we haven’t heard about it. While “Love the Way You Lie” came close, you get the sense that he’s pulling from the past with those experiences. Well what happens when Marshall Mather’s is in a healthy, adult relationship? What happens when it ends? Does he think he’ll ever find love again? I NEED THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS.

Alicia Keys

Her debut single, “Fallin” perfectly captured the frustration and allure of on again off again relationships. Since then, Alicia has been shacking up in her love nest made out of money with Swizz Beats and most of her songs since are either about being in love or female empowerment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of both, but I want her to go in a different direction. I want to hear pissed-off Alicia. I want to hear her shake down some no good man who screwed her over. I want to see her ridiculously gorgeous face mocking the idiot who hurt her and make him fully realize the mistake he made while the whole world sings along with her.

Andre 3000

Simply put: This album would be bananas. As with Justin, this may just be me selfishly wanting him to create something—anything–new. I don’t know if he’s currently in love or not but can someone please swoop in and break this man’s heart? I mean, he remixed a song from the Sound of Music for goodness sake. The world of music needs him back. I feel like Cee-lo has kind of cornered the market on contemporary, eccentric R&B/Funk male singers right now. Andre needs to come back and reclaim his throne with some serious, out of the box, brokenhearted creativity.


Yeah. Remember her? Look, say what you will about JoJo, but the girl can sing. You cannot find me a woman who didn’t love “Leave (Get Out)” whether they admit it or not. Yes, we all know that at age thirteen, she couldn’t possibly have any personal experience with what she was singing about but it didn’t matter. Homegirl sold it. Her remix of “Marvin’s Room” is what really made me sit up and give her some attention again. She sounded grown and in control and like she was about that life she was singing about. I feel like she just needs material and what’s better than soul-crushing heartache? R&B lovers everywhere are rooting for (or I guess, against) you, JoJo.