Couples break up sometimes, and celebrity couples are no different. Even so, many music fans were saddened last week by the news that Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello had decided to call it quits (though they said they’d remain friends). But even though they have split, they will always have their memories — and a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The talented and photogenic pair topped the chart in August 2019 with “Señorita.”
Many other couples have also split after landing one or more No. 1 hits on the Hot 100 or other key Billboard charts. Below is a sampling. (We show only their No. 1 hits during the time they were a couple. We use the name of the chart that was in place at the time these records reached No. 1.)
Les Paul & Mary Ford: The duo had two long-running No. 1 hits on various Billboard charts in the early ‘50s. The classic “How High the Moon” was a smash in 1951, followed by “Vaya Con Dios (May God Be With You)” in 1953. The couple ended their 14-year marriage in 1963.
Smokey Robinson & Claudette Rogers: The Miracles’ “Shop Around” topped Hot R&B Sides for eight weeks starting in January 1961. “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” was No. 1 on the renamed Hot R&B Singles for one week in February 1963. Rogers retired from the group in 1964. She and Robinson divorced in 1986 following 28 years of marriage.
Sonny Bono & Cher: Sonny & Cher topped the Hot 100 for three weeks in August 1965 with the eternally charming “I Got You Babe.” They went on to even greater fame on TV in the early ’70s with The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, but divorced in 1975.
John & Michelle Phillips: John Phillips was the principal songwriter for The Mamas & the Papas; his wife Michelle was the quartet’s soprano. “Monday, Monday” topped the Hot 100 for three weeks in May 1966 and received a Grammy nod for record of the year. The Phillips’ eight-year marriage ended in 1970. Their daughter Chynna Phillips gained famed in the ’90s with the pop trio Wilson Phillips.
George Jones & Tammy Wynette: The country legends topped Hot Country Singles three times, with “We’re Gonna Hold On” (two weeks on top in October/November 1973), “Golden Ring” (one week in August 1976) and “Near You” (two weeks in February 1977). Their six-year marriage ended in 1975.
Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille: Captain & Tennille topped the Hot 100 for four weeks in June and July 1975 with the exuberant “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which won a Grammy for record of the year. They too had a TV variety show that got off to a fast start, but quickly faded. (And Sonny & Cher had made it look so easy!) Captain & Tennille unexpectedly returned to the top spot in February 1980 with the sultry “Do That to Me One More Time.” They divorced in 2014 following 39 years of marriage.
Bill & Taffy Danoff: The Danoffs were members of Starland Vocal Band, which topped the Hot 100 for two weeks in July 1976 with “Afternoon Delight.” The smash received Grammy nods for record and song of the year. The group won best new artist. Starland Vocal Band also had a short-lived TV variety series. (The networks were determined to find the new Sonny & Cher!) The couple, who married in 1972, divorced following the quartet’s breakup in 1981.
Bjorn Ulvaeus & Agnetha Faltskog and Benny Andersson & Anni-Frid “Frida” Lyngstad: These two former couples comprised ABBA, which was known at the time as Sweden’s most lucrative export since Volvo. (They may have pulled ahead of the carmaker by now.) Both couples were intact when the effervescent “Dancing Queen” topped the Hot 100 in April 1977. Both couples had split by 1981. The quartet disbanded in 1982 but this year released its first studio album in nearly four decades.
John & Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks: These two former couples were four-fifths of the classic lineup of Fleetwood Mac, along with Mick Fleetwood. The group landed its sole No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 in June 1977 with “Dreams.” It was taken from the group’s album Rumours, which topped the Billboard 200 for 31 weeks and won a Grammy for album of the year. The McVies’ nine-year marriage ended in 1977. Buckingham and Nicks were broken up before the album’s release, in 1975.
Boy George & Jon Moss: The performers — the lead singer and drummer/percussionist of Culture Club, respectively — had an undisclosed relationship at the height of the group’s fame. It ended in 1986. The group’s “Karma Chameleon” topped the Hot 100 for three weeks in February 1984. That same month, the group won a Grammy as best new artist.
Rodney Crowell & Rosanne Cash: The team topped Hot Country Singles in April 1988 with “It’s Such a Small World.” Crowell and Cash (daughter of country titan Johnny Cash) were married from 1979-92.
Shannon Rubicam & George Merrill: This team wrote two of Whitney Houston’s most vibrant No. 1 hits on the Hot 100: “How Will I Know” (co-written with producer Narada Michael Walden) and “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me).” As Boy Meets Girl, they had a No. 1 hit of their own, “Waiting for a Star to Fall,” on Hot Adult Contemporary in December 1988. Their 12-year marriage ended in 2000.
Drake & Rihanna: The superstars were rumored to date on and off from 2009-16, during which time they had two No. 1 collabs on the Hot 100: “What’s My Name” (one week on top in November 2010) and “Work” (nine weeks on top in March/April 2016). When presenting Rihanna with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the MTV Video Music Awards in August 2016, Drake said, “She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old.”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello: “Señorita” hit No. 1 in August 2019, sandwiched in between two other giant hits — Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” and Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts.” It was Mendes’ first No. 1 and Cabello’s second, following “Havana,” a collab with Young Thug.