Love and heartbreak. Throughout history, countless musical artists have dedicated entire albums to their significant others or exes and, as a result, created some of the greatest works of all time.
One of the earliest and most renowned examples in popular music is Frank Sinatra’s 1958 album Only the Lonely, which he released after his lengthy divorce from Ava Gardner. The theme continued through the ’60s and ’70s, when Fleetwood Mac made one of the most gut-wrenching — and bestselling — albums ever with Rumours, inspired by its members’ star-crossed love lives.
In more recent years, musicians such as John Mayer and Robin Thicke turned their personal heartbreaks into art with their respective albums, 2009’s Battle Studies and 2014’s Paula. Mayer’s, for his part, was inspired by his breakup with Jennifer Aniston.
“I played it for her as the record was being made,” the Dead & Company member said of the Friends alum in a 2010 interview with Playboy. “When she heard Battle Studies she just wanted to be able to say, ‘I want to know that you hold me correctly in your heart.’”
Fortunately, things seemed to take a turn for the better in the late 2010s. Love was in the air for Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift, both of whom gave rare glimpses into their relationships in the form of music.
Scroll through the gallery below to see more albums that have been dedicated to lovers past and present!