Did You Know They WERE Married?

February 28, 2012  |  
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Sometimes, celebrities get married and divorced so fast, you wouldn’t even know they were ever married. And sometimes, we never knew because these unions happened before our time. We here at Madame Noire were surprised by many of these unions. Are you?


Persia White and Saul Williams

Persia White and famous poet and slam artist Saul Williams met when he made a guest appearance on Girlfriends as Lynn’s love interest “Sivad.” The artsy couple hit it off immediately and eventually married in 2008 after five years of dating.  Unfortunately, the artsy couple called it quits just a year later.


Remember the leading lady in Coming To America? Lisa? Well, the actress who played Lisa, Shari Headley, married Play (real name Christopher Martin) from the 90s hip-hop duo Kid n Play in 1993. They divorced only two years later. They have a son named Skylar together.


Cicely Tyson and Miles Davis 

The legendary actress and the legendary jazz musician never had children together but they were married for seven years between 1981-1988.


source: last.fm
Jermaine Jackson and Hazel Gordy 
We all know Jermaine Jackson has a colorful history when it comes to women. Heck, he and his brother Randy even share the same baby mama. But Jermaine’s first wife is actually Motown royalty. Jermaine married the daughter of Berry Gordy, Hazel Gordy, in 1977. They were married for 11 years and had three children together.

Marvin Gaye and Anna Gordy
Speaking of the Gordys, in an interesting example of cougarism in black history, Marvin Gaye was married to Berry Gordy’s older sister Anna Gordy when she was 42 and Gaye was only 24. They were married for less than ten years after Gaye left her for a much younger woman who would become his second wife (Janis Hunter). And in another interesting twist, Gaye had a son with Gordy’s niece.

Glynn Turman and Aretha Franklin

Who knew? Depending on which decade you were born, you may remember Glynn Turman best for his role in Cooley High or his stint as  retired Army colonel Bradford Taylor on A Different World or his role on the HBO drama The Wire.  Needless to say, we had no idea that the actor was married to Aretha Franklin from 1978-1984. They had no children together.

source: latina.com

Ali Landry and Mario Lopez

It seems that Extra TV host Mario Lopez loves showing his girlfriend and baby mama on reality television. If you recall, he had a VH1 reality show “Saved By The Baby” about their journey towards parenthood. But only a few years ago, Lopez was embroiled in a scandal. Weeks after marrying Ali Landry in 2004, the marriage was annulled because of alleged infidelity on Lopez’ part days prior to the wedding.



George Clooney and Talia Balsam 

In surprising news, George Clooney, the forever bachelor, was once married to current Mad Men star Talia Balsam. Clooney has publicly said that he will never get married. I guess he came to that decision via trial and error. He and Balsam were married from 1989 to 1993.

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Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Crmy Coco

    My feelings are hurt looking at how Ree-ree used be and knowing how she is now.

  • Ray Baldasari

    who cares about this drivel? Trash talking about trash@ get a life ,com

  • Craig Combs

    Isn’t that ole girl from Girlfriends?

  • ahbilyon

    glenn had him a bad one lmao

  • Naajiya Arabella Blight

    we didn’t know because they didn’t want us to know obviously

  • Nice chick …he’s lucky to have fucked her

  • Mvsykes

    These writers must be 12 years old; none of these marriages are a surprise…

  • Brittany

    Ummmm Clooney should grow his hair out like that again if he can lol

  • Shamoor

    You need to read Jet and Ebony Magazines to keep informed

  • Giovanni

    Half of these I already knew.

  • pink gator

    Gawd! I love, love, LOVE Madame Noir, but can y’all do something about all these noisy ads and pop-ups? I know you have to pay your bills, but is there a way to remedy this? I’m really close to “unliking” you on FB.

  • nic”lipz”white

    WWWAAAAYYYY too much clicking just to read a story!!!

  • erica

    i wouldnt tell nobody either ughhh!

  • clfrank2002

    Aretha also had a thing for Dennis Edwards of the Temptations and “Don’t Look Any Further” fame. I don;t think he really dug her though.

  • clfrank2002

    They really make Marvin sound twisted. He didn’t exactly “have a son” with Anna’s niece. They arranged that she would bear their child since Anna could not concieve. Although he did impregnate her the old fashioned way if you get my meaning.

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  • Nodramadee

    Hmmm what if they just charged u to read the articles so u wouldn’t have to go thru so many pages and deal with the ads? Would that make u happy?

  • Boozer1939

    George is always with someone different.

  • Boozer1939

    That is so tacky. I knew that Anna was a lot older; I just didn’t know how much. I didn’t know that Marvin kept it in the family.

  • Fayiza

    The fact whoever did thid Did U know piece didn’t know about some of these marriages just shows u r just young. Us older folk surly knew about parings like Glen & Aretha, Cicely & Miles as they were pretty well publicized back in the day. I didn’t know about Marvin & Gordy though. Hey never to old to learn. LOL
    Btw this is a gossip column not Harvard. Do we really need grammar & spelling lessons in this venue?!

  • You forgot Janet Jackson’s marriage to  James DeBarge (From the group DeBarge), September 1984 (annulled 1985);
    then she married Rene Elizondo (film director, actor), March 1991 (divorced
    2000).Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/janet-jackson#ixzz1vYVaZA2r

  • Amcgee430

    Aretha Franklin used to be fine!

  • Ummm…????

  • Ordoabchos

    Aretha’s cleavage  >>>>>>

  • NatI

    Marvin Gaye’s album, “Here My Dear” is truly a hidden gem. This album was written as an agreement in their divorce settlement, and “Anna’s Song” and “Is that Enough” (both songs about their relationship) are done in that soulful classic Gaye style.

    Fun fact: Sipping on Some Sizzurp samples Is That Enough

  • Don

    Ali and Mario have no kids together. Do you have interns writing this s**t? 

  • Seekr34

    WOW, Aretha Franklin was hot back then before she became a lard.

  • Wow, I never knew Aretha was ever that “thin” LOL!!
    forget the fact that she was married to
    actor Glynn Turman

  • Mario is a s**t puppy who has more women then you can count.

  • You mean Aretha was little once?

  • Whoa, that is Aretha Franklin!

  • Toria

    The relationship between Aretha Franklin and Glynn Turman, if I remember correctly, made the cover of Jet Magazine back in the day. 

  • BadDude2

    mmmm maybe I have to get a good sun tan get darker, maybe I get luck to get a good looking girl like her.

  • BadDude2

    mmm she is to good looking to be with this ugly man.

  • Can anyone explain who Marvin Gaye is holding hands with in this picture if Anna is holding her purse with her right hand and her left hand is around his waist (see the red fingernails at his waist)  Looks like someone made a mistake on this one!!

    • clfrank2002

      It looks like someone else (not pictured) is standing to his left and holding his left hand.

  • Persia White is hot. 

  • Miss J

    Yawn.  The person who wrote this article must be below 35…most people above the age of 40 knew about these marriages (except Persia).

  • Tmdobey


  • TX2Hi

    ARETHA !!!! Damn you used to look real hot!

  • Vadyer

    You’re missing Clarence Williams, III and the lady that played the Oracle (Gloria Foster) on the Matrix!

  • RayGizzleat

    Rakeem when celebrities get married the women want the marrage to work out if not a divorce happen faster than you think.

  • Glynn Turman didnt play on ‘The Wire’…

    • Shazza

       Yes he did, he was the Mayor in the first 3 seasons.

  • BabyKitten199

    I didn’t know of any of the black couples but I knew about George Clooney.  I always feel bad for Talia when I read he’s stated yet again that he’ll never marry ‘cuz it’s like a slap in her face.  He was with her when he first got that pot bellied pig of his (which turned HUGE!!!)  I think he even said something about he pig being a bone of contention between the two of them & he mourned the pig’s death very deeply when it passed away a few years ago.

  • Notorious Marvin Gaye!

  • Queenti2

    I never knew that Persia White and Saul Williams dated in real life nor did I know George Clooney was once married but all of the couples in between I knew about.

  • Patrick

    Clooney has publicly said that he will never get married. I guess he came to that decision via trial and error”

    Same way I came to that decision, unsurprisingly.

    • rfrf101

      LOL! Many are coming to that conclusion. I believe that marriage still has value. People are fickle.

  • DPlanner

    This article should be titled, “Celebrities Who We Didn’t Know Were Famous..”

  • Jillian

    Why does this blog get so many links/publicity, considering that most of the articles are poorly written, incomplete, and poorly researched?

  • Some more about Marvin Gaye and Anna Gordy

    Marvin’s “I Want You” was an album dedicated to Janis recorded while he was still married to Anna. By the time he divorced Anna he and Janis had 2 children together.

    • clfrank2002

      Correct. Marvin and Janis also divorced only 3 years after “I Want You” – the best album of all time.

  • I knew about Aretha, Mario, and Cicely. The writer’s at MN must be some babies….LOL

  • browniebaby

    Umm… None of these marriage’s lasted. What ever happened to Until Death Due us Part? Celebrities do not take the sanctity of marriage serious. It seems that their unions are more of a contract/business deal.   

  • Mmoo

    i thought she married the one with the high top?

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  • Is Talia Balsam the one gossipy neighbor who’s always over Betty’s house and had a baby in season 2? If so, then “WOW”….she looks so different!

    • acc

      Nope, Roger’s ex-wife

  • Pinkwhatnot


  • Carolyn

    I didnt see Miles and Ciecly coming.  

  • I can’t believe Saul Williams divorced his wife. He wrote a great poetry book about 12 yrs ago, (i believe it was published by an MTV company) he had so many poems written about his wife in the book and he had pictures of her exposing her large pregnant stomach. I also read an article about him where he said he felt ugly growing up and the only girls that found him attractive were bi racial girls with dark skin fathers….hmm. So is he choosing the fair skin girls or are they choosing him? 

    • clfrank2002

      It’s more likely that they are choosing him and he’s just rolling with it. People tend to be attracted to people that appear to be opposite of them physically.

  • Illbop

    So Jermaine Jackson was greasy in 1977, too….

  • Illbop

    So Jermaine Jackson was greasy in 1977, too….

  • Illbop

    Does anyone but me remember when Sheri Headley (Lisa from Coming to America) was on an episode of The Wayans Bros??????

    She had a PHAT a$$!!!! That is all.

  • Illbop

    Does anyone but me remember when Sheri Headley (Lisa from Coming to America) was on an episode of The Wayans Bros??????

    She had a PHAT a$$!!!! That is all.

  • Juli3

    Wow…look at Aretha! She was one hot mama. 😉

  • I love seeing cicely tyson in her 80’s look. Lol. 

  • i remember being a kid watching some award show. cicely tyson had just been honored in some way. then (my all time fave group), the commodores come on stage and lionel richie says “cicely tyson, this one’s for you” and the perform 3 times a lady.   i knew cicely tyson and miles davis were married

  • Korey

    How did you now know about Jermaine Jackson? Have you watched The American Dream movie? And I knew about Aretha.

    Sometimes you have to take a day and spend time on IMDB and wikipedia and just read. 

    And how come no one mentioned Janet Jackson’s second marriage? She was married to Rene Elizando for ten years before they get a divorce. It’s explained in the song “Son of a Gun”.

    • Korey

      did you NOT know *

  • Kyla

    WTH happened to Aretha Franklin. Darn, darm, darn. Ladies, let’s stay fit.

  • Loeen

    Nobody bats an eye when a man marries someone 20-30 years younger than he is. But god forbid an older woman marries a younger man. The situation suddenly becomes remarkable and if the couple breaks up, it’s just assumed that the reason is because she’s soooo old. Sick double standard. I’d encourage all women to date younger men because men die earlier than women so if you’re with an older man, chances are you’ll be changing his diapers for ten years, then he’ll die and then you’ll be alone for 20 years on top of that. The older-woman-younger-man taboo needs to be overthrown and the way to do it is for women to date younger.

  • Sunshinesoamazing

    Come on ppl! Who didn’t know about Jermaine and Hazel were married and Play and his ex wife were married and divorced so long ago who cares! You guys could have done a lot better on this one. Booooo! 

    • Blackopsdeb

       Fo’ real! I remember reading all about it in Jet magazine. I remember how lavish it was that Hazel’s dress was covered in pearls and how the wedding was the closest thing to a royal wedding black folks had experienced since…gee, I don’t know when.

      How ’bout Stephanie Mills’ marriage to Jeffrey Daniel of Shalamar? And speaking of Shalamar…Howard Hewitt’s marriage to actress Nia Peeples.

  • justsayin’

    “surprising white folks news”??   Can I say  “surprising black folks news”?

  • I did not know about Persia White and Saul, but I did know about the rest of the couples.

  • Dustyzmomma

    white folk news……………had that been the opposite there would have been all kinds of comments here.

  • waynelaboy


  • WhoKnew?

    I knew about Cicely Tyson and Miles Davis. He was abusive to her. He even wrote about it in his book. He said that one night after he beat her and she called the police that she was hiding in the basement while Miles was upstairs with the police having a drink.

  • Cuchino7

    I’ve read the first page of posts, some of which I Laughed Out Loud at……but I CANNOT believe NO ONE mentioned Jermaine and Randy having the SAME baby mama……HUH???? That really really really got me!! siblings and cousins?? WHOA And I know it happens; I’m not oblivious, but I just had NO idea about that one. Actually SMH.

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  • Nestafan2

    I’m on my lunch break.  It’s taking forever to navigate through these pictures.  I agree with some of the other posters:  I thought Marvin and Anna adopted their son, Miles Davis is NOT a blues musician, and Nina, Cicely and Harry?  Wow.

    • clfrank2002

      They did adopt him. But technically Marvin was the biological father as Anna got Marvin and the niece “together.”

  • Plute2003

    Mario Lopez’s show, “Saved by the baby” did not include  Ali Landry, it was another young lady  named Courtney Mazza. By this time, he and Ali had been called it quits. I’m starting to question the validity of your sources.

    • Onecorgilover

      Reread what they said: 
      It seems that Extra TV host Mario Lopez loves showing his girlfriend and baby mama on reality television. If you recall, he had a VH1 reality show “Saved By The Baby” about their journey towards parenthood. But only a few years ago, Lopez was embroiled in a scandal. Weeks after marrying Ali Landry in 2004, the marriage was annulled because of alleged infidelity on Lopez’ part days prior to the wedding.

      They are referencing his baby mama, Courtney Mazza (though they never named her), not Ali when they said he loved showing his girlfriend/baby mama on reality tv and that the show saved by the baby was about their journey towards parenthood.

  • Regular Brotha

    Come on, Madame Noir how you gonna describe Miles Davis as a legendary blues musician. Nothing wrong with the blues but damn, Miles is responsible by himself for creating at least two styles of JAZZ.

    Sadly,I realize that these days people are indifferent to the artistic, cultural and social significance of black america’s highest cultural expression (yeah, Jazz). But I expect people in journalism to know what they are talking about. Is that too much to ask?

  • Sugar_Spice

    WHHHHHAAAAAAAATTTTTT! @ Cicely Tyson & Miles Davis

  • Jchiefc1

    Aretha caught him in bed with another man back in 1984.  That’s why they got a divorce

  • Shan

    The son with Gordy’s neice is adopted he didn’t father a child with her neice. Marvin and Anna adopted her neice’s child.

    • Shan

      Well color me corrected. It was his biological son but his wife adopted him. And the math looks like the niece was 16 when she had the son. My, my, my, what was Marvin up to?

    • clfrank2002

      Marvin is the biological father of the son they adopted. He “got together” with the niece to concieve the old fashioned way and he and Anna adopted the boy since Anna couldn;t conceive.


    At least they were married.  Now they just use them and  get rid of  them.

  • Whatchoo talkinbout willis

    i agree w/george clooney. being married feels like a weight is resting on your chest while ur being held underwater

  • Tee

    I knew a few of these… my mom told me there was a rumor going around back in the day that Aretha had caught Glynn in bed with one of her sons! Owww!! But I love me some Re Re!! She looked great back in the day!

    • Hemme

      Thats not true, I heard her once on an interview call him the love of her life and she said breaking up with him was the worst mistake she’d ever made, she is still friendly with him and he often speaks at her events and she at his although he has been remarried for years.

      • Tee

        Thanks for clearing it up, I always looked for it on the net to see if it really happened! I love Aretha, and I swear, for the longest, I couldn’t look at Glynn without thinking about it!

        • April64baby

          I’d heard some kind of rumor many years ago too about him being caught in bed with someone (a man perhaps) while they were married. Never knew if it was really true or not.

  • FromUR2UB

    Wow. I never knew George Clooney had ever been married.  I remember when Jermaine Jackson and Hazel Gordy married because their wedding pics were in Ebony magazine.  I’d heard that Cicely Tyson and Miles Davis divorced because he was mean.  But, it’s expected that someone as ugly as he was would be. I also remember when Aretha Franklin and Glynn Turman married, then she slimmed down.  She used to lose weight after she got married.  Supposedly, Marvin Gaye’s song, ‘Here, My Dear’ was inspired by his divorce from Anna Gordy.  It’s said that it was his revenge against her because she was going to get the royalties on his future songs, so he was trying to write a song or an album that wouldn’t sell.  I don’t think Marvin Gaye could write a bad song, though.

    • clfrank2002

      Umm…no. “Here My Dear” was an entire album. The judge ordered Marvin to give all the sales from his next record to Anna for their divorce settlement. So Marvin made the entire album a voyeristic nod to their entire relationship, the good, the bad and the ugly, but mostly ugly. But he never intended to make a “bad album” so to speak.

  • msjackson

     dang aretha!! she looked good

  • Relark216@AOL.COM

    Miles Davis was a Jazz Artist ….Not a Blues musician…

    • Shan

      THANK YOU. I was just about to add that. SMH

    • Strawberry

      Who cares? All I know, he’s one ugly-mother-f**ker! Lol

      • and you’re one snotty b****. I bet that IS all you know. 

  • “In surprising white folks news ”

    I laughed, but now I feel bad because I looked at it objectively.

  • Nina Dashotta

    Cicely Tyson was also married to Harry Belafonte. I have a book “Notable African Americans and what you never knew about them”. I was too shocked.

    • Onecorgilover

      Never happened.  Cicely was only married once, to Miles.  Harry was married thrice and his tastes went toward lighter to whiter skin tones.

  • IllyPhilly

    Yup knew all except last one. Moderator says I can’t say Cicely was pretty SMH.

  • IllyPhilly

    Yup pretty much knew all except last couple. OT, Cicely was sexy back in the day! LOL Well really young Cicely

  • RedButterfly81

    Why can’t MN have a list instead of clicking through pages? This will save us some time!

    • DoinMe

      Chile, I’m telling you! That’s why I rarely come to MN anymore. Entirely too much work just to read an article.

    • Ron

      YES!  I only click on an article if it really intrigues me because of these ads and how long it takes to click through the lists!  Takes forever!

      • Jc_nash

        I am feeling you too!  All these pages take forever to download.  SOmetimes I just want to give up!  It is so frustrating.

        I sure hope they are taking note that folks dont like all of these darn pages in one article.

        • Renee

          so with you all on this..i don’t have time for all that waiting…get to the point already!! lol

          • N.D. Smith


    • Papillonsarah

      They do it to give the appearance of more page views so they have a bigger number to present to advertisers. It’s all about money.

    • Beautyqueenmoore

      ….and thumbnails of the pictures too please, so you can view them all at once!

    • Leils

      Well said

    • Rubyredjewel

       Just want to applaud Redbutterfly81’s remark. Clicking through articles & pictures is annoying

    • Shamoor

      I agree, especially since it takes too long for each page to load.

  • msgalveston tx


  • chibiiii

    So does aretha cry everytime she sees a pic of herself when she wasnt a hambeast?

  • You need to get your names straight. It’s CICELY TYSON!!! She’s noteworthy enough that you shouldn’t make this kind of mistake. It’s offensive. Correct it IMMEDIATELY!

  • awet

    i knew about cicely & miles and jermaine & hazel from the jackson 5 movie.

  • awet

    I’m assuming you meant cicely tyson??

  • universal

    wow, aretha was bangin make in the good ole’ dayz. i cant believe how good she use to look.

    • Shirleyhorstelliott54

      past tense of use is USED.  She used to look good.

      • Hunni

        Actually “use to” is CORRECT!! The word “used” is reserved for an object or thing that are not CURRENTLY being utilized. Know your grammar before you correct someone else?  

        • Dang

          That’s the best kind of idiocy.  Used to is correct.  Dumb f***

          • Lucypearls88

            I can not beleive she had looked so good

            • Lucypearls88

              Oh boy correction…..(believe)

          • Barbaramead

            No, ‘use to’ is correct in the way it was used in the posts. Used means it was utilized in the past.

        • sweetesttaboo

          And use proper placement of punctuation before you attempt to correct someone else. Placing a “?” behind your final statement turns the sentence into an inflection. See, we all can be English teachers.

        • Where did you learn English?  The correct term is “used to”!!!

        • OKina Alford

          Sorry Hunni, but you’re actually wrong. Poor thing. This is exactly why people shouldn’t name call and insult people. It must be so embarrassing. Aretha used to look great…yes…USED.

      • Vivianlampkin239

        stop being so righteous

      • ugh

        it amazes me that people use blog sites to correct one’s grammar.  No one is writing essays.

    •  I was thinking the same thing


  • JustSaying_IMFO

    I knew all but Marvin Gaye.

  • JustSaying_IMFO

    Cicely Tyson. As you said, she’s legendary. So you should be able to get it right. If you don’t know, try Google.


    some i did and some i no i did not…WOW

  • Rash

    that is Cicely Tyson with Miles

  • Earthspirit

    Persia and Saul were not married in the traditional sense. She official stated that.