Usher & 5 Other Celebs Who Turned Their Heartbreak into Cold Hard Cash

As a great philosopher once said, “Let it burn. Let it burn. Gotta let it burn.” OK, I admit that those memorable words are actually lyrics from a pop song and that the great philosopher is actually The Voice judge and singer Usher, but the words still ring true for any breakup. Actually, I’m a huge fan of Usher’s 2004 album Confessions because of "Burn" and because it’s been super helpful in cradling my own currently cracked heart. With it, Usher showed us that you will survive and grow from relationship mistakes and breakups. The 35-year-old divorced father of two even recently said that marrying at 28 was the best mistake he’s ever made. He told O, The Oprah Magazine that he doesn't regret his relationship with ex-wife Tameka Foster.

“Most people probably think I regret it because I ended up getting divorced, but it helped me learn that sometimes I think I know more than I actually do." See? Sometimes breakups lead to bigger and better things. Here are five other celebs who made their failed relationships work for them, too.


Adele is the poster child for breakup success stories. This British singer wooed us all with her soulful vocals and relatable lyrics on her album 21. No one knows who the mystery guy was who broke Adele’s heart, but he messed her up real good and influenced the singer-songwriter to pen the Grammy winning album which sold 17 million copies worldwide.

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Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift has gotten many of our sad butts out of bed with her mix of funny, bitter, and heartfelt breakup numbers about her mysterious celebrity exes. We’ve all listened to them while lying on our best friend’s apartment floor, bemoaning our former flames. Don’t lie, because how else would singles like “We Are Never Getting Back Together” and “I Knew You Were Trouble” become worldwide hits?

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Jason Segel

Funny man Jason Segel’s big breakout movie role came in the form of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a comedy about a man coping with his breakup with his famous girlfriend. He penned the script after Segel’s own relationship ended and that naked breakup scene really did happen. The movie was a hit for Segel and producer Judd Apatow, grossing $105.2 million worldwide.

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Phil Collins

Sometimes breakups can put you on a whole new career path. Phil Collins was still working with the band Genesis when he wrote “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” which became a hit on his debut solo album. It was all influenced by his first divorce, he said, “Without that stuff I wouldn’t have felt the things I felt that made me sit at a piano night after night, day after day writing stuff.” In fact, if he never did that, Collins would’ve been a jazz musician and we would never have that air-drum-playing moment from “In the Air Tonight.”

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Several of Eminem’s earlier songs are about killing his twice-divorced wife Kim, from his 1999 LP single “Bonnie and Clyde” where he takes his daughter Hallie to go dump Kim’s body in a lake to the very explicit 2000 song “Kim.” This response to heartbreak might have been reprehensible, but Slim’s fans disagreed — he sold 115 million albums worldwide.

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