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The Heat Beat: The Music of Phoenix Radio and beyond: Five interesting notes about musician celebrity crushes

by Jess Szabo, Arts Writer

February, 2023

Many people admire and look up to favorite musicians. We are grateful for their contribution, we are impressed by their talent, and their work is the soundtrack for so many parts of our lives. For some people, a favorite musician is even their celebrity crush. For Valentine’s Day, 2023, here are a few interesting facts about celebrity musician crushes. 

The first male musician from modern times to inspire a lot of well-known intense crushes in their fans was not Elvis, but Frank Sinatra. 

There can be no definitive start to celebrity crushes, or crushes on musicians. The absolute first celebrity crush occurred the very first time somebody saw a well-known person they did not actually know and found them attractive. There is no way to determine when that might have been. But most people trace the first well-known, widespread Hollywood movie star crush back to silent film actor Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926). 

The first musician celebrity crush of this nature is widely attributed to Elvis Presley. And while Elvis was indeed a dream guy for many of his fans, he was not the first. In the 1940s, the reaction of teen girls to Frank Sinatra often included fainting, pushing to get near him, defying curfews and other laws for a glimpse of him, and screaming that grew loud enough to disrupt the performance. 

“Boy bands” of the 1990s-early 2000s were put together with the goal of people getting crushes on them. 

Bands may come together in a variety of ways, but the primary purpose is almost always to play music. A group of musicians may meet at a non-arts related job, or a guitarist or drummer might post an ad or ask around, looking for a singer and a drummer. This is not the case with the pop bands of the last thirty years known as “boy bands.” 

In June of 2015, writer Kaleisha Fetters wrote an article entitled, “The reasons why we grown-*** women still crush on boy banders” for Women’s Health magazine. In her article, Fetters quotes Brad Taylor, owner of a public relations firm who works with people in the music industry. According to Taylor, “They’re put together so that every woman, no matter her age, is attracted to something in the group.” Fetters, paraphrasing Taylor, then goes on to explain that once a group is formed, they are further styled and coached to present themselves as whatever is culturally acceptable as “the perfect guy” at the time.  Beauty…both male and female…is subjective, so of course everyone attracted to men would not be attracted to someone in a “boy band.” But the groups were carefully crafted to generate the greatest number of crushes possible. 

Teens with crushes on 1980s-1990s Heavy Metal musicians were not really crushing on devil worshippers.

Parents always worried that their preteen and teen might take a celebrity crush a bit too far. But in the 1980s and early 1990s, Heavy Metal crushed caused parents a whole new level of distress. Many of the songs featured occult themes, and symbols such as baphomets, pentagrams, and horns seemed to be all over album art and merchandise. A panic soon grew, that devotion to these bands, including crushes on the members, would lead kids to involvement in occult practices out of a desire to feel closer to their hero. 

In reality, very few of these bands were actually involved in any occult practices. Out of the absolute flood of supposed “Satanic” or “occult” bands of this era and later, only King Diamond, Glen Danzig, and Sully Ulna of the band Godsmack were/are practitioners of the occult. The rest just knew that putting out this type of material creeped out parents, and kids liked to buy things that creeped out their parents.

 Of course, everyone involved in the making of those records were adults, and were fully aware that kids and teens lacked the sophistication to understand that this was pretty much all marketing. And putting your own paycheck above the well-being of others is far from Godly. 

While it is extremely rare, some people do wind up in a relationship with their music star crush

Most people, especially adults, are fully aware that they will never have a relationship with their celebrity crushes. Many would not even want one. They find their real-life partner even more attractive, and they are well aware that no celebrity is as “perfect” as they seem. But there have been a few people who have blurred those lines, and gone from fan to significant other of a famous musician. Not surprisingly, most of these people are also celebrities. Gwynneth Paltrow was a fan of Coldplay before she married Chris Martin. Josh Duhamel described Fergie as his “celebrity crush” before their marriage.  Maureen Starkey Tigrett (1946-1994), the first wife of Ringo Starr and Adrienne Armstrong, wife of Green Day frontman Billy Joe Armstrong are among the few notable exceptions. They were not famous before their relationship with their rock star crush turned spouse became public knowledge. 

People who believe they are in a relationship with a celebrity crush when no such relationship has ever existed may be suffering from a rare mental health issue called “erotomania”

Erotomania is a rare delusional disorder in which the sufferer believes that someone is in love with them when no real evidence exists to support this belief. Those with erotomania often manufacture evidence that a relationship exists, such as seeing general social media posts, song lyrics, gestures meant for someone else, and other random details as signs and messages meant for them. They often go to fanciful lengths to explain why they cannot be with the person, claiming everything from conspiracies to secret arrangements. 

One of the most famous cases of musician celebrity crush erotomania is the one described in the Michael Jackson song, “Billie Jean.” The song was written about a woman Jackson had never met, but who insisted she was his secret wife, even calling herself “Billie Jean Jackson.” 

Although celebrity crushes on our favorite famous musicians can have a dark side, the majority of them are harmless fun. 


Jess Szabo
Jess Szabo
Jess Szabo' is a novelist, writing teacher, and content writer for Utica area artists. Her online workspace can be found at

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