Celeb breakup survey: 41% think calling it quits with a musician makes you ‘fair game’ for song fodder

NEW YORK — We guess that really is why they call it the blues. New research shows Americans love a good dose of drama, particularly in the form of song. That’s especially the case when it comes to breakups.

In fact, almost three-quarters of Americans say they either like it (36%) or love it (38%) when musicians write about their lives, breakups included. That’s according to the results from a recent OnePoll survey of 1,000 people, who were asked in November 2021 to weigh in on several popular music fandoms. 

Most intense fandoms?

Forty-six percent of respondents say Beyoncé’s fans are the “most intense” online. Kanye “Ye” West’s fans rank second (35%) and Ariana Grande’s fans are a close third (34%).

West has been no stranger to drama lately between his recent relationships with Julia Fox and Chaney Jones, public reconciliation attempts with estranged wife Kim Kardashian West and ongoing personal beef with “SNL” performer Pete Davidson. He’s also facing backlash this past week after posting a new song and claymation video, “Eazy,” on his Instagram page Thursday night. The controversial video depicts Davidson being kidnapped and buried alive.

Not all fans mind though. Most respondents (41%) strongly believe anyone who breaks up with a musician is “fair game” for potential song fodder. Seventy-one percent enjoy it especially when an artist reveals who their songs are about.

That can certainly lead to some unwanted attention from diehard fans, though, as was the case for Jake Gyllenhaal upon the release of Taylor Swift’s short film, “All Too Well”. In fact, 36 percent of respondents don’t feel bad for celebrities who get harassed online. Gyllenhaal’s first official comments on all the heat he’s gotten since Taylor Swift released the nine-minute tune detailing their brief romance in 2010 have only recently been published. In a December interview with Esquire, Gyllenhaal said the renewed criticism from Swifties didn’t bother him. 

He later added, “At some point, I think it’s important when supporters get unruly that we feel a responsibility to have them be civil and not allow for cyberbullying in one’s name.”

Though Gyllenhaal is still feeling the heat for a three-month fling that occurred a decade ago, 36 percent of respondents think it’s not OK to hold a grudge against someone who wronged your favorite celebrity. One in four say it’s only acceptable for up to six months. Slightly fewer (23%) say it’s acceptable for up to one year after. 

But, not everyone is so willing to forgive and forget. In fact, nearly one in 10 (9%) admit they’ll sometimes hold grudges for five years. Four percent say they would even hold a grudge against someone who wronged their favorite celebrity for the rest of their lives.

Artists with most intense fans online

  1. Beyoncé (46%)
  2. Kanye West (35%)
  3. Ariana Grande (34%)
  4. Brittney Spears (32%)
  5. Taylor Swift (31%)
  6. Adele (31%)
  7. Olivia Rodrigo (26%)
  8. Drake (24%)
  9. Harry Styles (23%)
  10. Selena Gomez (23%)

Best breakup songs

  1. “Someone Like You” by Adele (12%)
  2. “Heartless” by Kanye West (11%)
  3. “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus (9%)
  4. “thank u, next” by Ariana Grande (8%)
  5. “Before He Cheats” by Carrie Underwood (8%)
  6. “Sorry” by Beyoncé (7%)
  7. “Cry Me A River” by Justin Timberlake (6%)
  8. “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber (6%)
  9. “You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morrissette (6%)